via Herald dividing Zanu PF, Mugabe. 1 October 2014
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has threatened to deal with party leaders who fight in the public tarnishing the image of Zanu PF, the party national spokesperson revealed Wednesday.
Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson told journalists after a closed door politburo meeting which was called as factional fights were turning nasty, that Mugabe said he will soon crack the whip on party leaders who are engaging in unnecessary fights.
“The president of the party in his opening remarks expressed deep concern at the amount of indiscipline exercised by some members in the party in the provinces,” Gumbo said.
“He talked about premature campaigning ahead of the congress by some leaders seeking positions at congress. He said this thing must stop. The use of money and vote buying in such campaigns must never be allowed in the party,” he said.
The meeting was held at a time when Mashonaland West provincial chair Temba Mliswa was involved in a fight with a provincial executive member, Beauty Zhuwawo, over allegations that the Hurungwe West MP was spying for the Americans.
Zanu PF is set to hold an elective congress from December 9-14 at the venue where they launched the anti-sanction petitions popularly referred to as the Freedom Square with more than 12 000 delegates expected to attend.
This is the same venue where MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai held his last campaign rally in the run-up to the July 2013 elections.
“He felt strongly about the coverage in the media, particularly The Herald which is making destructive statements about the party. He felt that the media must inform on issues and not on personalities,” Gumbo said.
The Herald however accused Gumbo of putting his own words into Mugabe’s mouth.
“We take great exception to statements made by Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo who passed his own now well-known personal sentiments on The Herald as the Zanu PF position, and went to the extent of seeking to put words into President Mugabe’s mouth,” the newspaper said in an editorial Thursday.
“We checked with other Politburo members who attended the meeting and found out that the President expressed concern over some sections of the media that ran a story falsely claiming that his daughter, Mrs Bona Chikore, had grabbed a farm in Goromonzi.
“Interestingly, Cde Gumbo did not share this important detail with the media. The President did not mention The Herald by name. How the media is then crystallised to The Herald, only Cde Gumbo knows.
“While we are flattered that the Zanu PF spokesperson considers us the be-all and end-all of the media, we are hardly amused when he passes his personal sentiments as the party or President’s position.
“When Cde Gumbo wears the party hat, we expect him to articulate the party position, not his personal sentiments in pursuit of his own interests.”