via Parallel structures in Zanu PF Manicaland – The Zimbabwean 15/01/2016 by Clayton Masekesa
ZANU PF party in Manicaland has been bitterly-divided as parallel structures have been set up after Samuel Undenge was last week coopted to become the party’s substantive provincial chairman.
Undenge is said to be aligned to President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace’s faction and has replaced ousted chairman John Mvundura. Mvundura was among other party members who had a vote of no confidence passed on them on allegations of being aligned to ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Undenge’s cooption has divided the party with factions aligned to Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa and opposed to Grace are circulating a series of messages on cellphones, social media and other platforms, dissuading Zanu PF supporters from recognizing Undenge as the Zanu PF Manicaland chairman.
Mike Madiro who is allegedly aligned to Mnangagwa faction is also being regarded as the provincial chairman with the help of Zanu PF Manicaland Godmother Oppah Muchinguri backed by a majority of youth executive members. The Mnangagwa faction is also accusing the increasingly influential Grace for interfering in provincial party structures and operations in her attempt to position herself as Mugabe’s probable successor.
A senior politburo member in Manicaland who spoke to The Zimbabwean yesterday claimed that the members who were distributing the messages were linked to Mnangagwa. “They are moving around Manicaland encouraging supporters not to recognize Undenge as chairman of the party. Right now there are parallel structures in the province where the factions are doing their own things. It is confusing,” said the politburo member. “These people have been meeting clandestinely plotting to scuttle Undenge and his executive’s leadership. Yes, these senior party members (names supplied but withheld) are moving around the province and sending text messages encouraging comrades to shun Undenge and his executive,” said the politburo member.
On the other hand a party insider who is in the central committee belonging to Mnangagwa faction said: “She (Grace) has created big problems for the party. She is too young to understand some of these things. She is not from Manicaland and she must leave the people of Manicaland run the affairs of the party because we know what the people of Manicaland want in as far as running the party is concerned.”
Added the central committee member: “Grace is using Saviour Kasukuwere (Political Commissar) to thrash all the perceived allies of Mnangagwa in the same manner in which Mai Mujuru and her supporters had been destroyed.” The central committee member said Kasukuwere, who is in charge of the party’s divisive restructuring programme, has been a destructive cog in pursuit of Grace’s agenda to stem Mnangagwa’s alleged presidential ambitions.
The central committee member added that Undenge was a key G40 member, a group of Zanu PF Young Turks that is allegedly elbowing out Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s possible successor.
Although Muchinguri was part of the core group of Zanu PF’s leading lights who, together with Grace and the G40, led the eradication of Mujuru and her allies, she is now seen as belonging to the Mnangagwa camp that is battling Grace and the G40 for control of the party after Mugabe. “The truth of the matter on the ground is that at the moment the damage is already done. That party is no longer intact. Supporters are confused now and they are not sure of who is who in the province,” said the central committee member.
However, the Zanu PF Secretary for Administration for Manicaland Kenneth Saruchera confirmed the cooption of Undenge and others with immediate effect. Other party members who were coopted include Joseph Mujati who will deputise Undenge.
Tendai Saruchera was brought in as the new secretary for finance. He takes over the purse from Undenge. Simon Mapfumo is the new political commissar replacing James Kaunye who was pushed out through vote of no confidence.
Ronald Muderedzwa and Oliver Mandipaka complete the top six of the provincial main wing executive after retaining their positions as the secretary for security and information and publicity respectively. Nokuthula Matsikenyere was coopted as the women’s league new provincial leader. Matsikenyere’s elevation follows the dethronement of Happiness Nyakuedzwa on charges of indiscipline and fanning factionalism.
Beauty Benge will deputise Matsikenyere. Saruchera said: “This has effectively put to rest the issue of jostling for party leadership positions in Manicaland. The new-look party leadership would be in office until 2019.” “These co-options mean that the issue of the party’s provincial leadership in Manicaland is now a closed chapter as we now have a new-look executive committee that will preside of the party affairs until the end of their term of office in 2019,” said Saruchera.