via Security agents thwart anti-Mnangagwa demo – NewsDay Zimbabwe. February 26, 2016
GOVERNMENT has deployed members of the military intelligence and Police Internal Security and Intelligence (PISI) units in Zanu PF’s volatile Midlands province to investigate alleged moves by ruling party hawks to mobilise party members to pass a vote of no confidence in Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri said the leadership was aware of reports that a rally had been clandestinely organised to take place today with party supporters lured with food aid after which they would be asked to demonstrate against Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF sources said the security intelligence operatives visited the Zanu PF convention centre and provincial headquarters in Gweru yesterday morning claiming they were investigating reports of a planned demonstration against Mnangagwa and the provincial executive.
“We heard PISI officers were at the convention centre and party provincial office gathering details pertaining to the reported plans for a demonstration by party members,” the source said.
Zanu PF Midlands provincial vice-chairman Daniel Mackenzie Ncube confirmed the visit by security teams.
“I did not see them, but our officers told me that State security personnel visited our office. I understand that they were concerned over the security threat these alleged rallies could cause to the country as a whole after skirmishes with the war veterans in Harare last week,” Ncube said.
The sources accused Public Service deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze of trying to woo people to the rally by dangling food aid, but Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya denied the allegations.
“What we have is an allocation of 3 000 tonnes of maize which is at the GMB for the whole province for drought relief. I have asked GMB officials as to when it will be distributed and they told me there are still waiting for instructions from the (Public Service) ministry,” he said.
Matangaidze, who was recently appointed acting provincial chairman by political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere following the suspension of Mnangagwa loyalist, Kizito Chivamba, could not be reached for comment.
At a rally in Chiweshe two weeks ago, First Lady Grace Mugabe launched a verbal assault on Mnangagwa, setting the tone for his ouster on allegations of plotting to overthrow Mugabe, but her plans were allegedly derailed by securocrats who immediately confronted the Zanu PF leader and ordered him to rein in his wife.
Mnangagwa’s rivals, the G40 faction, allegedly later regrouped last Friday where they came up with a new strategy of organising “spontaneous” no-confidence votes and demonstrations against the VP using the party’s provincial structures.