via Bickering Zanu PF mutes all but Gumbo 18/09/2014
THE ruling Zanu PF party on Thursday issued a gag order against all its members barring them from speaking to the media as the party moved to control a fierce battle raging behind the scenes ahead of a key elective congress in December.
In a statement to the media, Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said he was the only one allowed to issue public pronouncements regarding party business.
“Publicity of the policies and activities of the party are directed, controlled, supervised and coordinated by Rugare Gumbo, the secretary for publicity and information in the politburo at national, provincial, district and branch levels,” he said.
“Therefore the issuance of unsanctioned statements from unauthorised people within the party should cease forthwith. This is a serious breach of protocol and party procedure.”
The statement was issued following a meeting of the Zanu PF national co-ordinating committee that is driving preparations for the December congress.
“May I take this opportunity to remind all Zanu PF members that our party is a revolutionary party whose members are guided by its constitution,” he said.
“Every member should abide by the provisions of the party constitution and directives that are issued from time to time by the Central Committee and implemented through its administrative organ the politburo.
“All members of the party are being advised that the guidelines for the election of Zanu PF Central Committee members have not been finalised and approved by the Central Committee.
Zanu PF has virtually been at war with itself over the past few months with senior party officials openly attacking each other in the media.
The ruling party is virtually split into two warring factions with one led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru while the other group is reportedly led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The two factions are locked in a bitter war of attrition as they seek to place themselves in a strategic position to take over from President Robert Mugabe when he steps down.
Mugabe, at 90, is now in the sunset of his long political career. This reality has triggered a fierce contest within his party to succeed him with rival factions openly trading barbs in the public media.
Last month, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Chris Mutsvangwa launched a vitriolic attack on Mujuru claiming her image of a heroic freedom fighter was a creation of party propaganda chiefs. Mutsvangwa is said to be in the Mnangagwa faction.
Mnangagwa, who is the party’s secretary for legal affairs, recently told the media that elections at the coming congress will be conducted through a secret ballot for the first time in the history of the party stocking fears that the process could be manipulated.
All posts, apart from Mugabe’s, will be up for grabs at the conference.