Zanu (PF) bigwigs jostle for chairmanship post

via Zanu (PF) bigwigs jostle for chairmanship post – The Zimbabwean 22 July 2015

Fresh factional wars have erupted in Zanu (PF) as top officials jostle for the provincial chairmanship post left vacant after a vote of no confidence in Minister for Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya.

He was booted out last year during purges that targeted former VP Joice Mujuru’s loyalists. A couple of months ago, he was suspended from the party for five years on accusations of working with Mujuru to topple President Robert Mugabe.

The party is divided on factional lines regarding who replaces Machaya. Some support current acting Chairperson Kizitho Chivamba, the blue-eyed boy of VP Emmerson Mnangagwa. But others are fed up with Chivamba, whom they accuse of using the VPs name to silence any dissenting voices.

Inside sources confided that the majority of supporters are determined to vote for anyone with the guts to challenge Chivamba. These include Mberengwa West MP and the party’s chief whip in Parliament, Joram Gumbo, and former deputy chairperson and Zvishavane Runde MP Larry Mavhima. The party’s women’s league and loyalists of ousted Machaya, are understood to be also urging Gokwe South MP Dorothy Mhangami to stand.

“What is clear is that Chivamba has lost trust from majority because he is seen as bossy and intolerant while grassroots supporters of former VP Mujuru simply want to embarrass Mnangagwa by booting out his ally,” said a source. Other sources pointed out that the “Gamatox” syndrome, a term used to describe Mujuru loyalists, seems to have been killed at top levels but the widowed ex-VP still draws immense sympathy from the grassroots. “There are going to be surprises at the chairmanship elections because the grassroots are determined to show solidarity with Mujuru by snubbing Mnangagwa’s ally,” said another source.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the Zanu (PF) national commissar who has been at loggerheads with officials from the Mnangagwa faction, may also act against any candidate linked to the VP. Cornelius Mupereri , the Zanu (PF) Midlands provincial spokesperson, was unavailable for comment but top sources said the elections were scheduled for early next month. So far only Mashonaland East has held polls, with Biggie Matiza emerging victorious. Mnangagwa was dealt a big blow as his ally, Ziyambi Ziyambi, was ousted in the same vote of no confidence style that was used to boot out his rival, Ray Kaukonde.