via Zanu PF factionalism derails government work November 10, 2013 Zimbabwe Standard
IT was fireworks during the Zanu PF Central Committee meeting on Friday with factions in Zanu PF at each other’s throat, in the wake of chaotic provincial elections that were marred by allegations of rigging and vote buying.
Sources said some officials pushed for the abandonment of the provincial elections, warning that the process was dividing the party at a time it was expected to deliver on its July 31 election manifesto.
A politburo official said there was a feeling that factions were undermining each other during the electioneering process.
“This is already affecting government programmes, as there is an element of sabotage by factions battling to outdo each other. But at the end of the day this will prove costly to Zanu PF as the party will fail to deliver because of these fights,” he said.
The politburo member said Justice Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa told the Central Committee meeting and the previous day’s politburo meeting that vote buying was a threat to the stability of the party.
“Mnangagwa made an impassioned plea to President [Robert] Mugabe that if vote buying goes unchecked, then the party’s opponents including the Western countries could clandestinely use money to buy some leaders and supporters in the party,” said the official.
He said Vice President Joice Mujuru supported Mnangagwa’s views.
Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa are linked to the two factions in Zanu PF vying to succeed 89-year-old Mugabe.
The politburo member said Mnangagwa endorsed the elections in Manicaland won by Ambassador Johan Mvundura amid allegations of vote buying and rigging by losing contender, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa. Mnangagwa was the presiding officer in Manicaland.
But Mutsvangwa was said to have maintained that elections were manipulated and had prepared a dossier to prove her allegations.
Another senior Zanu PF member said Makoni South legislator, Mandi Chimene questioned why the party had double standards when it comes to certain officials.
He said Chimene chronicled how some senior party officials rebelled against the party as far back as the liberation struggle, yet they still occupied top posts in Zanu PF.
The official said this came up after the issue of fired Bikita West legislator, Munyaradzi Kereke and that of Mudzi legislator Jonathan Samkange were raised.
Kereke and Samkange were fired for contesting and winning the July 31 elections against official party candidates.
He said most members applauded when the issue of Samkange and Kereke was raised. The official said Mugabe told the meeting that the two should reapply if they were interested in re-joining the party.
The official said the Mujuru faction, which normally dominates politburo, was largely quiet during the Central Committee meeting and came under attack from members of the new faction calling itself the “Mugabe Five-Year Team.”
He said the members belonging to the Mujuru faction were jolted by the attack and lack of protection from Mugabe.
They later on met after the explosive meeting which ended after 8pm having started around 10am.
The new Mugabe Five-Year Team faction is said to be fighting to ensure that Mugabe finishes his five-year-term, rather than quitting midway to make way for Mujuru.
Chimene could not be reached for comment last week.
Commenting on the furore, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said what happened at the meeting was not peculiar, as people were airing out their views.
“There is nothing out of this world that happened at that meeting,” said Gumbo.
“We are a democratic party and people were just expressing their views and concerns as is expected.”
He maintained that the provincial elections would not be abandoned as alleged.
“Some people exaggerate these things. It was not as bad as being alleged,” he said.