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Chaos fears as politburo meets

By Mugove Tafirenyika

Zanu PF’s politburo will have its first meeting of 2017 in Harare tomorrow, amid fears that the gathering could become very heated as the party’s tribal, factional and succession wars continue to worsen.

President Robert Mugabe

An insider who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said top of the agenda would be the “high level of indiscipline and deep-rooted factional fights” ravaging the party — which had recently seen provincial structures rebelliously reinstating suspended officials without the politburo’s approval.

For example, the party’s Masvingo structure finds itself deep in the throes of factional anarchy following the regional leadership’s recent decision to bring back suspended former provincial leader Ezra Chadzamira to replace Amasa Nenjana who has been the acting chairperson.

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Similarly, the party’s Midlands provincial executive stubbornly elected to elevate deputy regional chairperson Daniel Mackenzie-Ncube to replace Jorum Gumbo, who had been seconded to the province by the politburo to replace the suspended Kizito Chivamba.

The province also brought Chivamba back into the fold as Mackenzie-Ncube’s deputy, in a divisive move that has led to confusion and more ructions within the troubled party over procedure.

Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere — while clearly unwilling to speak to the Daily News about the party’s travails — nevertheless confirmed that the two provinces’ actions were irregular.

But the well-placed source who spoke to the newspaper earlier said the proper procedure, in the case of the Midlands, was that Gumbo — who was seconded to the province to investigate the chaos that followed Chivamba’s suspension on allegations of promoting factionalism and undermining powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe — was supposed to have tabled a report of his findings first to the politburo.

“The province clearly jumped the gun. In as much as it is constitutional for provinces to co-opt their membership into positions, the case of these provinces is different given that the national disciplinary committee suspended Chivamba and Chadzamira, and they were only reinstated as ordinary card-carrying members.

“This means that any attempt to bring them back now is tantamount to making a mockery of the national disciplinary process.

“The case of Chivamba is even more interesting given that it was actually the politburo which tasked Gumbo to look into the matter.

“This means that he (Gumbo) was supposed to give feedback to the politburo first before a decision on who takes over is made. What they have done shows their utter contempt for the politburo and its decisions,” the source said.

However, Masvingo provincial minister Shuvai Mahofa — who is also a politburo member — insisted that their decision had been above board.

“You have done the right thing to ask me as a politburo member.

“When Chivamba, Chadzamira and (Joel Biggie) Matiza’s cases were discussed in the politburo, they were found innocent of all the charges that were preferred against them and it was recommended that they should go back to their provinces where a decision of whether or not to accept them back would be made.

“So, Masvingo and Midlands made theirs. Anything else is rubbish,” the forthright Mahofa said emphatically.

On the other hand, Cornelius Mupereri, the Midlands provincial spokesperson, said Gumbo had presented a report to the party’s provincial assembly and central committee, which was later presented at the Zanu PF annual conference in Masvingo last year.

Mupereri also said while the province had expected to hear from the politburo afterwards, when they got no communication back, they then went ahead and co-opted members to fill all gaps as provided for in the Zanu PF constitution.

“We did all we were supposed to do according to the party constitution . . . we had vacancies we felt we needed to fill to regularise the provincial structure, and we maintain that it was all in order,” he said.

Some of the other thorny issues which are expected to be brought up for discussion tomorrow include the alleged “indiscipline” of some party members who are allegedly backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

Many of the VP’s vocal allies have been openly calling for Mugabe to resign, to make way for the Midlands godfather both at party level and in government.

“Those against ED (Mnangagwa) will certainly bring to Mugabe’s attention to the issue of the infamous coffee mug and the Christmas party that he hosted for rebels, which has seen provincial chairpersons demanding action against the VP,” another senior party official said. Daily News