Zanu PF national political commissar Webster Shamu has moved in to resolve sharp differences dividing Zanu PF politburo and central committee members in Bulawayo Province.
The widening rifts stem from a series of issues ranging from misrepresentation of orders from the politburo and unilateral suspensions of party members without following party procedures.
The politburo is Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body outside congress, but essentially the central committee’s secretariat.
It has since emerged that during Sunday’s meeting, which went on for hours, there were serious clashes between politburo members in the province with Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Eunice Sandi-Moyo fighting in one corner and Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, Joshua Malinga and Edson Ncube in the other.
A senior party member who attended the meeting said: “It was revealed that the divisions stemmed from a number of issues ranging from misrepresentation of orders from the politburo and unilateral suspension of party members without following party procedures.”
The party official said when the politburo ordered that six of their members, who were dropped in the latest line-up, should be retained, Sandi-Moyo opposed the suggestion and all hell broke loose.
“Another issue raised at the meeting was the suspension of three members of the youth executive, the chairlady of the women’s league and four central committee members, which was said to have been done without following party procedures,” said the party official.
The three youth league members — Bernard Nhata, Ropafadzo Mhungu and Tapiwa Nyoni — were reportedly suspended in unclear circumstances while four central committee members — Simon Khabo, Robert Ncube, Kenias Sibanda and George Mlala — were reportedly suspended for reporting provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela to the leadership on allegations of stealing cattle for one of the 21st February Movement celebrations.
The provincial women’s league chairlady was reportedly suspended for failing to back Sandi-Moyo in past elections. Another issue dogging the province is the conduct of youth chairman Butholezwe Gatsi, whom some politburo members were unhappy with.
However, Gatsi was reportedly being protected by Sandi-Moyo and Ndlovu.
“Another issue was the unilateral suspension of Dakamela by Ndlovu who later went on to say he had lifted the suspension after Dakamela personally apologised to him (Ndlovu). The other politburo members said they would not recognise Dakamela until he apologised to them,” the insider said.
“At that point, Shamu said the problem was between politburo and central committee members in Bulawayo so there should be a caucus meeting between the two but Sandi-Moyo and Ndlovu went on to influence the rest of the party members to demand that the matters be discussed in the open.” The senior member said the move, however, backfired on Ndlovu and Sandi-Moyo.
“It was revealed that Ndlovu was requested to call Shamu to step in and solve the problems facing the province two months ago but he did not do anything,” said the senior party official.
“There is going to be a private meeting between Shamu and the politburo and central committee members before the end of the week. He will call for the provincial coordinating committee to pass resolutions.”
Meanwhile, Gatsi reportedly hired 13 bouncers to man the Davies Hall gate to bar suspended youth league members and other party members believed to be working against him.
“The bouncers were also given an instruction to assault some politburo and central committee members in the event that Gatsi and Dakamela were removed from their positions.
The bouncers went on to beat up party member Mxolisi Manyathela who was accused of working against Gatsi,” the source said.
Contacted for comment Ndlovu initially demanded to know who the paper’s informant was before commenting.
“Who is your informant? Anyhow I have no comment. I do not talk to party members through the paper. If they have a complaint, there are channels to address those through the PCC,” said Ndlovu.
Gatsi denied hiring bouncers saying there were police details at the Davies Hall whose responsibility is to maintain peace.
“It’s all lies, there was no one who was assaulted neither were there bouncers at the gate. The police at the offices are there to maintain order,” Gatsi said.
Shamu, who doubles as the Information minister, is expected to deal with the issues before the party’s conference slated for later this month.
Efforts to get hold of Shamu were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.