Several of the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial top brass failed to show up at the Independence Day celebrations held at Sakubva Stadium yesterday sparking speculation they could have boycotted the event following internal party squabbles involving alleged rigging of district elections.
There were fears that hundreds of disgruntled party supporters who were demonstrating at the Zanu PF provincial headquarters in Mutare intended to confront senior party members at the celebrations, and the officials had then found it wiser to stay away.
Zanu PF provincial chairman Mike Madiro only arrived at the closing stages of the celebrations when guests were about to leave.
Party provincial youth chairperson Tawanda Mukodza said in an interview at the venue yesterday that the demonstrators had a hidden agenda to remove the current leadership and they had the backing of senior national members from other provinces.
Those people (demonstrators) dont have a patriotic agenda of Zanu PF. We are aware that they are working with agendas from outside our province.
We now fear that our party has been infiltrated by elements of the opposition, he said.
Mukodza was, however, at pains to explain the provincial leaderships absence from an event Zanu PF treasures highly.
Probably they have other engagements or they are celebrating Independence in other districts. As for the chairman who arrived late, probably he had a technical fault regarding transport.
MDC-T members, including Mutare acting mayor George Jerison, Senator Keresenzia Chabuka and several councillors, attended the celebrations including representatives from Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambaras MDC formation.
The demonstrations at the party provincial offices ended on Tuesday evening after the partys national political commissar Webster Shamu pledged to the demonstrators that he would address their grievances.
NewsDay is reliably informed that district elections were suspended and demonstrators were optimistic of a favourable decision from the partys leadership.
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