Business was temporarily rought to a standstill at the Mutare government complex on Wednesday afternoon as Zanu PF supporters fought for control of the province in running battles at the party provincial offices.
The fight was between two factions believed to be led by Clever Muparutsa and Joseph Mavhiza.
Last month, Zanu PF national political commissar Webster Shamu intervened and ordered a rerun of the party’s district coordinating committee (DCC) elections in Makoni to quell the factional clashes after one of the groups camped at the provincial offices for nearly a week.
On Wednesday, Muparutsa and his team gathered at the government complex to strategise ahead of a party workshop slated for Marondera.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF provincial chairperson Mike Madiro downplayed the incident and said the issue had been resolved.
“This issue is a dead issue. This is a sign of indiscipline and we don’t allow members to take the party’s constitution in their own hands. Whenever there is a query they should engage rather than causing unnecessary clashes,” Madiro said.
But, Mavhiza said: “I have no comment because I was not around when these clashes erupted.”
However, Muparutsa said: “As the newly-elected DCC, we are embracive and we say let’s put our differences aside and work for the party.”
A close party source in the Mavhiza camp, however, said the clashes grounded business at the government complex to a halt.
“It’s true there were clashes on Wednesday afternoon. But the conflict was caused by the provincial executive which is taking sides to impose the losing candidate.
“The national PC (Shamu)was clear when he came here and suspended everything,” said the official who declined to be named.
“Twenty-seven out of 34 districts in Mutare said they were not happy with what happened during the national PC’s inquiry and no one should assume office before the matter is finalised. Even the chairman should respect the national PC.”
Workers at the government complex told NewsDay that the Mavhiza faction came to the complex singing revolutionary and denigratory songs which then sparked the clash.
They are said to have been challenging the legitimacy of the rival faction.
“Muparutsa and his team were having their meeting at one of the receptions at the government complex after being denied entry into the Provincial Administrator’s conference room when the Mavhiza team arrived,” impeccable sources at the complex told NewsDay.