Zanu PF Midlands political godfather Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is alleged to have read the riot act to a clique in the party opposed to his stranglehold on power in the province at a recent provincial meeting in Gweru.
A source who attended the meeting said Mnangagwa was not happy over reports that Minister of State in Vice-President John Nkomos Office Flora Buka and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, both politburo members from the Midlands, had asked President Robert Mugabe to order a rerun of the party district co-ordinating committee (DCC) elections arguing they had been rigged.
We had a provincial position on the DCC elections yet these two deliberately chose to disregard the position in a meeting with President Mugabe and went ahead to lie. Mnangagwa was not happy with this so he told them straight up that such behaviour was unacceptable, a party source told NewsDay.
The source said there were fireworks as Buka and Gumbo tried to defend themselves at the meeting chaired by provincial governor and party provincial chairperson Jason Machaya two weeks ago, but Mnangagwa did not relent.
Mnangagwa declared that there would be no rerun of the DCC polls in line with the provincial resolution and charged that those who fell in the minority when the decision was made should not peddle lies to have their positions adopted, but instead run with the majoritys decision, said another party source.
Mnangagwas faction now holds sway in Midlands leaving Buka and Gumbo, who are allegedly aligned to the other faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, outnumbered every time a decision is taken to vote.
DCC elections held in the Midlands were won by activists allegedly aligned to the Mnangagwa faction while those perceived to be in the Mujuru camp were left smarting claiming Mnangagwas foot soldiers had rigged the polls.
Strenuous efforts to get a comment from Buka and Gumbo were fruitless last night as their phones were not being answered.