The Zanu PF politburo met in Harare yesterday to deliberate on contentious issues bedevilling the party ahead of the forthcoming elections and reinstated expelled party members Daniel Shumba and Goodwill Shiri.
Shumba, formerly Masvingo provincial chairperson, was expelled after he founded the United People’s Party to contest against Zanu PF following the Tsholotsho debacle that claimed many scalps including Masvingo governor Josaya Hungwe, former Midlands provincial chairperson July Moyo and former Information minister Jonathan Moyo.
Shiri was expelled for standing against a party candidate in Mberengwa in the 2005 general elections. Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for confirmation as he was still in the tense meeting by the time of going to print.
However, informed party sources said the two were reinstated yesterday although it was not yet immediately clear whether they would be allowed to stand in the next elections on a party ticket.
Their reinstatement had been full of contradictions with some party bigwigs claiming they had been cleared while others dismissed the claims saying they would have to be readmitted at the cell level.
“The party finally agreed to reinstate them. Several issues are still unattained and the politburo will meet again on Friday (tomorrow),” the source said.
By late last evening, the politburo was still locked up in the meeting receiving a comprehensive report by Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa following his whirlwind tour of provinces explaining the disbandment of the party grassroot structures, the district co-ordinating committees (DCCs).
Party leader President Robert Mugabe last month disbanded the DCCs saying they had become “very divisive”.
Yesterday’s meeting was expected to be full of fireworks after Mutasa threatened to wield the axe to factional leaders accused of fanning divisions in the party.
The party was also expected to tackle problems faced within the Harare province and the new draft constitution which Jonathan Moyo (Tsholotsho North MP) said was planned with mischief to curtail Mugabe and the service chiefs’ powers.
Meanwhile, six Harare man accused of kidnapping and assaulting Wilbert Zhakata, a Zanu PF supporter and chairperson of the Urban Transport Association of Zimbabwe, appeared in court on Tuesday facing assault charges.
The court heard the suspects Fanwell Deyera (42), Tatenda Seremani (29), Owen Joseph (38), Abraham Kwenda (29), Clyde Mutero (36) and Goodwell Mombeyarara kidnapped Zhakata in a movie-style operation at the Exhibition Centre (formerly Harare Showgrounds) and force-marched him into their getaway BMW X5 vehicle before speeding off along the Harare-Bulawayo Road.
Prosecutor David Magwegwe presented that on July 5 at around 3pm, the complainant was at the Exhibition Centre when he was approached by Deyera, Seremani and Joseph who were driving a BMW X5 vehicle.
It is alleged the trio forced Zhakata into their car and drove him along the Bulawayo-Harare Road and upon enquiring as to where he was being taken, Seremani produced a pistol and threatened him.
Just after the Snake Park, the suspects allegedly pulled off the road and ordered Zhakata to disembark from their vehicle after which he was force-marched into the bush where Kwenda, Mutero, Mombeyarara and others who are still at large, were.
It is alleged that the gang accused Zhakata of being a sell-out and sprayed an unknown chemical on his face causing him temporary loss of sight.
It is further alleged that the gang assaulted Zhakata with booted fists, feet and sticks and stole $500 cash and his jacket before disappearing from the scene.
The court heard Zhakata eventually managed to get up and boarded a bus back to the city where he filed a police report. The accused were not asked to plead to the charges.
Provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe granted them $50 bail each and remanded the matter to August 8.