HomeLocal NewsMugabe gives in

Mugabe gives in

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Zanu PF’s politburo yesterday resolved to absorb former members of its disbanded district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) in a move seen as an attempt to deal with widening fissures over the unpopular decision.

The party in June resolved to scrap the DCCs accusing them of fuelling factionalism that has been worsened by infighting over President Robert Mugabe’s succession.

Fault lines became clear during elections for DCCs across the country early this year, which were marred by violence.

Camps aligned to Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa engaged in running battles and results had to be suspended in some areas following cases of electoral fraud.

Mugabe said the scrapping of the DCCs was meant to heal the divisions, but a Zanu PF team led by secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa to brief provinces on the move was met with hostility from the grassroots.

In Midlands, senior party leaders called for the disbandment of the politburo instead, a body that is hand-picked by Mugabe.

The calls were interpreted as a direct challenge to the 88-year-old leader who is determined to hang on to power.

Yesterday’s move would be seen as a major climb-down by Mugabe who has a tight grip on the politburo.

According to sources, the politburo resolved to send a circular to provinces to explain to the structures that the people who were in the disbanded DCCs had not been expelled from the party.

The officials will be told they would be seconded to other structures in the party such as the provincial co-ordinating committees (PCCs).

The DCCs used to supply members to PCCs with most DCC chairpersons being members of the PCC.

The DCCs wielded enormous influence in any elections to determine the President, the main reason why they had become the centre of power dynamics in Zanu PF’s complex succession politics.

Some party insiders said they suspect the move to reappoint them in other party structures was “politics of appeasement” to try to stop the party from further splitting.

“The move can be viewed as capitulation to the demands by the Mnangawa faction,” said one source.

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo were unsuccessful, but he told ZTV last night that some party members were not happy with the decision on DCCs.

“The disbanding of DCCs was not meant to punish DCC members,” Gumbo said.

“As the Politburo, we realised that some people were misled into believing that the members have been expelled from the party, so we have to find ways of making them fit into the party structures.”
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