DISGRUNTLED Zanu PF youths on Saturday embarrassed provincial chairman Killian Sibanda in front of national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo after accusing him of working in cahoots with the opposition.
Nqobile Bhebhe/Blondie Ndebele
Violence flared up again yesterday during a Zanu PF meeting attended by provincial chairpersons.
Addressing the Press, politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu was at pains to explain what caused the violence.
“There is nothing much I can say really on what happened today,” he said.
“But as a province we are going to make recommendations on Wednesday during a politburo meeting and ask for suggestions on how to win elections.
“We have to have a strategy to win elections.”
NewsDay witnessed the Saturday drama as angry Zanu PF youths demonstrated and called for Sibanda’s ouster while Khaya-Moyo watched at the party’s provincial headquarters at Davies Hall in Bulawayo where about 1 000 Zanu PF members had been invited to discuss the draft constitution.
When Sibanda took to the podium to address the gathering, the youths jeered him and hurled accusations.
“We don’t want you here, you are an MDC chairman not ours,” said one of the youths as his colleagues cheered him on.
“He must leave his position and you will see wonders in the party. He is an inefficient leader who does not know how to lead the people.”
It was not clear which MDC formation the youth was referring to. The youths accused Sibanda of dividing Zanu PF and failing to manage party properties.
However, members of the women’s league sprung to Sibanda’s defence and exchanged harsh words with the youth league accusing them of being MDC supporters who were sent to destroy the Zanu PF.
Some members of the women league requested that the youths be thrown out of the meeting saying they were disrespectful.
With the harsh exchange going on unabated, Khaya Moyo, who had initially addressed the members about infighting, immediately leapt to Sibanda’s rescue and gave a vote of thanks before ending the meeting.
“We are aware of the issues you are crying about, you should remain united and be strong and as the presidium we will come back and address the issues,” he said.
In his address, Khaya-Moyo condemned divisions, which he said were a threat to the party’s victory in the forthcoming elections.
“As the presidium, we are going to take charge, we shall assert our authority in each province so that sanity prevails, we must win this election,” he said.
“Anyone who is divisive must be exposed and we will tell them to get out.”
Riot police kept a close eye on the situation.
Khaya-Moyo’s car was briefly blocked at the gate by the youths who forced him to chant party slogans.
He was only allowed to leave after he shouted “all will be fine”.
Party sources said Sibanda angered the youths after he recently suspended two provincial members — Simon Khabo (secretary for finance) and Langelihle Mathe (secretary for transport and welfare) — over allegations of fraud and insubordination.
Two weeks ago, the party failed to hold elections for the city centre district chairman after members failed to agree on the voting procedure. Zanu PF failed to garner a single seat in Bulawayo in the March 2008 elections amid fears the party’s support base in Matabeleland region is on the decline.