PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, under pressure to mend rifts within his Zanu PF party, yesterday summoned the party’s top brass for a special politburo meeting to try and address critical issues affecting the ruling party.
EVERSON MUSHAVA/MOSES MATENGA
The meeting comes at a time Zanu PF was divided over the manner in which to handle the ongoing salary scandal rocking State-owned institutions.
Informed sources said today’s meeting is meant to effectively deal with divisions following Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s unprecedented attack on the media last week claiming reports on corruption were coming from the country’s detractors.
Mujuru claimed that there were some people in Zanu PF who were determined to divide the party from within.
In a notice of the urgent meeting, Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said: “All politburo members are advised that the President and First Secretary, RG Mugabe has called for an extra-ordinary politburo meeting to be held at Zanu PF Headquarters on Friday, 14 February 2014 at 10am. All politburo members should attend without fail.”
Though the agenda of the meeting was not made public, sources said the state of the party and cases of corruption would come under discussion.
Mujuru over the weekend confirmed factional fights within Zanu PF saying the manner the media was exposing corruption showed there were others in Zanu PF who were fighting to destroy the party from within.
Mujuru and party stalwart, Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, reportedly lead factions angling to succeed Mugabe who turns 90 next week.
As the fight to succeed Mugabe continues to divide Zanu PF, party heavyweights in Masvingo have renewed calls for the dissolution of the provincial executive claiming that it was “fraudulently” voted into power.
The fights came hardly a month after Zanu PF dissolved the party’s Midlands executive and vested authority in Midlands provincial minister Jason Machaya following disputed elections. Provincial elections results have also been disputed across the country.
Masvingo has been at the centre of serious infighting as factional fights take centre stage.
A Mujuru loyalist, Callisto Gwanetsa, won the Masvingo provincial chairmanship, beating Ailess Baloyi, who is believed to be in the Mnangagwa camp.
But central committee members Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana and Shuvai Mahofa and Masvingo Urban MP Daniel Shumba, believed to be fighting in Mnanagagwa’s corner, have taken the fight a gear up by writing to the party’s political commissar Webster Shamu seeking to have the executive dissolved.
In two separate letters to Shamu, the three claimed that the polls were held in breach of the party’s own set guidelines announced on December 6, 2013 and should be nullified.
“It means that the purported election of the provincial executives to their posts was held fraudulently and is null and void,” Mangwana and Shumba wrote.
“We hereby request that in the interest of fairness, justice and democracy, this election be nullified and fresh elections be conducted by impartial people with district chairpersons voting as per your circular.”
The polls were marred by violence as factions openly accused each other of candidate imposition, vote-buying and manipulation of results.
Mangwana and Shumba argued that polls were conducted in violation of the party’s circular No. 19/2013, regarding provincial polls.
They said members of the central committee queried why district chairpersons were not invited to a meeting that was allocating positions of provincial executives on Saturday December 7.
When asked why the district chairpersons were not invited, the chairperson claimed they did not form part of the Electoral College, according to the letters.
“We have now seen circular No. 19/2013 and paragraph 1:1 states that the Electoral College is made up of ‘the district delegates and the recently elected provincial members.”
Mahofa, in her letter dated February 12, is also demanding that the provincial executive be stopped from holding provincial co-ordinating meetings in the province scheduled for tomorrow before they were given legitimacy by the politburo.