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‘Don’t abuse Mugabe’s name’


WARRING Zanu PF factions should stop dragging the First Family’s name into their personal battles, Zanu PF has said.


The ruling party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday said although they had not yet received any official complaint, the party leadership was aware of some top members who were intimidating their rivals by claiming to be close to President Robert Mugabe and his wife First Lady Grace.

“We don’t take kindly to the pronouncements that tarnish the image of the First Family,” Gumbo said.

“We have not received official complaints except what we see in the papers which is surprising because we thought the issue of the First Lady was dealt with after her endorsement by the Women’s League and as a party we endorsed that. That is the end of the story.

“For those fighting their mini battles, it’s outside the party and should stop using the names of the First Family in all that. That is unacceptable. We have rules and regulations of the party that say that if people are aggrieved, they channel them through proper channels and have ways of dealing with that.”

Of late, several senior party officials have reportedly been decampaigning their rivals and labelling them as opposed to First Lady Grace’s political ascendancy. This, sources said, was meant to cow the rival factions into submission.

Sharp divisions have rocked the ruling party ahead of its December elective congress with two distinct factions led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa jostling to succeed 90-year-old Mugabe.

Party insiders said the Mnangagwa camp was now purging its provincial rivals, ejecting others from meetings after labelling them “Anti-Grace Mugabe”.
In Harare, the Amos Midzi-led Zanu PF provincial executive, which was reportedly linked to the Mujuru camp, was trying to parry allegations that they were seeking to block the First Lady’s political rise.

But Midzi’s executive dismissed the accusations on Tuesday and immediately moved to reserve a Central Committee seat for Grace to prove their loyalty.
Party insiders who attended yesterday’s meeting of provincial chairpersons at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare added First Lady Grace’s name came under “special focus”.

“It was realised that some party members who have been found on the wrong side of the party’s laws and faced disciplinary action or purge were now using the First Lady’s name as a scapegoat,” an insider who requested anonymity said.

The meeting also tackled the issue of party members who were publicly attacking each other, worse still, junior members firing salvos at their seniors.

“We also discussed the issue of land. We have discovered the rate of black-against-black land invasions was escalating. People were getting offer letters to displace others on a piece of land they had occupied for over 12 years,” the official said.

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