ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday dismissed claims by the party’s secretary for legal affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gideon Gono’s Senate bid had collapsed.
Gumbo told NewsDay that the Gono issue was not a closed chapter as the politburo’s Wednesday meeting had not finalised it.
He said the politburo directed the party’s legal team headed by Mnangagwa to look into avenues that could possibly lead to Gono’s nomination.
“It is not finalised. There are all kinds of processes that should be done. The legal committee was directed to look into the matter,” Gumbo said.
Gono, who is believed to belong to a faction headed by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, had been earmarked to succeed the late Kumbirai Kangai as Zanu PF Manicaland senator.
The former central bank boss’ hopes of landing the Senate seat suffered a setback last month after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Zec) disqualified him on the grounds that he was not a registered voter in Manicaland province.
Mnangagwa, who is believed to be heading a rival faction battling with the Mujuru camp to take over from Mugabe, said the Gono issue had been finalised and the party agreed to respect Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau’s verdict.
“There is no issue. Zec has made its decision and we as the party are not contesting that decision,” Mnangagwa told the media after the politburo meeting.
But Gumbo sang a different song saying his version was official and reflected Mnangagwa’s position on the matter.
“Have you ever seen me misrepresenting the President?”
Responding to a Herald editorial yesterday that claimed he had gone offside in attacking the newspaper, Gumbo said: “They have their agenda, but I stand by what I said. I don’t change like a chameleon.”
Gumbo after the politburo meeting, he told journalists that Mugabe had expressed concern over The Herald’s alleged biased reportage.
But The Herald hit back in a front-page editorial yesterday accusing Gumbo of lying.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, who is believed to be fighting on Gumbo’s side, yesterday waded into the State media wars, saying party officials should “zip up” and allow the party spokesperson to carry out his mandate without interference.