VIOLENCE rocked Zanu PF provincial meetings in Masvingo and Manicaland yesterday as rival party youths fought over recent moves to kick-out provincial chairpersons perceived as sympathetic to under fire Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
TATENDA CHITAGU/OBEY MANAYITI
In Masvingo, a Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee pencilled for Victoria Junior Primary School failed to take off after rival party youths traded blows over the recent suspension of chairman Retired Brigadier-General Killian Gwanetsa and the appointment of his deputy Paradzai Chakona as successor.
This was after the provincial executive passed a vote-of-no-confidence on Gwanetsa last Thursday accusing him of supporting Mujuru. Gwanetsa’s sympathisers in turn convened a separate meeting on Saturday to counter the move and suspended Chakona.
Yesterday’s meeting was cancelled after youths from the two factions fought running battles over who was the legitimate provincial chairperson.
Police said they had not yet received reports about the skirmishes.
In Mutare, some party members believed to be sympathetic to provincial chairman John Shumba Mvundura threatened to disrupt a PCC meeting at Marymount Teachers’ College after they allegedly got wind of a plot to oust the chairperson.
A Zanu PF faction led by outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri accused Mvundura of being a Mujuru ally.
Mujuru has lately been under fire from First Lady Grace Mugabe and some senior party officials who accused her of corruption and plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Police in Mutare had to intervene yesterday to quell a potentially volatile situation after scores of Mvundura supporters gathered at the main gate baying for Muchinguri’s blood, Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene and war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba.
The youths jeered the trio as they left the venue after it emerged that the plot had been shelved.
Mvundura defended the demonstrators saying they were acting in solidarity with him.
“This is a demonstration of solidarity that as Manicaland we need unity of purpose,” Mvundura said.
“We don’t want to be divided by political malcontents because what we want is for the country to move ahead and prosper.
“It seems we have lost focus on implementing the ZimAsset because of fighting. I cannot come from foreign service to see the party dividing,” he said.
Mvundura said those plotting against him would not succeed.
Meanwhile, the party’s Mashonaland East PCC yesterday rallied behind its provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde despite his fallout with the First Family.