Zanu PF faction fights took a nasty turn over the weekend when party youths in Mashonaland East province snubbed the party’s interim provincial chairman Aeneas Chigwedere
and instead invited his deputy Joel Biggie Matiza as the guest speaker during a celebration party at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera.
BY Jairos Saunyama
The party members were celebrating the recent appointment of President Robert Mugabe as Sadc and African Union chairman.
Thousands of war veterans and party youths drawn from all the province’s nine districts converged at Rudhaka Stadium where they were addressed by Matiza in his capacity as Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister.
Chigwedere and other party bigwigs did not attend the event.
A top party official told NewsDay that the event was meant to measure Matiza’s popularity ahead of provincial elections to be held next month.
“A large section of war veterans in this province are against Chigwedere attaining the top post, but rather they now want Matiza. If the number of party members who flocked to Rudhaka Stadium is anything to go by as far as supporting Matiza is concerned, then he (Matiza) is one of the contenders,” a Zanu PF official who declined to be named said.
“As it stands, Chigwedere’s supporters who recently protested against Matiza are just nothing, but few. A vote of no confidence that was passed against Chigwedere is reportedly the brainchild of war veterans.”
Chigwedere recently survived a no-confidence vote after party members accused him of fanning factionalism and failing to convene regular meetings.
But the no-confidence-vote was overturned by party national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
The interim executive team was appointed by Kasukuwere in December last year to replace the Ray Kaukonde-led team that was fired for aligning itself with ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.