President Robert Mugabe will return home today from a four-day trip in Russia to confront a raging fire in Zanu PF at a potentially explosive politburo meeting set for Thursday.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
According to ruling party sources, the 91-year-old leader will have to address the worsening factional fights and douse the Zanu PF flames before flying to Mali to attend a peace agreement signing ceremony at the weekend.
Tomorrow, Mugabe will chair a Cabinet meeting ahead of the politburo session where the factionalism rocking the party’s Harare provincial structures is likely to dominate discussions.
The politburo meeting is also likely to decide the fate of over 20 Zanu PF officials accused of working with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru in plotting to topple the 91-year-old leader.
“As you know, the President is the Africa Union chair, he has been invited to Mali through a special envoy, Abdoulaye Diop, who delivered the invitation through Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko,” a source said.
“But before he leaves, there is a politburo which will deal with many issues, chief among them the chaos in Harare East and infighting within the party is set to dominate discussion.
“He will also deal with many disciplinary cases forwarded to the national disciplinary committee chaired by Vice-President Cde (Phekelezela) Mphoko for consideration.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was not available to comment, but political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere said the issue of double candidates in Harare East would be discussed at the politburo meeting.
Zanu PF is fielding Terrence Mukupe and Mavis Gumbo in the June 10 by-election.
“The party will make a decision this week. We cannot have two candidates under Zanu PF. It is going to be sorted out,” Kasukuwere said.
Zanu PF insiders said the matter would be discussed at the politburo meeting and a decision would be made to avoid splitting of votes in the by-elections which the party wants to win at all cost.
Besides the Harare East issue, the politburo is also set to deal with recommendations from various provinces that want a number of party heavyweights either suspended or expelled for allegedly working with Mujuru.
In the list of those whose political fate hangs in the balance include former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Tendai Savanhu, Flora Buka, David Butau and Amos Midzi.