BY STAFF REPORTER
ZANU Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Kazembe Kazembe is on the ropes with the national leadership considering putting him into the politburo to pave way for new leader in the province after it emerged that main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has made serious inroads in the province widely considered a Zanu PF stronghold.
Zanu PF has maintained an unassailable electoral dominance in the province and has hitherto managed to post huge victories in general elections despite the emergence of strong opposition at the turn of the millennium.
CCC has managed to penetrate and establish grassroots structures in a development that has left the ruling party there shaken to the core.
The CCC dispatched its co-vice president Tendai Biti to the province to mobilise for the party.
CCC interim secretary for rural mobilisation told NewsDay that the party was happy with the inroads it has made in the province and other areas in the country.
“We have programs for the whole country so that we win the six million votes across the country. We are happy with what we have achieved in Mashonaland Central and the whole country,” Chidziva said.
A high ranking ruling party official from the province said the Zanu PF national leadership was gravely concerned with the situation and considering ringing changes to try and save the situation.
Kazembe’s leadership is considered by many in the party to be weak and prone to opposition onslaught.
“Biti has been to the province six times over the past two months and has been able to set up village committees throughout the province. They are hard to break up and very useful in mobilisation. Clearly, the opposition has changed its tactics and we could be in for it come next year’s general elections,” the source said.
“They are targeting the presidential election and they want to diminish our margin from the last election. This is worrisome. What worries us more is that the Kazembe leadership appears too weak to deal with this menace. Previously, this could never happen and so knives are out for the provincial leadership,” another highly placed source said.
“What worsens the situation is the fact that this comes at a time when there are serious divisions in the provincial leadership. Right now Kazembe is seized with an internal struggle against (businessman Tafadzwa) Musarara over control of the party and the fight for Mazowe West constituency while the opposition makes inroads. Right now we hear they hacked his phone and want to suspend him from the party over some messages. These are just unnecessary fights. You cannot fault the opposition for taking that easy opportunity,” the source said.
The good thing is that the national leadership is aware of what’s happening and we could see some changes being made soon. There is a strong possibility that Kazembe could be moved to the politburo where he could become a committee member and we would be allowed to re-elect a new chairman. The same happened with Ziyambi Ziyambi in Mashonaland West. That’s what many are lobbying for here,” the source further said.
The home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe was not picking his phone and did not respond to text.
Kazembe and Musarara have a long-standing rivalry for control of the party in the province. They are also fighting for the same Mazowe West National Assembly constituency.