- Published: 04 September 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwe Mail
Mnangagwa faction was dealt a blow yesterday when Zanu-PF Politburo endorsed the outcomes of the Youth and Women's League conferences held last month and directed party Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and the disciplinary committee, to deal with issues relating to the suspension of youth leaders in some provinces.
Zanu PF has largely been divided into two main factions rallying behind Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa though both publicly deny harbouring ambitions to succeed Mugabe.
Mnangagwa faction backed by Mugabe himself has been calling for the dissolution of the Youth election results on the grounds that senior party members influences the outcome using money.
The emergency meeting was convened by President Mugabe in the wake of disturbances that followed the Youth and Women's League conferences manifest in assaults on, and suspensions of some youth leaders in some provinces.
Speaking to journalists after the no-holds-barred meeting that lasted for more than 10 hours, Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Rugare Gumbo, said deliberations were candid.
"It was a review of the conferences of the Youths as well as the Women's League.
"The Politburo endorsed the two results for the Youths as well as for the Women's League. We had a robust and positive discussion.
"It was more or less a no-holds-barred sort of discussion covering all aspects of the party. The challenges that the party is facing and so forth. So I must say it was a very, very good meeting and it concluded harmoniously. Everyone expected a storm to just hit the whole of the headquarters building, but I can tell you there was nothing like that. I can tell you It was very frank, transparent and quite amicable. The President was very clear, very relaxed in fact it's one of those meetings where the President was really relaxed and some of us were very surprised given that some of you the press had built a big issue out of this whole thing and he just did not appear that way. He was very calm, relaxed and asked everybody to say what they wanted.
"In there everybody put his cards on the table and answered whatever was alleged to have happened so it was a really straightforward meeting."
Although Gumbo said the Politburo had directed Khaya Moyo to deal with the suspensions of provincial chairpersons in Harare, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central, sources that attended the meeting said the National Chairman had been directed to reverse the decisions.
"The National Chairman was directed to reverse the suspensions of the Youth Leaders," said the source.
"The Politburo felt that provincial chairpersons were not providing leadership to the youths. It was felt that instead of nurturing them to be future leaders, they were stifling them through their heavy hand approach."
The sources added that the Politburo also agreed to further look into the behaviour of provincial chairpersons during the Youth and Women's League conferences where allegations of vote buying and other underhand dealings were made against six out of the 10 of them.
Gumbo, however, said the disciplinary issues would be dealt with without elaborating.
"The Harare issue is an issue I should mention," he said.
"It will be handled by the National Chairman and his disciplinary committee. We discussed all those things. We are fully aware of that and that is why I said it would be dealt with by the National Chairman and his disciplinary committee and that is enough.
"The way forward is that we will continue to bring everybody together and set up some structures that will assist the Politburo or the party.
"We discussed all those aspects, but generally everybody agreed that Zanu-PF is a resilient party led by tried and tested leaders and that it is not going to collapse because of the accusations and counter accusations."
The Zanu-PF spokesperson, said the party had come out of the meeting united and rejuvenated.
"As it stands at the present moment we do not have factions, we are one – Zanu-PF. We were mainly dealing with issues and principles."
Cde Gumbo said it was agreed that party members be united and that the media play its role in promoting Government programmes.
"Those were things which were discussed and the resolution was that the party had to remain united and move as a team and that there is need for our newspapers to support Government policy and Government programmes," he said.
"So we discussed those things. We discussed the media, we discussed the independent press, we discussed public media but we were genuinely interested in finding a solution to some of these problems.
"There is nothing like that (gagging). Everyone is happy that you write, print, talk or discuss anything relating to the party. No one is stopping anybody from doing that. The problem is that instead of you highlighting those key issues that would have been presented you wanted to look for little leaking things that you blow out of proportion."
Gumbo said the Politburo unanimously welcomed First Laddy Grace Mugabe's entry into the political arena.
Meanwhile ZANU-PF Harare provincial leadership has sent a banishment order to youth chairman Godfrey Gomwe banning him from taking any party related activities until his hearing which, according to the party's constitution, should be conducted within 30 days.
Gomwe's suspension come on a day when President Robert Mugabe has convened a crisis politburo meeting to try and contain boiling tempers within the party which is preparing for a crunch elective congress set for December.
Gomwe fell out with Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi and Politburo member Tendai Savanhu after he challenged the duo's imposition of Varaidzo Mupunga for the position of National Secretary for Administration in the Youth League ahead of Innocent Hamandishe.
Gomwe, however,rubbished his suspension, setting himself on collision course with the main wing leadership.
Last week, Zanu PF Harare provincial youth chairman Godfrey Gomwe publicly accused the party's secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, politburo member Tendai Savanhu, Harare chairman Amos Midzi and central committee member Noah Mangondo of bribing youths during last month's youth conference.
The four are said to be aligned to the Mujuru faction.
University of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer Eldred Masunungure made the comments as Mugabe today is expected to rein in his lieutenants who have been publicly trading accusations of sabotage and scheming behind the scenes ahead of the Zanu PF December congress.
"Mugabe is in a tight corner to save the party that now has serious issues of discipline among its membership as seen from the public media spats among the top leaders," Masunungure said.
Masunungure added: "What is clear is that there is deceptive unity, cohesion, in Zanu PF and a serious erosion of discipline which for long has been the defining feature of the party."
The analyst further stated: "The indiscipline in the party signals the disintegration of Zanu PF as a party and Mugabe now has the unenviable task to hold the party together."
The Mugabe succession battle took an intriguing twist last month when the Zanu PF youth and women leagues endorsed the leader's wife, Grace, to be appointed to the politburo as women league boss.
The development, while welcomed by many in Zanu PF publicly, has resulted in some members voicing concerns behind the scenes about the unprocedural way Grace's rise is being managed against the party's laid-down regulations for one to be voted into national leadership.
Masunungure said: "Mugabe is now in a quandary whether to appoint his wife to the politburo despite the regulations that clearly show that she is unqualified; or to refuse the nomination from the party structures."