ZANU-PF factional fights in former President Robert Mugabe’s backyard, Mashonaland West province, have refused to die down as tempers reportedly flared at an extraordinary provincial coordinating committee meeting in Chinhoyi yesterday over control of the proceedings.
Issues came to a head when supporters of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste demanded that the provincial chairperson Ephraim Chengeta should relinquish the post to Ziyambi Ziyambi.
Chengeta was handpicked by former Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, a G40 kingpin, after Ziyambi was elbowed out in a cloud for being labelled a Lacoste member.
“It’s high time Chengeta knows that he is no longer the chairperson of the province. He should hand back the power to the legitimate chairperson, Ziyambi. We were not happy to be chaired by a G40 appointee,” a Mnangagwa ally, who declined to be named said.
Ziyambi, however, chose to be diplomatic and played down the standoff, saying Chengeta chaired the meeting with his blessings.
“We are just managing the transitional period. It’s not a big deal, we are a family. There are some issues that need to be sorted out besides the most important thing is the success of the forthcoming congress. I discussed the issue with Chengeta before the meeting,” he said.
Chinhoyi councillor Charles Mutisi nearly traded blows with Magunje MP Godfrey Gandawa with the former accusing the Higher Education deputy minister of engineering politburo member Priscah Mupfumira’s expulsion from government. Mupfumira was dropped from Cabinet in a recent reshuffle largely seen as targeted at Lacoste sympathisers.
Dexter Nduna proposed that the party accommodates all expelled members, but his suggestion shot down by Mnangagwa’s hardliners who insisted that G40 activists be flushed out of the ruling party.
Zanu-PF has been facing endless factional fights which have sharply divided the party and culminated in Mugabe’s resignation last week. The fights were mainly centred around Mugabe’s succession.