Discord erupts in Zanu PF ahead of elections as FAZ seizes control, bigwigs threaten bhora musango


SOME Zanu PF leaders are at loggerheads with the Central intelligence Organisation (CIO) run Forever associates of Zimbabwe (FaZ), which has taken over control of the administration of the ruling party from elected officials and widened divisions.

Sources said there is discord within the ruling party as top Zanu PF executive members are questioning the authority given to FaZ members.

FaZ, led by CIO deputy director-general Walter Tapfumaneyi, was behind the party’s chaotic primary elections which resulted in reruns in various constituencies following complaints of rigging and vote buying.

FaZ and another army-linked group Heritage Trust have been assigned key roles in the upcoming election to secure President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election.

But some ruling party members who lost in the party’s primary elections have refused to cooperate with FaZ and are threatening a bhora musango protest vote.

This publication is reliably informed that some members within the Zanu PF structures felt sidelined after Mnangagwa roped in FaZ and Heritage Trust in his campaign strategy.

Ahead of Mnangagwa’s visit to Chivhu last Thursday, some provincial members boycotted mobilisation programmes to drum up support for the president in an apparent protest against FaZ.

Some senior party members who spoke to on condition of anonymity said FaZ had “practically stripped provincial party executives of their powers”.

“Zanu PF has structures,” a source said.

“Party leadership in the executive should be taking the lead in planning these events and we were surprised to hear some of the new developments from the party cell members.

“We now wonder why an affiliate should be giving orders because it is not part of our structures.

“It is an affiliate, just like Young women for ED and others. it is not an organ of the party.”

When contacted for comment Zanu PF secretary general Orbert Mpofu said: “I do not know what you are saying.

“What I know is I am still leading the party (administration).”

Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha was not picking calls yesterday.

FaZ has been tasked to oversee the training of ruling party’s 35 000 polling agents.

In a memo dated may 30, 2023 addressed to party provincial chairpersons, Bimha implored the leadership to cooperate with FaZ for the training to be successful.

“The party election polling agents shall be trained by the provincial chief trainers at admin district and supervised by the master trainers at national level,” Bimha said.

“There is a need for coordination and cooperation of national leadership, provincial leadership and master trainers.

“This synergy will absolutely lead to the successful conduct of the training workshops of election polling agents in all provinces.”

Southern African Political Economy Series Trust director Ibbo Mandaza said the latest power struggle within the ruling party may cost Zanu PF in the polls.

“Not to mention also the many sitting MPs who failed, or were made to fail, in the primaries,” Mandaza said.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said FaZ ‘may turn into a Frankestein monster that might devour its creator if not managed well’.

“The intended effect by those who birthed FaZ was to sharpen the mobilisation capacity of the Zanu PF campaign with special focus on ED’s re-election with a resounding victory,” Masunungure said.

— The Standard

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