PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned Zanu PF youths to be wary of an internal Zanu PF mafia group, which he said had embarked on a plot to hijack and destabilise party programmes in order to discredit his leadership.
Addressing a Zanu PF national youth indaba at the party headquarters in Harare on Thursday, Mnangagwa said: “I am quite aware of machinations of the enemy to destabilise the party by causing despondency and disunity among our rank and file.”
Last year, Mnangagwa made similar warnings, saying he had received intelligence reports that there were some top ruling party officials plotting to impeach him after the July 30 harmonised elections.
Early this year, the ruling party structures were rocked by a wave of expulsions, suspensions and no-confidence votes , which were later reversed.
The alleged mafia group was believed to be behind the purges.
“Let us all condemn and expose these acts. Let me also warn that as provided for by our party constitution, acts of indiscipline, treachery and disloyalty will not be tolerated or condoned,” Mnangagwa said.
“If any members or structures of the party have any grievances, we have laid-out rules and regulations or procedures that must be followed. I know of some comrades who have been suspended or expelled, but no procedures were followed. That is not proper.”
Mnangagwa, who was flanked by his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, said officials must put aside personal differences when carrying out party business and properly follow laid out procedures in handling grievances.
“Divisive or opportunistic or mafia style handling of party affairs will never be accepted. You may feel that you are smart, but let me tell you that this party, Zanu PF, will always be smarter. As you carry out both your political and development programmes, you must be wary of those with brute and unbridled ambition and political gladiators,” he said.
“Be vigilant and alert, as they may seek to sow seeds of disunity among yourselves, within the party and, ultimately, among the nation for their own selfish ends.”
Mnangagwa described other party officials opposed to his decision to engage opposition parties in a national dialogue as “out of order”.
“Your leaders have been saying to me that we went for elections and I won by more than 400 000 votes and in Parliament, we have in excess of two-thirds majority, so why worry about talking to these other political parties?” he said.
“This is a new dispensation. There is nothing wrong to continue talking to your people who have a positive vision towards progress. There is nothing wrong talking to your countrymen who have a positive view towards progress.
“You leave out those who are negative and those who are afraid of positive developments and embrace those who want to see this country moving forward. This is why we have the dialogue with other political parties who embrace progress.”
The Zanu PF leader has held several meetings with leaders of smaller opposition parties in an effort to unlock the political logjam, but main opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has snubbed the meetings, demanding that Mnangagwa should recuse himself from leading the process.