SO BAD is the political climate within Zanu PF at the moment that its secretary for security readily admitted to the Daily News yesterday that senior the deepening infighting within the ranks of the former liberation movement.
This comes as the countdown to the DCC elections has been marred by allegations of dirty money changing hands, amid unproven claims that remnants of the party’s vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction are burning the midnight oil to influence the outcome of the elections in an alleged bid to engineer their group’s political comeback.
It also comes amid reports that the demons of factionalism that gutted Zanu PF during the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe had returned to the party with a vengeance.
Matuke told the Daily News yesterday that the “senseless mudslinging” was sullying the selection of candidates for the impending DCC elections — whose dates are yet to be announced.
“We did our vetting and everything went well. What is worrying is that people are labelling each other G40 without concrete evidence.
“It’s an election, and so if someone realises that his or her competitor can win, he or she will label him or her a G40 member.
“People are throwing all sorts of accusations against each other without evidence,” Matuke said.
“As the security department, our job is to vet candidates, and I can tell you that people are just making unnecessary accusations against each other.
“The whole process is now being conducted by the commissariat department, but we did our job diligently,” he added.
Other Zanu PF insiders also said the party was sweating over the escalating chaos within its ranks, especially with regards to the selection of DCC candidates.
“The situation is currently very tense. As you know, each province is this weekend going to announce the successful candidates for the DCCs and those who failed to qualify.
“Some people are not happy, while the fight between those who qualified has gone a gear up — with some now using a new strategy of labelling their rivals G40,” one of the sources told the Daily News.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa himself warned brawling Zanu PF bigwigs last week that they risked being cut loose from the party, as he sought to engender unity in the factions-ridden former liberation movement.
“As DCC campaigns are underway, members must continue to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.
“Irregularities reported must be fairly and impartially addressed, as guided by our party’s constitution.
“Equally, uncouth behaviour such as the imposition of candidates, vote buying and other electoral malpractices which divide the party are not acceptable.
“I must reiterate that the quality of the candidates should correspond to the DCCs we all envision as directed by the party’s people annual conference of 2018,” Mnangagwa said.
Last week, Zanu PF stalwart and former Cabinet minister during Mugabe’s tenure, Didymus Mutasa, also accused senior party officials of being behind the dog-eat-dog mayhem ravaging the former liberation movement ahead of the DCC elections.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News On Sunday, last week, Mutasa said his knowledge of, and experience in Zanu PF, suggested that politburo members and senior Cabinet ministers were the main cause of the current chaos in the party.
Mutasa said he had little doubt that Zanu PF bigwigs were muddying the waters ahead of the polls, creating chaos at grassroots levels.
“You cannot have someone coming all the way from Harare to conduct elections in Manicaland, for example.
“What is the provincial minister doing there? He or she is the person on the ground and must have authority over party chairpersons in the districts.
“Confusion is being caused by the people from Harare dictating to people in places like Rusape what to do in terms of voting,” Mutasa said.
The liberation stalwart was fired from Zanu PF during the height of factional fights between the then vice president Joice Mujuru and then secretary for legal affairs in the party, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in December 2014.
He has since been reinstated into the party and is tipped to become one of its leaders in the mooted Elders’ Council.
The DCC structures elect Zanu PF’s 10 provincial executives — from where the party and Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo.
The party’s DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and Mujuru’s battles to succeed Mugabe.
Then, Mnangagwa’s group had gained control of most regions, including Mujuru’s Mashonaland Central province — putting him in a strong position ahead of the party’s 2014 congress.