A LEAKED conversation between two senior Zanu PF officials in Mashonaland Central province has exposed a rift in the ruling party ahead of the district co-ordinating committee (DCC) elections.
This comes at a time some interested candidates like Energy minister Zhemu Soda, who is also allegedly campaigning for a post in the DCC, has claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered that he should run uncontested.
Former Muzarabani MP Christopher Chitindi is also reportedly eyeing the Muzarabani district chairmanship.
In the leaked audio, Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial deputy spokesperson Fredrick Nhaka is allegedly engaged in a telephone conversation, where he warned a district political commissar in Bindura against associating with businessman James Makamba, and those whom he said were aligned to the country’s Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.
Makamba is reportedly eyeing the provincial chairperson post and is aligned to Chiwenga.
Nhaka is heard in the audio giving his preferred list of candidates, where he referred to some candidates as ED’s people (Mnangagwa’s people). He also gave another list of party officials whom he said were linked to Chiwenga.
“These people I have mentioned to you are ED’s people. They are fighting the President and are now with Chiwenga. They are working with leadership here and also with Makamba,” Nhaka said in the audio.
He also said he did not want fights just like what happened with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru who alleged led a faction called Gamatox.
Contacted for comment, Soda claimed that people were jealous of his appointment as Energy minister by Mnangagwa, and as a result were cooking up stories about factionalism in Zanu PF using his name.
“People are just jealous of my appointment and are cooking up stories. There was a fake letter on social media written by misguided members in our district just to soil my name,” Soda said.
Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Kazembe Kazembe said party members should be warned against dropping Mnangagwa and Chiwenga’s names to pursue their personal agendas.
“This narrative that there is a rift in the presidium is both nonsensical and imaginary. That is the language of the enemy. The President and his Vice-Presidents work very well and they will not lose sleep over these artificial enemy-made non-existent rifts,” the Home Affairs minister said.
Kazembe also told NewsDay that provincial members, the national consultative assembly, central committee and politburo members should not interfere with DCC elections.
“We have noted with concern that some senior party officials have taken a direct interest in the DCC elections and some are even campaigning for the candidates.
“Aspiring candidates should be allowed to campaign freely and on their own. The party will not hesitate to discipline all those found interfering,” Kazembe said.
He warned that those that put the party’s name into disrepute would be disciplined in accordance with the Zanu PF constitution.