PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday admitted that his party was in shambles and threatened to descend heavily on party members locked in bloody power struggles.
Addressing an extraordinary session of the Zanu PF politburo, Mnangagwa said unruly members violating the party constitution would be dealt with.
Mnangagwa, who said those divisions had no place in Zanu PF, pleaded for unity and harmony in the ruling party ahead of the 2023 elections where he will seek re-election.
“The party has no room for divisive elements who want positions at the expense of the party’s discipline, unity, love and harmony and development,” he said.
“It is alien for our party members to fight for posts; violence of any kind whether physical or verbal has no place in Zanu PF or in our country.”
Zanu PF has been rocked by violent power struggles during its internal party elections over the past months. The fights, which erupted in Mutare and other districts, portends a deeply divided Zanu PF limping towards the 2023 elections.
Mnangagwa was last month forced to postpone provincial elections indefinitely as fights for positions turned nasty.
The party’s district elections also turned violent in Harare and Manicaland provinces, while haggling has forced delays in some provinces.
In Mutare, protests against provincial chairperson Mike Madiro ended badly, with some party youth led by Danmore Mambondiyani bashed by the provincial leader’s backers. In Harare, a fight between Godwin Gomwe and Godwills Masimirembwa ended in court.
In Mashonaland Central, a nasty fight between incumbent chairperson Kazembe Kazembe and businessman Tafadzwa Musarara has triggered friction and an exchange of words in party WhatsApp groups.
“Those who wantonly violate and desecrate our party constitution’s peaceful culture and values must be dealt with decisively without fear or favour,” Mnangagwa said.
He added that Zanu PF must now unleash its machinery towards mobilising voters to register, since it was now all systems go ahead for the elections.
“It is now all systems go towards harmonised elections, the electorate must be mobilised to vote and appreciate the scope of the polling station-based exercise,” Mnangagwa said.
Facing a crumbling economy, unhappy civil service and a hungry ordinary voter, Mnangagwa brandished the Western sanctions card, telling politburo members that the restrictions were the reason behind human rights abuses, poverty and lack of development in the country.
He accused the West of trying to effect regime change, adding that they had been stopped by alert young people.
“Young people continue to resist these sanctions and other manoeuvres as tools of regime change. This is more critical as our detractors continue to exhibit their nefarious modus operandi with regards marring our national image. Moreso, as we approach the 2023 harmonised elections,” Mnangagwa said.
Acting party political commissar Patrick Chinamasa also confirmed the infighting, promising to deploy senior party members to provinces and districts to iron out differences among members.
“We are promising to deploy politburo members to provinces to address them and the DCC’s to receive any complains about the restructuring excises and take any solutions that are needed where possible,” Chinamasa told a post-politburo briefing.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Mike Bimha said the ruling party had received defectors from the MDC Alliance and the National Patriotic Front (NPF) in Kwekwe.
“Zanu PF received 200 members who defected from MDC and the NPF, all of whom have defected to the party in Kwekwe alone. Their message has been the same that they are coming back home. The politburo directed all party structures to embrace and welcome our returning comrades with both hands and also help them to settle and contribute towards the party,” Bimha said.