HARARE – A group of Zanu PF politburo members — allegedly aligned to Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction — is reportedly planning to hit back at the faction led by defence Minister Emmerson Mnangangwa at tomorrow’s blood and thunder politburo meeting in Harare.
In the past two weeks, the succession battle has reached alarming levels with politburo members clashing openly in the media as the battle to succeed the 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe reaches alarming levels.
The Mujuru faction is said to be livid particularly with Information minister Jonathan Moyo and presidential spokesperson George Charamba accusing them of pushing the Mnangagwa agenda in the succession battle.
They are also angry with Moyo for savaging party spokesman Rugare Gumbo over the Mashonaland Central provincial vote.
Besides savaging Gumbo, Moyo defended Charamba’s stance to explain the presidential position on the provincial election.
“In announcing the Mashonaland Central vote, Gumbo was simply outlining party policies and procedure, and therefore we are shocked at Moyo’s crude attack on him,” one politburo member told the Daily News.
The ugly and foreseen public spat comes as incumbent Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios was trounced by Luke Mushore in an election allegedly marred by serious irregularities.
In the aftermath of this sham poll, presidential spokesperson and Information ministry permanent secretary Charamba issued a statement to the effect that the results announced by Gumbo were a non-event, thus precipitating the latest slanging match between factions vying to succeed the 89-year-old ruler.
And in his bid to bolster his right hand-man’s position, Moyo issued a strongly-worded statement suggesting the party spokesman was guilty of “insubordination to the extreme” and “there can be no executive authority in Zanu PF higher than the party’s president, and first secretary (Mugabe)”.
In that statement, the party politburo member also added: “Any suggestion or claim to the contrary is mischievous to the extreme.”
But at the weekend, party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa reiterated that Gumbo was the only Zanu PF spokesman.
“Gumbo is the only one who speaks on behalf of the party, so I would expect that he had obtained the results through the channel he uses to obtain the information,” the Presidential Affairs minister and Zanu PF number four man told the Daily News.