HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is set to chair a volatile politburo meeting today where his Zanu PF party’s controversial provincial elections will take centre stage.
Zanu PF is riddled with burning factionalism as party stalwarts seek to position themselves to succeed the aging leader once he retires.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF secretary for administration told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe was going to deal with the chaos which has put the ruling party on fire.
“This politburo was called by the president, baba VaMugabe, he is the one who knows what he wants us to do, but I can tell you we are going to deal with Mashonaland Central polls extensively,” Mutasa said.
There has been discord over the party’s elections especially in Mashonaland Central where rival factions reportedly led by vice president Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa have publicly clashed, giving different conclusions to a process fraught with many “irregularities”.
The faction led by Mujuru says the election result in Mashonaland Central should stand, while the one led by Mnangagwa is pushing for a rerun.
Mutasa, who is responsible for setting the agenda of the meeting, said the party will spend much of its time deliberating on the Mashonaland Central election and the public outburst which has seen party officials attacking each other through the media.
“Let those who want to abuse you as journalists continue to do so, Zanu PF is not run in newspapers it is run by the politburo, we are going to meet each other tomorrow (tichasangana kumusangano chaiwo kwete zvenyu zvemumapaper zvekushandiswa izvo,” Mutasa said.
“MuZanu PF hatishande tichiita zvekudzokera kumashure, zvatawirirana ndizvozvo (In Zanu PF we don’t work in reverse gear, whatever we would have agreed upon will be final),” he said.
Fault lines emerged over polls in the volatile province of Mashonaland Central, with the losing candidate, Dickson Mafios, alleging widespread vote theft.
The other faction aligned to the winning candidate, Luke Mushore, maintains the polls were above board.
Pressed to explain if there was a possibility of nullifying the results, Mutasa said the decision would be made by the politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body outside congress.
He however, hinted that chances were slim that the decision would be reversed.
“Tichaona mangwana acho kuti zvinonzii but Zanu yandinoziva, haite zvekudzokera kumashure (We shall see tomorrow (today) how the issues will come, but the Zanu PF that I know, it does not operate in reverse gear) he said adding that “can we really go forward if we do that”.
Mutasa and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo have also been victims of the outbursts spewed through State media.
Mugabe, through his spokesperson, George Charamba has since instructed that a report be availed to the politburo regarding the election of the provincial elections in Mashonaland Central.
Media minister Jonathan Moyo in a strong-worded statement suggested that the party spokesperson, Gumbo 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, Moyo also added: “Any suggestion or claim to the contrary is mischievous to the extreme.”
In response, Gumbo said the government should stop meddling in party politics, referring to Charamba, as a “mere civil servant”.