DCC chaos ravages Midlands province… as highly-divisive polls draw nearer

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THE chaos that has characterised Zanu PF’s run-up to its crucial district co-ordinating committee (DCC) elections has now hit President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s home province of Midlands badly.
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the ugly factional fights which had been witnessed
in other provinces were now ravaging the region “big time” — with party top dogs, backed by their allies, at each
other’s throats.

This comes as the former liberation movement has centralised the printing of ballot papers for the DCC elections,
to avert cases of fraud and rigging which have previously blighted its internal polls.

It also comes as the countdown to the highly-divisive 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 were burning the midnight oil to influence the outcome of the polls, in an alleged bid to engineer their group’s political comeback.

The insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said battle lines had been drawn between various influential groups in the province — which had allegedly seen, for example, ministers July Moyo and Larry Mavima teaming
up to prop up their proxies in the DCC polls.

On the other hand, State Security minister Owen Ncube was said to be fronting another group allegedly opposed to Moyo and Mavima in the tussle to control DCCs in the province. Ncube had allegedly roped in former Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo to “counter-balance the July Moyo camp, especially in Zvishavane and Shurugwi’ — with
Fred Moyo said to wield significant influence in these regions.

Fred Moyo, the insiders added, was contesting to be a secretary of finance in the DCCs. “Fred Moyo had to be roped
in to neutralise July Moyo and Mavima. No one really knows what July Moyo and Mavima are up to.

“There is confusion as a result of their interference in the countdown to the elections,” a miffed provincial party bigwig told the Daily News.

Zanu PF secretary for security in the politburo, Lovemore Matuke, confirmed receiving several complaints of alleged interference — but observed that this was not restricted to the Midlands only, but to all provinces. He also said his department was doing its best to manage the conflicts.

“The complaints are coming, but we are dealing with them effectively. What has been happening is that complainants are coming individually from across the country. So, we cannot really say it’s this province
or that. I cannot also say so and so were the complainants,” Matuke told the Daily News.

Other sources in the Midlands also claimed that Zanu PF supporters were very unhappy with the presence of July Moyo’s team, which allegedly included former legislator Pearson Mbalekwa and Zvishavane MP Cuthbert Mpame.
They further claimed that Mbalekwa and Mpame were dictating how the DCC polls should be run in Mberengwa and Shurugwi, allegedly at the behest of July Moyo.

Mpame, whose brother Kennedy is a contestant in the elections, was also said to be campaigning for former provincial party member Pomerai Mufara — who will fight it out with Mecky Jaravaza, Mariko Doctor Siziba and Saul Miti for the position of DCC chairperson.

But Mpame vehemently denied the allegations yesterday, saying Mbalekwa and July Moyo had “no dog in the fight”.
“The malicious allegations are probably emanating from the fact that I hail from the same locality with Mufara and that we often have drinks together. What I have done as the administrator of the Zvishavane-Runde political districts is to address meetings to relay information from the top.

I have never campaigned for anyone because the instruction is clear that national consultative assembly members
must not be anywhere near the campaigns,” Mpame — who is Zanu PF Midlands provincial legal affairs secretary — told the Daily News.

“How could Mavima, a central committee member and July Moyo, a politburo member, sink so low as to seek to influence DCC elections? “They have never been here. But we know it’s the work of people who are finding the going tough and are now resorting to tarnishing other people’s images. I have not even campaigned for my brother
because he is his own man who can hold his fort,” Mpame said further.

Mbalekwa was not picking up calls while July Moyo was also not reachable at the time of going to press. Mavima, who recently went into quarantine after contracting Covid-19, had also not responded to questions sent to him at the time of going to print. Similarly, Ncube was also not reachable.

Two weeks ago, some party heavyweights in the province were said to have blocked attempts to bar Gokwe-Mapfungautsi MP, Tawanda Karikoga, from participating in the DCC elections — on false allegations that he was resident in South Africa.

Provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri told the Daily News then that the province was also worried about the possibility of infiltration by remnants of the party’s vanquished G40 faction.

“We resolved at the PCC meeting that we must be vigilant because we noted the interest being expressed by G40 elements to find their way back into the party using money. We also resisted attempts by some people to block bonafide party cadres, including Karikoga, on false allegations that he was resident in South Africa.

“We later realised that there were people who wanted to sneak in their own candidates on the technicality that at one point Karikoga was trapped in South Africa during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Parliament has that record and so we made sure that he qualified,” Mupereri told the Daily News.
Several MPs, including Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Gokwe Nembudziya), Karikoga (Gokwe Mapfungautsi), Godern Chanda (Gokwe Sesame), Vongaishe Mupereri (former Mbizo MP), Omega Sibanda (Vungu) and former Chiwundura MP Brown Ndlovu qualified to contest in the DCCs.

Wadyajena is set to become a DCC chairperson in the province as he stands unopposed. Others who qualified were Zanu PF youth league national executive member Erasmus Jaya and Mberengwa North MP Tafanana Zhou. The
DCC structures elect Zanu PF’s 10 provincial executives — from where the party draws 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 former vice president Joice Mujuru’s battles to succeed the late former president Robert 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. Zanu PF’s brutal factional, tribal and succession wars that had long ravaged the ruling party were temporarily ended in dramatic fashion by the military which rolled
its tanks into Harare on November 15, 2017 — after deciding that they had had enough of Mugabe and his
erratic wife Grace.

However, the demons of factionalism in the party have returned with renewed vigour as highlighted by the brouhaha surrounding the party’s re-introduced DCCs — whose election dates are set to be announced by the politburo at one of its next meetings.

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