and Loyd Matare
A LIVID President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned Zanu PF bigwigs to be loyal to the party or risk being cut loose, as he bids to contain growing divisions in the former liberation movement, the Daily News reports.
Addressing a Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa also warned that authorities would not hesitate to nail party members who were using his name to commit graft.
This comes amid concerns that Zanu PF is slowly drifting towards the climate that prevailed in the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe — which was marked by debilitating factionalism and tribalism.
It also comes as the run-up to the reinstated and highly-divisive District Co-ordinating Committee (DCC) elections has been sullied by vicious infighting, which has seen some bigwigs being accused of fanning party chaos.
The irate Mnangagwa told his lieutenants yesterday that the DCC elections were meant to unite Zanu PF and not divide the party through the current infighting being witnessed across the country.
“The DCC structures are a system to strengthen party co-ordination, as well as a useful vehicle to entrench party constitutionalism, internal democracy and grassroot mobilisation.
“More importantly, once established, DCCs should co-ordinate and unify our party through constant interaction with political districts, as we journey towards Vision 2030,” he said.
“Our meeting today should remind us that we are a people’s party with the responsibility to advance the emancipation and economic empowerment of our people.
“The need to ingrain the liberation and revolutionary history, ethos and value systems in all our activities is equally important.
“The party constitution requires members to be loyal, patriotic and to promote peace and unity.
“Under the Second Republic, our DNA entails that we serve our people whole-heartedly and promote inclusive development which leaves no one, and no place behind,” Mnangagwa said further.
This comes as the countdown to the DCC elections, whose dates were not finalised by the politburo yesterday, had 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 elections, in an alleged bid to engineer their group’s political comeback.
The DCC structures elect Zanu PF’s 10 provincial executives — from where the party and Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo.
The 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 Mugabe.
Then, Mnangagwa’s group had gained control of most regions, including Mujuru’s Mashonaland Central province.
Yesterday’s politburo meeting approved the compilation of DCC candidates who had gone through the party’s rigorous vetting exercise which was led by the Zanu PF security department — although it did not set the dates for the eagerly-awaited polls.
Speaking after the politburo meeting, acting party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa confirmed that the vetting of candidates for the DCC elections had now been completed.
“On the DCCs, the position at the moment is that the security department has completed the vetting and a schedule of the list of those who qualified is now being compiled.
“As the politburo, we resolved to advise the provincial co-ordinating committees (PCCs) on how to proceed after the compilation of the successful contestants.
“We want to assure our members that irregularities that have occurred will be fairly and impartially addressed by the party. I want to assure members that elections will be conducted fairly.
“We do not want to cripple those who are popular with the electorate because of corrupt elements who want to manipulate the process,” Chinamasa added.
He also revealed that the politburo had been briefed on last month’s violence in Kwekwe Central, where party youths armed with machetes assaulted officials and the police during a primary election to choose a Zanu PF representative.
“There was an incident in Kwekwe where violence was unleashed.
“The investigations by our security have been completed and this (the ensuing report) will be submitted to the secretary for administration — and where the need arises, it will be submitted to the national disciplinary committee.
“You must anticipate that heads will roll and justice will be done without fear or favour if there are members of Zanu PF who have put the name of the party into disrepute.
“No one will be spared. But we have not yet seen that report,” Chinamasa said.
So bad was the fracas in Kwekwe that police had to fire teargas to disburse supporters of Kandros Mugabe and Energy Ncube — the two Zanu PF officials who were vying to fill the vacant constituency seat that was won by the late Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo in the 2018 elections.
Armed with machetes and iron bars, youths stormed the party’s Kwekwe district office then, where the election was being held, and assaulted polling officers and voters — damaging vehicles in the chaos.
Zanu PF has also had to withhold results of its primary elections that were recently conducted in Harare, amid allegations of ballot fraud and massive rigging.
The primaries followed the recent recall of legislators and councillors by the MDC’s interim leader Thokozani Khupe — as she flexed her muscles in her current wars with Nelson Chamisa.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa also warned yesterday that his government would not hesitate to arrest anyone who was mired in corruption, even where such people had strong links to the ruling party.
“The fight against corruption continues unabated. Zanu PF under the second republic will never allow the party to be a sanctuary of malcontents.
“To this end, name dropping to camouflage criminal and corrupt behaviour is unacceptable.
“Those using such retrogressive and counter-revolutionary tactics must stop forthwith. “Varikuita izvi cherai chikomba mupfire mate (Those who are doing this must stop forthwith).
“Our revolutionary nature and the ongoing national development agenda demand that we engender a corrupt-free Zimbabwe.
“Let us, therefore, shame, shun and expose all forms of corruption,” Mnangagwa exhorted his party members.
The Zanu PF leader has consistently declared zero tolerance on corruption, and has since cut loose two Cabinet ministers who were arrested for alleged graft — former Tourism minister Priscilla Mupfumira and her ex-Health counterpart, Obadiah Moyo.
Former Energy minister Samuel Undenge and the principal director in Mnangagwa’s office, Douglas Tapfuma, are also serving jail terms for various cases of graft.
Currently, the deputy minister of Health and Child Care, John Mangwiro, is under probe in a matter relating to a controversial and since cancelled US$5,6 million coronavirus supplies tender.