Mnangagwa gags Zanu PF followers

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, yesterday gagged Zanu PF members from discussing party issues in public, following the chaos that rocked the former liberation movement’s recent district coordinating committee (DCC) elections.

Addressing a politburo meeting in Harare, the 78-year-old Zanu PF leader also gave hope to some defeated party bigwigs, whom he said deserved to have their grievances heard.

This comes as Mnangagwa has called for a meeting with the party’s security department, in a bid to end the widening fallout caused by the highly-divisive DCC polls.

“Following processes such as the past DCC elections, party cadres are well within their rights to make representations on matters of concern within the framework of the constitution.

“However, and in doing so, loyalty and discipline, as expressed through understanding and adherence of the party constitution, ethics and guiding principles, must always be at the core.

“I, therefore, want to dissuade our members from using both the mainline and social media to express their grievances. Doing so amounts to bringing the name of the party into disrepute,” Mnangagwa said.

He also said the DCC elections were meant to unite the party rather than cause divisions, after they also exposed Zanu PF’s internal democracy deficits.

“Let me reiterate that the DCC structures and the elections, thereof, must unite the party and act as a springboard for entrenching our party’s revolutionary ideology, constitutionalism and strong grassroots mobilisation.

Didymus Mutasa

“Article 3 (of the Zanu PF constitution), section 20, subsection 2 enshrines the right of members to be elected to any office of the party, subject to rules and regulations determined by the central committee; while subsection 7 gives members the right to seek remedy in respect of any grievance as a result of the action of any person in authority over him,” Mnangagwa added.

This comes as Zanu PF is reeling from growing factional and tribal wars, which marred this month’s keenly-contested DCC elections — forcing party bigwigs to shelve the announcement of most of the results, amid claims of massive rigging and cheating by some of the losing candidates.

Zanu PF secretary for security in the politburo, Lovemore Matuke, told the Daily News last week that the chaos that characterised the DCC elections had been engineered by remnants of the G40 and Gamatox factions, as they allegedly continued to attempt to weave their way back into the party.

In the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe, G40 kingpins coalesced around the nonagenarian’s erratic wife Grace — resulting in the group being involved in a hammer and tongs tussle with Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste, over Zanu PF’s then unresolved succession question.

Zanu PF party political commissar Victor Matemadanda

Gamatox was a name for the faction which was rallying behind former vice president Joice Mujuru’s bid to succeed Mugabe, before she was brutally purged from both the government and the former liberation movement in the run-up to Zanu PF’s sham congress in December 2014.

“They (G40 and Gamatox remnants) want to come back to Zanu PF because it’s cold out there. People struggle to survive outside Zanu PF,” Matuke said .

Other Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News said ruling party bigwigs were worried about the resurgence of the two factions — especially in Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces.

These insiders also claimed that the G40 and Gamatox factions believed that they could resurrect themselves and bounce back into Zanu PF — allowing them to rekindle their yester-year fights with Mnangagwa from within.

“The party is currently seized with this matter because the two factions are working together closely. Those who are already in the party structures are working to bring back their allies via the DCCs.

“They are trying to occupy influential positions … day and night they are fighting party leaders so that they can influence key decisions,” one of the insiders told the Daily News.

Zanu PF’s brutal party wars 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 Grace.

By then, the G40 had succeeded in having Mnangagwa sacked from both the government and Zanu PF — just as they had done with Mujuru in 2014, when she, together with other bigwigs such as Didymus Mutasa and Gumbo, were jettisoned out of the party over untested allegations that they wanted to oust and kill Mugabe.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa was due to meet Matuke and his team this week to try and get intelligence on the actors who allegedly caused chaos during the recent internal polls.

It was not clear if he had held the meeting during yesterday’s indaba.

“The president obviously has an interest in knowing what took place during the DCC elections countrywide, but our teams are still on the ground.

“We are expecting that they will be back early this week and from there we will compile a comprehensive report which we will give to the party and the president,” Matuke told the Daily News early this week.

This came as more disgruntled bigwigs have challenged the DCC poll results — with some in Mnangagwa’s own Midlands province crying foul over the manner in which the elections were held.

Losing Kwekwe DCC candidate for the chairperson’s position, Vongaishe Mupereri, accused the party’s provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube and some members of his executive of electoral chicanery — which had allegedly cost him the election.

In a letter to Zanu PF national political commissar, Victor Matemadanda, Mupereri alleged vote buying, voter intimidation and abuse of presidential inputs during the election.

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 Mujuru’s battles to succeed the late 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.

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