TEMPERS flared at the first Zanu PF’s politburo post-election meeting when Vice-President Joice Mujuru is said to have lambasted senior party officials, mostly from her archrival Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp in the succession race, who claimed they had successfully strategised to land President-elect Robert Mugabe and the party a landslide victory.
Politburo insiders said Mujuru breathed fire because she was unhappy that Mnangagwa’s faction was claiming credit for strategising and mobilising the party’s campaign material, hence overshadowing her in the race to succeed Mugabe, who may struggle to finish his seventh term as president due to old age and ill-health.
Because Mujuru played a critical role in the election campaign when she visited Mashonaland provinces and Harare to drum up support for the party and the president ahead of the elections, the sources charged, she wants to be credited for that.
The insiders told the Zimbabwe Independent Mujuru was in a no-nonsense mood as she launched a blistering attack on her counterparts whom she blamed for causing intra-party divisions.
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed Mujuru raised the issue as part of her remarks during the politburo meeting, but only after party chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo had presented a review of their performance in the elections.
Gumbo said: “VP Mujuru made the remarks that some senior party officials were claiming credit for the party’s victory.”
The politburo sources went on to say the vice-president used her position to give “advice” to her fellow politburo members, but her ulterior motive was to silence competitors from stealing glory on Zanu PF’s elections triumph which has been disputed by outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.
“She (Mujuru) said the party won as a team therefore no one should go about claiming their contribution was vital and contributed much in last week’s victory,” the sources said.
“She said it was Team Zanu PF’s victory, not individual glory.”
Mnangagwa worked behind the scenes with security chiefs under the Joint Operations Command (Joc) in an effort to ensure a Zanu PF victory.
Furthermore, the Mnangagwa faction is reportedly claiming credit for successfully pushing for the July 31 election date after executive director and founding trustee of the Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa Jealousy Mawarire won his case in the Constitutional Court ruling that polls be held on that date. Those in the broad Joc camp apparently were behind Mawarire’s application.
However, Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere was said to be on cloud nine after his controversial indigenisation mantra was branded as one of the issues the party used to claw back and win the elections.
Former Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo wrote the party’s manifesto. Although Moyo lost in his constituency, sources say he received credit for his role.
Also credited was given to the party’s commissar Webster Shamu who travelled the length and breadth of the country to stop imposition of candidates and that people’s voices be heard, this paper was told.
Mugabe won with 2 110 424 votes (61,09%), almost double Tsvangirai’s 1 172 349 votes (33,94%). Zanu PF regained its two-thirds National Assembly majority after winning 160 seats to MDC-Ts 49.'