AS the battle between Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensifies, Zanu PF national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has vowed to deal with the Manicaland wing of the Mnangagwa faction for “causing divisions in the party”.
In an interview this week, Mutasa, who is ranked fifth in the party hierarchy and hails from Manicaland, said he would not sit and watch the province continue be divided on factional lines.
The battle for succession between Mujuru and Mnangagwa, who both deny that they harbour presidential ambtions, has spilled over to Zanu PF’s provincial structures.
Mutasa is allegedly leading the Mujuru camp in Manicaland while Zanu PF’s negotiator in the just-ended Global Political Agreement Patrick Chinamasa is said to be heading the Mnangagwa bloc.
Mutasa’s outburst comes after he invited all Zanu PF MPs and senior party officials to his 78th birthday-cum-Zanu PF election victory celebrations last week, but members aligned to Mnangagwa snubbed him.
Some of the Mnangagwa camp notables who did not show up included Chinamasa, Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri, former Manicaland governor Chris Mushowe, former Labour deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Nyanga North legislator Hubert Nyanhongo and central committee member Mandy Chimene.
“We do not know why they did not come, but this is a sign that we are not united as a party in Manicaland,” said Mutasa, a self-proclaimed Zanu PF godfather in Manicaland.
“But I want to tell them that there is no one bigger than the party. It is high time we told each other the truth so that we can work with people who understand what Zanu PF is all about. I am the senior person in this province and if they do not want to work together with us, then we can always find possible solutions to deal with them.”
He added: “We thought we had solved our differences and this election victory was supposed to unite us as a party, but we have seen that we are not telling each other the truth.
“I am going to have a meeting to discuss this issue and those that do not want to work with others should find somewhere else to go. I have that capability; we do not want more troubles in the party as has been the case before. This is the time to tell each other the truth.”
Mutasa said he had tasked Manicaland provincial chairperson John Mvundura to put the issue on the agenda for the next provincial co-ordinating committee meeting to be held soon.
During the party’s primary elections, Mutasa lashed out at Chinamasa and Muchinguri for causing divisions in the province. But the two in turn blamed Mutasa and are said to have led top Zanu PF officials from Manicaland to petition Mugabe to rein him in.