Zanu PF intensifies Tsholotsho witch-hunt

Loughty Dube

SENIOR Zanu PF leaders this week descended on Tsholotsho as the party intensified efforts to sniff out “dissidents” who took part in the controversial “Tsholotsho Declaration&#

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Politburo members John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa, together with central committee member Cain Mathema, joined the Matabeleland North provincial co-ordinating committee in the search for those who masterminded the Tsholotsho meeting that has seen six Zanu PF provincial chairmen being heavily punished.


The closed-door meeting on Wednesday at Tsholotsho business centre brought before it members of the suspended Tsholotsho district co-ordinating committee (DCC) to explain their role in the indaba, reportedly organised by embattled Information minister Jonathan Moyo.


Press reports yesterday said Moyo’s fate was also discussed at the meeting. They said it was agreed that he should not contest the primaries due this weekend. Moyo last week appealed to the party’s elections directorate to be allowed to contest in the constituency. But the constituency has been reserved for women.


The Tsholotsho saga has also claimed the scalps of Zanu PF Young Turks Patrick Chinamasa, Jabulani Sibanda and Joseph Chinotimba, who had their wings clipped for participating in the “illegal meeting”.


Moyo was also left out of the central committee and the party’s powerful decision-making organ, the politburo.


Sources who attended the Wednesday meeting told the Zimbabwe Independent that the party leaders also barred nearly all the women who had earlier submitted CVs from the primaries on allegations that they were part of the Tsholotsho plot.


The sources said out of the seven women who submitted their papers to the party’s provincial co-ordinating committee last week only Mathema’s wife Musa was likely to stand in Tsholotsho.


“All the other women candidates were barred on allegations that they were part of the Tsholotsho Declaration. That has left Musa Mathema as the sole candidate for the party,” said a source.


“This is all viewed with suspicion in Tsholotsho as most people believe Cain Mathema is behind the disqualification of the other women to boost chances for his wife to stand unchallenged.”


Efforts to contact Nkomo on the latest developments proved fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.


However, sources said the stormy meeting resolved that the Tsholotsho DCC should be dissolved as a matter of urgency.


The source said members of the Tsholotsho DCC traded accusations openly

on the role committee members played in the meeting.


“There was chaos at the meeting and insults were openly traded and this shows the divisions in the party. If things continue like this, Zanu PF is not going to win the Tsholotsho seat,” said the source.


The source said Nkomo made it clear that disciplinary action would be taken against all members of the Tsholotsho DCC for their role in the Tsholotsho indaba.

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