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Nkomo cracks whip

Dumisani Muleya

RULING Zanu PF political heavyweights are seething over what they see as rampant indiscipline by ambitious newcomers amid an escalating succession struggle in the party.

Official sources said yesterday that Zanu PF bigwigs were infuriated by growing “rogue politics” permeating party structures ahead of a critical congress in December.

The issue of indiscipline and intensifying infighting was discussed at a long Zanu PF politburo meeting on Wednesday which lasted late into the evening.

A senior politburo member close to the meeting said Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira, who last week appeared to come under fire in the government press from his deputy Jonathan Moyo over President Robert Mugabe’s Sky News television interview, tabled a document by party chair John Nkomo on the issue.

“Shamuyarira tabled Nkomo’s document and it was discussed. Almost everyone in the party is worried about this infighting but the party has resolved to deal with the issue once and for all,” the official said.

“There is pending but unspecified action that will be taken against power-hungry individuals creating confusion by attacking senior party members.”

Shaumuyarira could not be found for comment. “He is not in, phone tomorrow morning,” a secretary in his office said.

Sources said Zanu PF officials indicated during the politburo meeting that ambitious individuals were now overreaching themselves by attacking or defying superiors, including Vice-President Joseph Msika.

Ugandan researcher David Nyekorach-Matsanga, who was instrumental in organising the Sky interview, last week circulated an e-mail statement accusing Moyo of being “over-ambitious and flying too high”.

Matsanga attacked Moyo in vitriolic terms after he was barred from entering Zimbabwe. He said Moyo was a “ranting and shallow-minded propagandist who has sapped the moral authority of the president”.

Nkomo’s document on discord in the ruling party was partly reflected in his weekly column in the Zanu PF mouthpiece, The Voice, last Sunday. It complains about indiscipline and personal attacks by officials against each other.

“Differences of perception, which may lead to differences of opinion, are sometimes inevitable. However, these must, within the revolutionary establishment that our party is, be aired procedurally through the organs of the party,” Nkomo said.

“It should never be the case, even when aspiring candidates are jockeying for positions at whatever rank within the party and its leadership, that we deploy verbal or other arsenals against each other.”

Msika yesterday said he could not comment on the issue as it was Nkomo’s responsibility.

Asked about attacks on senior party members such as war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba’s remarks about Nkomo on land allocation on Monday, Msika said: “We are going to deal with them. They are now losing direction.”

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