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Mugabe to crack whip

Staff Writers

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is today expected to read the riot act to Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial leaders over simmering dissent within his party following divisive elections last weekend.

Mugabe is due to meet senior Zanu PF Bulawayo politicians to tackle the infighting which intensified after Sunday’s controversial nomination of new party leaders ahead of a potentially explosive congress which starts on Wednesday.

Zanu PF deputy national commissar Sikhanyiso Ndlovu yesterday confirmed Mugabe would be in Bulawayo to deal with the widening divisions in the party.

Sources said Mugabe is expected to deal with the problem of war veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda who was suspended by the politburo for attacking senior party leaders but remains active.

Mugabe is also expected to resolve the exclusion of politburo heavyweights Dumiso Dabengwa and Ndlovu from the central committee.

A group of ex-combatants led by former war veterans secretary-general Andrew Ndlovu yesterday met in Bulawayo to prepare a dossier of complaints to be submitted to Mugabe.

Ex-war veterans’ leaders want the current command structure changed while Bulawayo bigwigs want the party’s provincial executive council chaired by Themba Ncube dissolved.

Mugabe is expected to grill the Bulawayo Zanu PF provincial leaders on why they ignored a politburo circular despatched after last Thursday’s emergency meeting to nominate a woman among the two vice-presidents.

Bulawayo was the only province which defied the circular. The crisis meeting to contain the power struggle follows an unprecedented 16-hour Zanu PF politburo session on Wednesday. Sources said the meeting was characterised by open hostility.

Losers claimed rules were subverted during the nominations. Winners rejected the allegations.

The meeting agreed to look into the complaints case by case without changing the nomination results. Debate centred on last Thursday’s politburo resolution, the manner of nominations, vote-buying and congress.

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