Nkomo accused of fanning factionalism in Zanu PF

ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo has been accused of fomenting divisions in the party’s Harare province by backing a faction led by former Mines minister Amos Midzi that is battling with a rival camp headed by Energy deputy minister Hubert Nyanhongo.

Midzi was the party’s provincial chairperson until last December when he lost the post to Nyanhongo in polls that were marred by violence.

Zanu PF’s conference in Bindura in December did not endorse Nyanhongo’s election and appointed Nkomo to probe and make recommendations on the events that led to the violent poll.

Nkomo, according to sources in Zanu PF, wanted fresh polls to take place in the capital and has ordered an overhaul of the party’s structures beginning last weekend.

This has irked the Nyanhongo camp.

“We are convinced that this decision of having another election was pushed from the top,” said a senior member of the Nyanhongo faction. “People who lost elections want to be bulldozed back into the party through fraudulent means.”

The faction accused Nkomo, Harare resident minister David Karimanzira and Zanu PF politburo member Tendai Savanhu of working against the wishes of members by propping up the Midzi camp.

“Savanhu lost in Mbare, Midzi in Hatfield and Karimanzira is an appointee as well as Nkomo, so how can we be led by losers every time?” another Nyanhongo camp official said.

“This business of having losers at the forefront is destroying our party. They have lost and they must just accept that.”

Karimanzira on Thursday could not comment on the developments in the province saying he was in a meeting.

Nkomo referred questions to Zanu PF deputy national political commissar Naison Ndlovu who was not reachable on his mobile phone.

Nyanhongo on Thursday insisted that he was the chairman of Harare province before declining to answer further questions.

Efforts to get a comment from Midzi were in vain yesterday, as he was not answering his mobile phone.

On Wednesday the Zanu PF politburo mandated Nkomo to make a final recommendation on the way forward and bring the issue to finality.

A fortnight ago, Nkomo met both the Midzi and Nyanhongo factions at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare in a bid to end the feud.

After the meeting, Nyanhongo supporters booed Nkomo and also accused him of destroying the party by backing Midzi who lost the chairmanship poll.  

The supporters called Nkomo a sell-out. The same rowdy supporters insulted Midzi.

Nyanhongo’s faction accused Midzi of dividing the party, decampaigning President Robert Mugabe in the countdown to the March 2008 election and for belonging to a Zanu PF faction led by former army commander Solomon Mujuru.

BY TINASHE FARAWO