Zanu PF factions trade bitter exchanges

FEUDING senior Zanu PF members from Bulawayo were at each other’s throats during last week’s politburo meeting, trading accusations and counter-accusations over who is to blame for the former ruling party’s chaotic structures in the province.

This, politburo members told the Zimbabwe Independent, was done in front of President Robert Mugabe, who has seemingly failed to deal with factionalism which has caused serious divisions within his party.

The politburo members said Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku, Joshua Malinga and Edson Ncube, exchanged bitter words with the party’s secretary for education Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and deputy secretary for women’s affairs, Eunice Sandi.

Malinga, Masuku and Ncube, sources said, told Mugabe that Ndlovu and Sandi were behind a myriad of problems bedeviling the party in Bulawayo province. Ndlovu has since been removed as the coordinator in Bulawayo, although he dismissed the sacking as null and void.

In turn, sources said Ndlovu launched a blistering attack on Masuku, Malinga and Ncube whom he reportedly said were no longer attending party activities, accusing them of having parallel structures.

Central committee members, former Zimbabwe Defence Industries boss Tshinga Dube, Callistus Ndlovu and Judith Ncube, have also been accused of not attending crucial provincial meetings.

“There was a war in the politburo as the heavyweights attacked each other in front of Mugabe,” said one senior politburo member. “There were accusations and counter-accusations as the fight between the two factions escalated.”

Another politburo member said: “We debated extensively in the politburo. We told the politburo that we don’t want Ndlovu to lead the party in Bulawayo. Ndlovu will never chair Bulawayo programmes again, over our dead bodies.”

He said it was disappointing that Ndlovu and Sandi were fighting 23 other politburo and central committee members in Bulawayo.

The Zanu PF insider said the politburo then ordered secretary for commissariat Webster Shamu to meet the politburo members in Bulawayo.

Shamu visited the province on Sunday and was locked in an eight-hour long closed door meeting with the politicians at the provincial offices at Davies Hall.

He failed to solve the problem at that meeting and, sources said, he then returned to Bulawayo on Tuesday where he met the Zanu PF leadership in the region from 5pm to 10pm.

Shamu met Bulawayo politburo and central committee members but once again he walked away empty handed after the factions refused to give in, the sources said.

“The leaders were just accusing each other and refused to compromise. It looks like the problems in Bulawayo will persist; we will go to the annual conference in Mutare with the two factions fighting,” said the source.

Contacted for comment, Shamu declined to discuss the matter saying he was not entertaining telephone interviews.

“I want to talk to reporters in person not over the phone. Some people may abuse reporters’ names,” he said.

Masuku, who is one of the politburo members accused of boycotting crucial party meetings, insisted that they were still actively involved in party programmes, saying the allegations were levelled by malicious Zanu PF members.

“We are members of Zanu PF and we are leaders. We don’t want to be involved in the fights. People always say what they want,” she said.

 

Brian Chitemba

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