A FIRE-FIGHTING bid by Zanu PF commissar Webster Shamu to resolve the long-standing factional feud in Bulawayo hit a snag last week after senior party members turned down his request for a meeting.
Politburo and central committee members briefed the Zimbabwe Independent this week that a request last Friday by Shamu for an urgent meeting the following day of the provincial coordinating committee (PCC) was declined.
Party bigwigs in the province, the sources said, ordered provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela to turn down Shamu’s request because it came “at short notice”.
“Shamu was supposed to visit Bulawayo to meet the warring factions on Saturday, but the senior members said no,” one of the sources said. “The argument was that Shamu called for the meeting at short notice although we know that some officials in the province don’t want the ongoing problems to be solved.”
Dakamela confirmed that the planned visit by Shamu had flopped because it was called at short notice.
“We called off the proposed gathering for last Saturday because Shamu wanted to meet the PCC without giving us adequate time to prepare for the meeting,” he said. “We will be advised by the commissar of yet another date.”
Shamu has made several trips to Bulawayo to try and salvage crumbling structures threatening to split the former ruling party. Last month Shamu, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena, met the Bulawayo provincial executive to interrogate the reasons behind the shambolic structures and unilateral suspension of officials.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Shamu proved fruitless as his mobile was not reachable at the time of going to print.
One of the issues that Shamu was supposed to deal with was the suspension under unclear circumstances of provincial treasurer Simon Khabo, his deputy Kenias Sibanda, secretary for security Robert Ncube, deputy secretary for indigenisation George Mlala and youth league secretary for administration Bernard Nhata.
Dakamela allegedly engineered the suspension of the party officials after they allegedly unearthed a scandal in which he was accused of being involved in a case of missing beasts and groceries. These were for President Robert Mugabe 86th birthday bash last year.
Sources said Shamu’s visit was meant to lift the suspension of members and build bridges between the factions pitting Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Eunice Sandi-Moyo against other politburo members Angeline Masuku, Joshua Malinga and Absolom Sikhosana.
The senior Zanu PF members are accusing each other of working with the revived Zapu led by former Home Affair minister Dumiso Dabengwa.
Most of the previous Zanu PF provincial executive members that were led by McCloud Tshawe have joined Zapu.
Zanu PF is struggling to garner support in Bulawayo where it has failed to win parliamentary seats since the inception of the larger MDC faction led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Last year, Shamu said Zanu PF was not ready for elections due to collapsed structures. Mugabe then ordered him to urgently re-organise the party in preparations for possible elections later this year.