This comes soon after demonstrations in Manicaland where hundreds of disgruntled party supporters protested the way last month’s DCC elections were conducted, alleging massive rigging, imposition of candidates, a fake voters’ roll and disputed results.
To end the protests, Zanu chair Simon Khaya Moyo and political commissar Webster Shamu were forced to address the demonstrators on Tuesday. They were given a two-week ultimatum to dissolve the provincial executive, failure of which protests would resume. Protestors are demanding the ouster of provincial chairperson Mike Madiro who presided over the elections. The clashes have widened the rift between two rival factions in the party, one led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and another by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Earlier this week, Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo described factionalism as “the cancerous scourge” affecting the party. Masvingo provincial leaders last night said they planned protests over the imposition of candidates by the provincial leadership.
“Party members have closed the provincial party offices in protest against the mismanagement of DCCs, personalising the party, the party being run from people’s homes and abuse of money to buy votes,” said one provincial leader. “There is a big demo in the offing. How can we win elections when the house is divided and fighting against itself? It will collapse.”
Zanu PF lost in Masvingo and was defeated in the 2008 polls.
In Matabeleland, problems bedeviling Zanu PF Bulawayo province are far from over after Shamu’s visit at the weekend failed to resolve the contentious issue of provincial chairman Isaac Dakamel suspended almost three weeks ago on allegations of corruption and insubordination. Insiders said Shamu visited the party headquarters with the intention of re-instating Dakamela who was replaced by Killian Sibanda, but his bid was foiled by influential politburo members including Angeline Masuku and Joshua Malinga. Zanu PF infighting is fuelled by succession.