Shumba was suspended eight years ago together with Manicaland provincial chairperson Mark Madiroand five other chairmen, among other officials, for their role in the Tsholotsho debacle which President Robert Mugabe said was an attempted “palace coup”.
Shumba’s suspension was lifted in 2010 and he was readmitted to the party as an ordinary member, but it is the politburo’s decision to bar him from contesting the polls that has puzzled Masvingo party officials.
“Zanu PF is shooting itself in the foot and lacks strategic vision because it is stopping people like Shumba who have got support from contesting and retake seats lost to the MDC in 2008,” said a politburo member.
“It is at this time that we need people like him who can pose a threat to the MDC and we urge the authorities not to be blindfolded by internal feuds within the provinces if we are to win the elections.”
Zanu PF lost Masvingo province to the MDC-T in the 2008 elections and officials were hoping to rope in Shumba to mobilise and reclaim the province, but factionalism seems to have scuttled their plans.
Following an explosive politburo meeting held to address factionalism in the party last week, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the politburo had reaffirmed its position Shumba follows laid down procedures before re-admission.
However, contrary to Gumbo’s statement, Shumba said he was cleared in 2010 after following all the procedures for nominations to hold office. “All I know is that procedures to readmit me and all the others who were under suspension were followed,” said Shumba. “We are ready to win the elections.”
In a letter to Masvingo provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke dated November 24 2010, the party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said Shumba had been accepted back into the party as an ordinary member.
“Thank you for your letter dated 15 September 2010. The recommendation was considered in terms of Article 3, Section 14, sub-section 2 of the party constitution and has been accepted,” the letter reads.
But Gumbo yesterday said Mutasa made a mistake by unilaterally re-admitting Shumba without consulting the politburo.