Owen GagareSENIOR Zanu PF politburo members clashed this week over election strategy and tactics as suspicions and mistrust rooted in factionalism erupted ahead of make-or-break elections later this year.
The clashes on Wednesday exploded after Dr Millicent Mombeshora, a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior official eyeing a constituency in Mashonaland West, presented a commissariat department’s election strategy report to the politburo despite not being a member of the body.
Mombeshora touched on a number of strategies that could help Zanu PF win elections.
Although President Robert Mugabe welcomed the suggestions, other politburo members were not impressed as they felt the party’s political commissar Webster Shamu had outsourced his duties to an outsider.
Shamu is believed to be in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s faction and some politburo members felt he was attempting to introduce a parallel elections campaign.
Josiah Hungwe, an ally of Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa believed to be leading a faction fighting the Mujuru camp, was the first to register his disapproval, although he welcomed some of the suggestions.
Party strategist Jonathan Moyo, a former member of the Mnangagwa faction but now a Mugabe loyalist, and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who for long was in the Mujuru camp but is now fighting her, also welcomed the presentation, but attacked the commissariat department for trying to legitimise informal structures.
“There was a problem because Shamu had abdicated his duties by bringing Mombeshora,” a senior politburo member said. “What he did was to not only bring things through the back door, but through the ceiling”. Sources said party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, a Mujuru ally, also welcomed the proposals, but was unhappy about the involvement of outsiders. Mujuru is said to have appealed for cohesion within the party, saying she symbolised unity. As part of its elections preparations, the politburo set up a finance committee chaired by Zanu PF acting treasurer Charles Tavengwa. The committee also includes Mines minister Obert Mpofu, Transport minister Nicholas Goche and Kasukuwere who were targeted by the Anti-Corruption Commission over indigenisation deals.