THE vehicles purchased by Zanu PF for the July 31 election campaign have become a new battleground for the two main factions led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sources in Zanu PF said a dispute has erupted between the factions over the Ford Everest vehicles ahead of the crucial Zanu PF congress in December.
“Mutasa has been urging MPs to return the cars so that his faction can use them in preparation for the congress while the MPs aligned to the Mnangagwa faction are resisting returning the cars,” said a senior Zanu PF official.
“The Mnangagwa faction is aware that the cars may be used to campaign for Mujuru in the provinces,” the source said.
“We are aware Mutasa is fighting from Mujuru’s corner so his interest in recalling the cars is questionable as we march towards the congress.”
Mutasa on October 29 wrote to all Zanu PF provincial chairpersons ordering them to collect vehicles which had been used for the elections.
In the letter Mutasa stated that he was making a “final call for the surrender of vehicles”.
However, some Zanu PF candidates who contested in the harmonised elections have vowed to defy Mutasa’s directive to return the vehicles.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mutasa refused to comment on the issue claiming the legislators were the only people who could speak on this matter.
“Maybe you can ask the MPs themselves. I am not in a position to say anything on that issue,” Mutasa said.
The stand-off between the party and its MPs arose after the MPs defied Mutasa’s order to surrender the vehicles for party use after the provincial elections held in October last year.
The legislators argued that they were yet to receive their cars under the Parliamentary Vehicle Loan Scheme.
Zanu PF then engaged parliament to find ways to enable its parliamentarians to buy the party vehicles.
Parliament has a vehicle loan scheme through which legislators get loans to buy vehicles for parliamentary duties.
However, sources within the party said the issue of cars has become factional as the two camps battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe when he retires or is incapacitated.