FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe will soon summon the country’s 10 provincial affairs ministers to her orphanage in Mazoe ostensibly for a field day which party insiders say could herald the start of another round of rallies as renewed factionalism escalates in the ruling Zanu PF party.
ELIAS mambo/Herbert Moyo
Party insiders say Grace —who is worried by the ever-intensifying factionalism — wants to whip the ministers into line and lay the groundwork for a fresh round of countrywide rallies reminiscent of those she undertook at the end of last year prior to the party’s congress.
“The state (provincial affairs) ministers will be summoned for a field day soon at the orphanage. The real reason is to whip party officials into line in view of the factionalism threatening the party with an even greater intensity these days. This may be the prelude to another round of rallies by the First Lady like the ones that we witnessed last year leading to former Vice- President Joice Mujuru’s fall,” said a source.
Next week on Thursday Grace is expected to visit Masvingo province where she will address a rally. Last year, she embarked on countrywide rallies dubbed “meet-the-people tours” during which she unleashed acerbic attacks on Mujuru, accusing her of a host of offences chief among them being a plot to topple her husband President Robert Mugabe, and demanding that she resigns from government.
Shortly afterwards Mujuru was fired along with several other ministers and party heavyweights including Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
The purging of those aligned to Mujuru has failed to stem factionalism in the party as there is a fresh round of infighting pitting those aligned to Vice- President Emmerson Mnangagwa and a clique of younger party officials including Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Water Resources minister Saviour Kasukuwere who also doubles up as the party’s commissar.
The latest infighting has manifested itself in serious clashes over the choice of the party’s candidate in next month’s parliamentary by-election for the Harare East constituency which fell vacant after the MDC-T recalled former secretary general Tendai Biti for breaking to form MDC Renewal