FISSURES within Zanu PF continue to widen as power struggles intensify ahead of the re-introduced district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) elections, with some provincial members seething with anger after being sidelined on factional lines.
The provincial members are threatening to lodge their complaints with the politburo as the deadline for the selection approaches. Elections in all the provinces should be concluded by tomorrow.
At its last meeting, the politburo resolved to refer for screening thousands of curriculum vitaes for candidates keen to stand for various DCC positions.
The ruling party is expected to hold DCC elections in eight of the 10 provinces by the weekend. Elections in Harare and Bulawayo have already been conducted. The polls were marred by violence and irregularities.
Zanu PF sources revealed to the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the politburo’s decision to refer the CV vetting to the provinces had worsened factional fights within the party after some candidates claimed they were unfairly disqualified.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also Zanu PF’s president and first secretary and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga, are rowing over control of the party and the levers of state power.
The former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander was recently exposed in court by his estranged wife Marry, nee Mubaiwa, as being power hungry.
“There is trouble around the country, but Mashonaland East, West and Manicaland provinces are the most intense,” a Zanu PF politburo member said. “The decision to refer the CVs back to provinces now appears to be not the wisest looking at it in retrospect because nasty factional fights are happening out there. Some are being disqualified purely on factional bases while others are just being elbowed for personal vendetta. It will not be surprising to see in the near future that the HQ (party headquarters) will be inundated with complaints which again the politburo will have to look at.
“The issue is about the one with control of the DCCs ultimately has control of the party structures and can call the shots in party and by extension government. So the two (Mnangagwa and Chiwenga) are brawling seriously through their proxies. Real power gamesmanship plays out there in the lower structures because they influence the superstructure. As you know this restructuring period is always characterised by vicious fights as people seek to compete for positions and also seek to sneak their friends in so that they have influence.”
Efforts to get comments from Zanu PF national political commissar Victor Matemadanda were fruitless as he was neither answering calls nor responding to text and WhatsApp messages. The party’s acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa claimed the process was going on smoothly, adding “the party’s leadership will handle any complaints that may arise”.
In Mashonaland East, prominent apostolic faith church leader and former Marondera Central MP Lawrence Katsiru, who was vying for the Marondera Urban district chairperson position, and Bornface Mutize, who had submitted a curriculum vitae (CV) to contest for the Goromonzi district chairperson post, are some of the notable candidates that have fallen by the wayside in the early duels.
Former Goromonzi West legislator Beatrice Nyamupinga was also disqualified from contesting as chairperson for the women’s league in Goromonzi district while Joyce Chiroodza failed to make it in the same district after submitting a CV for the position of legal affairs secretary.
The disqualified officials were reportedly accused of being aligned to the now-defunct Zanu PF G40 faction among other reasons. They all vowed to challenge their disqualification.
Chaotic scenes have also been reported in Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central provinces, where businessman James Makamba sought to wrest the provincial chairpersonship from Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe.