BY SYDNEY KAWADZA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to descend heavily on party members engaged in violence as Zanu PF continues to burn amid reports that the party’s restructuring exercise has divided membership.
The restructuring exercise has led to violence erupting with elections for new district structures failing to take off due to infighting.
Addressing a Zanu PF Central Committee meeting ahead of the 19th National People’s Conference in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the restructuring exercise should serve as a springboard for strengthening party structures.
“I want to reiterate that we are a united, disciplined and peaceful party. Violence, political chicanery and divisive elements have no place in our colossal party.
“Under the Second Republic, we will scale up programmes that enhance dialogue, social cohesion and national unity. We are indeed diverse but one people,” he said.
Battles to control Zanu PF structures have been raging across Zimbabwe with the ruling party leadership struggling to complete the formation of district structures ahead of the conference.
Several district elections failed to take off while violence has erupted in some provinces in the weeks ahead of the ruling party’s first-ever hybrid conference in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The party itself has not been spared from the pandemic, which has claimed lives of its leaders including Cabinet ministers. The annual gathering will also be held at 10 different venues across Zimbabwe.
Politburo members will be at the main venue in Bindura with other members following proceedings virtually, between October 25 and 31, with all delegates expected to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards.
However, it is the raging battles that have engulfed Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF amid reports that besides the scuffles reported in provinces, the fissures go straight up to the Presidium.
Mnangagwa acknowledged the chaotic situation in the revolutionary party threatening to descend heavily on unruly members violating the constitution.
The party has recorded turmoil in the host province, Mashonaland Central. Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Harare, Masvingo and the Midlands provinces have also been rocked by the factional fighting.
Party sources told the Zimbabwe Independent early this week that while the house was burning those battling to control the structures have also aligned themselves to, either, Mnangagwa or his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga.
According to sources, battles in Zanu PF start at the district committee level where leaders fight for control of the districts whose members make up the provincial committee and structures.
Zanu PF structures start with a cell of 50 members with 10 cells making a branch and this would now have 500 people or members.
“The district will coordinate all these structures. The district will have 40 members from the Main Wing, 40 from the Women’s League and 40 from the Youth League, meaning it has 120 members. The district structure has a direct link to the members in the cells and branches,” the sources revealed.
However, the restructuring exercise has divided the party with President Mnangagwa acknowledging the challenges facing his party.