TWO Zanu PF formations have emerged from the chaos that has rocked the party with ousted spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday announcing he, together with his purged colleagues represented the leadership of the “real” Zanu PF.
BY MOSES MATENGA /OBEY MANAYITI
He branded the others led by President Robert Mugabe as the “2014 Zanu PF”.
Gumbo said following the dismissal of former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa from the party last week, it was clear that people with no liberation war credentials had taken over the party for selfish gains.
He said it was clear now that there was the “2014 Zanu PF” born out of the “illegal December congress” and the Zanu PF that stands for the democratic principles that they fought for.
“It is their Zanu PF, their 2014 Zanu PF, and the real Zanu PF doesn’t do that,” Gumbo said.
“It is their new Zanu PF with people who did not go to war, who did not fight in the liberation struggle and have their own motives.”
Asked whether his statement meant that there were now two different parties using the name Zanu PF, Gumbo retorted: “Correct, that’s what Cde Mutasa said and that’s the Zanu PF we belong to.”
This comes amid reports that the team of those purged out of Zanu PF were burning the midnight oil to strategise on their future.
Among those who were offloaded from Zanu PF are former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, Gumbo, Mutasa, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, nine of the 10 provincial chairpersons, several former ministers and several others.
Mutasa still signs his statements as Zanu PF secretary for administration.
The former Presidential Affairs minister said he was expelled from the “unlawful” Zanu PF but he remained with the “real” Zanu PF.
He said the First Lady Grace Mugabe was now the centre of power in the new but “illegitimate” Zanu PF party.
Meanwhile, a handful of placard carrying Zanu-PF supporters yesterday marched through the city of Mutare to “thank” the politburo for firing Mutasa from the party.
The Zanu PF politburo fired Mutasa on Wednesday, a few weeks after the party’s Manicaland province had demanded his explusion.
After the march, supporters were addressed by the acting provincial chairman Samuel Undenge at Meikles Park. But his address too was so terse, painting a picture that the whole protest march was ill planned and had monumentally flopped.
Some senior party officials told The Standard at the venue that the whole march was hurriedly planned.
“Mobilisation was not properly done. Had it not been that more people could have come,” said one Zanu PF official.
“Some also say there is really nothing to celebrate and it also took long for the politburo to come up with that decision and people have already forgotten about that.”
However deputy provincial youth chair Mubuso Chinguno said the poor showing by supporters did not mean people were not interested in the issue at all.
He said the march was by invitation and only meant for Mutare district leaders.
“It was strictly by invitation and only the district leaders are present. It was not for everyone,” claimed Chinguno.
“As the youth league for Manicaland we accept the decision by the politburo because Mutasa was so violent. He was the reason why we dismally lost in 2008. He used to impose his candidates in different constituencies and people revolted leading in the loss.”
Undenge urged Mutasa loyalists to change their allegiance.
Mutasa was for years the undisputed Manicaland political godfather until his fortunes began to dwindle ahead of the December congress.
The former Zanu PF secretary for administration together with Mujuru and their allies were accused of plotting to oust Mugabe, inviting the wrath of First Lady, Grace Mugabe and the 91-year-old leader. They all denied the accusations.