MUTARE — The Zanu PF faction loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru appears to have gained ground in Manicaland, following the appointment of a new provincial executive.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The appointment of the provincial executive has also seen women’s league boss, Oppah Muchinguri by welcoming the new leaders.
Muchinguri, who pledged to bury her differences with embattled secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, is allegedly aligned to the faction led by Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe Ambassador to Cuba, John Mvundura is the new provincial chairperson, with retired Lieutenant General Mike Nyambuya as his deputy. The two are believed to be aligned to the Mujuru camp.
They replaced suspended chairman, Mike Madiro and his deputy Dorothy Mabika, who are linked to the Mnangagwa faction and are currently facing charges of stealing calves donated to President Robert Mugabe for his birthday.
The new provincial leadership convened an urgent meeting in Mutare last week that drew all politburo and central committee members from the province.
Nyambuya, a former Manicaland governor, said the first priority of the new executive was to unite the faction-riddled province.
“As a province, we have a great history and it is high time we took our rightful place. We hope that we will solve the problems rocking Manicaland amicably,” he said.
Nyambuya said the executive would ensure that Zanu PF was “thoroughly” prepared for the forthcoming elections.
“We want to recover all the lost seats that were taken by MDC-T and this can only happen if we are united,” he said.
Muchinguri welcomed the new leadership and underscored the need for unity in the province.
“What I can say is that the new leadership comprises sober people. It is time for reconciliation. It carries people with experience in diplomacy and conflict management. People must now bury their political differences and move forward,” she said.
Muchinguri said there was need for party members to change their attitudes.
“People must mature as we want to focus on winning elections,” she said.
Mutasa expressed confidence in the new team, saying he had worked well with Nyambuya when he was governor and resident minister for Manicaland.
He added that he had good working relations with Mvundura dating back to the liberation struggle.
Zanu PF only managed six seats out of 26 in Manicaland after it lost ground to the MDC-T in the 2008 elections.
The loss has been attributed to unnecessary divisions and the self-defeating “bhora musango’’ by disgruntled party members.
Mutasa recently came under fire from a group of petitioners allegedly led by Muchinguri and Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa who wanted Mugabe to rein in the veteran politician accusing him of dictatorship and causing divisions in Manicaland.
But despite the pledges by the rival factions in Manicaland to bury the hatchet, events on the ground prove otherwise.
The on-going trial of Mabika at the Mutare magistrates’ court showed the deep seated factionalism in Zanu PF.
Mabika, who made sensational allegations that Mutasa wanted to have sexual relations with her, also blamed her current woes to her refusal to join the camp aligned to Mujuru.
Mutasa said if Mabika knew that she was being dragged into the power struggles within the party in the province, then she should have been vigilant.
“If she is saying she is being dragged into the power struggles then she was supposed to be alert. She was supposed to be prepared for such outcomes because when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers and in this case, she is the grass that is now suffering,” he said.
The Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions are battling to position themselves for the succession of 89 year old Mugabe who has been in power for the past 33 years.