A bira (traditional religious festival) meant to seek guidance from “ancestral spirits” on the country’s political problems, and a solution to the intensifying factional and succession fights in Zanu PF failed to take place yesterday.
BY OUR STAFF
Only a small group of war veterans and a few Zanu PF supporters descended at a farm in Mazowe on Friday night to “welcome” a spirit medium led by “Mbuya Nehanda” purportedly to deliver the people of Zimbabwe from the various difficulties they were facing.
Zanu PF sources said the “spirit mediums” who organised the bira were allegedly working with war veterans in Harare and some military bigwigs linked to a faction in the ruling party.
But an official yesterday said the main ceremony was cancelled when the media publicised the event.
A police officer in plain clothes from the Police Intelligence Services (PIS) was present at the event and had come to relieve his colleague who had spent the night at the ceremony.
When The Standard arrived at the venue yesterday, there were no dignitaries or military leaders but a small group of people jovially drinking beer, eating and taking snuff.
One Murava Mpofu, a spokesman for the event, insisted that the ceremony was not political. He said the event was meant to bring together Zimbabweans of diverse backgrounds and celebrate the “arrival” of Mbuya Nehanda’s spirit.
“We are not after any publicity. Anyway, she [Mbuya Nehanda] will reveal herself to the country spiritually,” he said.
Mpofu said the spirit would relieve the people of Zimbabwe from the problems associated with disease, hunger or even war as the country had been chosen to enjoy the blessings bestowed on it.
Zanu PF has been witnessing serious internal squabbles as factions position themselves for the succession of 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe who has been in power for the past 34 years.
The factions have been throwing dirt at each other in the public.
One faction is reportedly linked to Vice-President Joice Mujuru while the other is said to be loyal to Justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The two however have persistently denied leading factions or harbouring presidential ambitions.