GWERU — Pressure continues to mount on the embattled minister of state for the Midlands Jason Machaya to step down and leave Zanu PF as party stalwarts intensify purges of perceived allies of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
By our correspondent
Speaking during a Zanu PF meeting in Gweru on Wednesday meant to introduce a new provincial executive, Politburo member July Moyo denounced Machaya, accusing him of gross incompetence and fanning factionalism.
“When we realised that our party was now being derailed by those that were eventually told to stop it by the First Lady Grace Mugabe, factionalism had already started in the Midlands,” Moyo said.
“We had several meetings across the province announcing the provincial executive, in the company of [Kizito] Chivamba, but there is no single day that Machaya made efforts to accompany us together with the new Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.”
Kizito Chivamba is the current acting provincial chairperson after Machaya was booted out as Zanu PF Midlands chairperson in the run up to the party’s December congress by a faction loyal to Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF has remained mum on the future of Machaya, who retained his position as Provincial Affairs minister despite his perceived strong links to Mujuru.
Moyo told Zanu PF Midlands provincial administrator Cecelia Chitiyo and other party members that attended the meeting, including new legislator for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency Auxillia Mnangagwa, that Chivamba would remain in charge of party affairs in the province.
“If the Minister of State is not part of the Zanu PF executive, Chivamba will stand in as the leader in the Midlands,” he said.
“Chivamba is our leader behind the successful implementation of Zim Asset in the province despite the fact that Machaya is the Minister of State.”
Moyo is reportedly a top ally of Mnangagwa.
Sources in the party revealed that the provincial executive on Friday resolved to suspend Mberengwa North legislator Tafanana Zhou from the party for five years.
Machaya and Zhou could not be reached for comment yesterday.