The fight between Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao and Zanu PF member Acie Lumumba has exposed widening cracks within the G40 faction in Zanu PF amid reports that a third faction is emerging in the ruling party.
BY OUR STAFF
In a no-holds-barred video posted on social media titled, #dig deeper, Lumumba said Zhuwao “is a corrupt and extortionist public officer bent on enriching himself through illegal dealings” and was not fit to hold public office.
Zhuwao appointed Lumumba as chairman of the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment committee on April 10, but sacked him on Wednesday on allegations of misusing funds meant for the Zimbabwe Youth Council.
Sources told The Standard that the fight between the two once close allies had unsettled the entire G40 camp.
They said behind-the-scene efforts were underway to manage the tiff as Lumumba and his backers were reportedly vowing to expose his new-found enemies.
In the video, Lumumba, a losing Hatfield Zanu PF candidate, threatened to spill more beans on Zhuwao.
“The rift within the faction is fundamentally on indigenisation as Zhuwao thinks that other faction members had left him alone to fight against a spirited Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa camp that now seemingly enjoys Mugabe’s support,” said one source who requested anonymity.
“The faction is disjointed and unsure if their cause still has the support of the First Family and as a result, they have turned the heat on some members alleged to be holding divergent views.”
Zhuwao could not be reached for comment yesterday, while Lumumba last week distanced himself from G40.
“I don’t know what G40 is,” he said. “Nobody in Zimbabwe gets fired for stealing money. Nobody in Zimbabwe gets fired for stealing money. [Money amounting to] $15 billion went missing and no one was fired.
“There was an audit done, can we see the results? I don’t hate the minister and in fact, I looked up to him as my leader. I just think if he wants to drag me under the bus, let it be on merit.”
Those backing Zhuwao said the Indigenisation minister was accusing Lumumba of hobnobbing with opposition elements and thought he was selling out.
They said his partnership with opposition youth leaders among them Patson Dzamara and Setfree Mafukidze was giving ammunition to the opposite faction to strike them out of the succession matrix.
Sources said a third faction was emerging and reportedly pushing for principal director State House Innocent Tizora to lead it in the fight against both G40 and Team Lacoste linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Tizora, widely thought to be a dark horse in the succession race, rose to prominence after unconfirmed reports claimed Mugabe had earmarked him for a VP position ahead of Mnangagwa, his long-time aide who eventually landed the post.
After the appointment of Mnangagwa after the sacking of former Vice President Joice Mujuru, a new faction of Young Turks emerged stronger, reportedly led by political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Zanu PF secretary for technology Jonathan Moyo.
The G40 reportedly enjoyed the support of Mugabe and his wife Grace.
But well-placed sources said the third faction seeking to upstage Mnangagwa and G40 was rolling a campaign spearheaded by Mashonaland West central committee member Jimaya Muduvuri.
Tizora yesterday cut his line soon after The Standard reporter introduced himself.
But a high ranking Zanu PF official who requested anonymity alleged Muduvuri was currently visiting provinces on the pretext that he had been sent by the First Family.
“The plot is to smear campaign the two existing factions. The strategy will be to appear as if they are not interested in factionalism, in order to get Mugabe’s support,” said the official.
The businessman was reportedly luring people to the meeting claiming he had been sent by the First Family.
Muduvuri on Monday addressed the Masvingo provincial executive where he allegedly claimed he had been sent by the First Family.
He was due to address a similar meeting in Mashonaland East on Thursday but was reportedly blocked by acting provincial chair Bernard Makokove.
Muduvuri yesterday denied belonging to the new faction claiming he was drawing the authority to address provinces from Mnangagwa.
“I went to meet Mnangagwa because he is my uncle and asked him to explain the rumours that he wanted to unseat President Mugabe,” he said.
“He told me that these were lies and challenged me to find just one person who can claim to have been sent by him to wrestle power from the president.
Muduvuri said said he was only trying to fight factionalism so that all party members rally behind Mugabe.
Muduvuri yesterday met war veterans who are reportedly aligned to Mnangagwa and were demanding the resignation of Kasukuwere and Moyo from the party.
“Yes I was with the war veterans and together we are going around investigating this rumour that Mnangagwa is leading a faction,” he said.
“If we find the person spreading the rumour that VP Mnangagwa wants to dispose President Mugabe, we will deal with him.”
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Victor Matemadanda confirmed yesterday’s meeting.
He said Muduvuri belonged to G40 and had now seen the light and thus abandoned them.
“We are aware that there are people who have been lying to try and cause fights between the president and the war veterans and as a leadership we have resolved to go around the country looking for the secessionist plotters and if we find them we will deal with them,” Matemadanda said.
“People cannot just go around saying so and so wants to remove the President without offering proof so we are going to ask them to provide that evidence.”
Kasukuwere last night said he was not aware of Muduvuri’s meetings.
“I am in charge of party programmes. I do not know anything about Muduvuri’s meetings. He should better tell you the purpose of his meetings,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Manicaland provincial coordinating committee met yesterday with the Mnangagwa faction reportedly trying to reclaim the province by moving a motion to fire provincial chairman Samuel Undenge and replace him with Mike Madiro.
This was reportedly after efforts to replace youth leader Mubuso Chinguno failed.
The decision to replace Undenge was reportedly made last weekend at a meeting in Mutare held by party bigwigs aligned to Mnangagwa soon after attending the VP’s daughter’s wedding.