BY MOSES MATENGA
Zanu PF is planning a purge against officials suspected of plotting against President Emmerson Mnangagwa following claims that some heavyweights supported the July 31 protests.
The ruling party last week expelled two politburo members Cleveria Chizema and Tendai Savanhu for allegedly supporting the protests against corruption that were thwarted by security forces.
Government claimed the protests were meant to topple Mnangagwa from power. Chizema was punished after posters promoting the demos were found in her Harare home.
She was accused of being part of a camp that supports Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to take over from the Zanu PF leader.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa yesterday refused to comment on the reports of the alleged impending purge, but last week indicated that Chizema and Savanhu could be the first victims of what could be a far-reaching purge.
“We are making these very serious decisions to send a clear message that anyone, who does not follow the party line does not deserve to be in our midst,” Chinamasa said.
“We are a very alert party and we will continue to carry out investigations and find out whether there are any other accomplices implicated in whatever exercise they wanted to embark upon.”
Zanu PF officials said the party’s commissariat department would soon embark on a restructuring exercise that will be used to weed out unwanted elements.
Meanwhile, Chizema yesterday said she would remain loyal to Zanu PF and Mnangagwa despite her humiliation.
“There is nothing I can do,” Chizema said. “I was fired and what can I do?
“If the leader says he doesn’t want you anymore, there is nothing you can do because his word is my command.
“I took it that the president is the president of the party and government and to me he is like a father and I do follow what he says.
“If the president says you erred and makes a ruling, there is nothing that can be done and you can’t say anything.
“I am a disciplined cadre of the party and his word remains my command.”
Zanu PF initially suspended Chizema to allow for investigations after the security department presented a report on how heavyweights were fomenting discord in the party working with some unnamed senior officials in the party.
Chizema said she could have been a victim of lies peddled by other party officials, who took advantage of her inactivity on social media.
“I am an old woman,” she said. “ I don’t move around and I do not go anywhere.
“I am not on WhatsApp, so when I heard that people were talking about me, I did not know about anything since I am not on WhatsApp and l don’t believe in it.”
Factionalism is a perennial problem in Zanu PF and during former president Robert Mugabe’s last days it almost turned bloody with allegations that Mnangagwa was poisoned by his rivals in the party before the military stepped in to end the infighting.
Mugabe was toppled in a coup in 2017 and was replaced by Mnangagwa.