BY MOSES MATENGA
The divisions rocking the ruling Zanu PF party over the imposition of candidates for its internal polls are escalating in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s strongholds of Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
Zanu PF is trying to resurrect district coordinating committees (DCCs) that were scrapped at the height of tussles between Mnangagwa and former vice-president Joice Mujuru to succeed the late Robert Mugabe.
The process to select candidates, however, has been marred by the imposition of candidates and violence.
ln Masvingo, angry party supporters were forced out of a farm owned by the minister of State in Vice-President Kembo Mohadi’s office, Davies Marapira, after they protested against an alleged plot to rig elections in favour of some officials.
In a video of the chaotic meeting that has gone viral, Zanu PF supporters accused some party officials of clandestinely calling for meetings while sidelining other contestants.
Marapira tried to calm down the situation by insisting that only invited party officials be allowed in, but the supporters shot down his suggestion before he ordered them out of the farm.
Marapira succumbed to the pressure and called off the meeting while ordering people out of his premises.
There were accusations by people, who said they were war veterans that viciously opposed the meeting and its agenda.
“Why do you want to destroy the party? We will not allow you to destroy the party. What is team Zanu PF?” one of the delegates queried.
“I thought this meeting was supposed to call all contestants and not just one like this.”
Chaos, as seen in the video, erupted after one of the candidates told a meeting that he had won already, a statement that angered supporters of other contestants.
In the Midlands province, the Zanu PF women’s league national political commissar and senator, Maybe Mbowa, is accused of imposing two of her close relatives in the DCC and threatening private companies she accused of working with other contestants.
Her daughter, identified as Moreblessing, is contesting for secretary for youth affairs.
The senator is allegedly using her position in the women’s league to intimidate people that they have to vote for her daughter.
Mbowa, however, downplayed the clashes yesterday, saying Zanu PF was a democratic party.
In audio recordings, Mbowa threatened a cotton marketing firm with unspecified action, accusing it of being used in the internal Zanu PF fights.
In another recording, Mbowa warned a fellow Zanu PF official, only identified as manager Mnkuli, who is contesting for the position of DCC secretary for finance, that he must support her team and daughter or she will sabotage him.