Mushowe appeals to Mugabe, Mujuru

MUTARE - Manicaland provincial governor Chris Mushowe has appealed to President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru to quickly intervene in the political squabbles bedevilling the party in the eastern province.

Mushowe, speaking on the sidelines of the 33rd independence celebrations at Sakubva Stadium, begged Mugabe and Mujuru to stamp their authority as the factionalism in Manicaland was tearing Zanu PF apart ahead of crucial elections.

He said the infighting had the potential to harm Zanu PF’s ability to win back support in the province, where the party won only six constituencies out of 26 which went to the MDC.

“We need to be united in this province. What we saw last week, which is a culmination of political squabbles taking place in this province, must really be avoided,” said Mushowe.

“We have no luxury in this province to fight against each other; sometimes fighting to secure personal political interests. We cannot destroy Zimbabwe to nurture individual and self interests. After all, if president Mugabe and his party fall, where will our interest be?

“As governor and resident minister of this province I really would like to plead with the leadership to end this infighting and not cause the country to be in the same situation like that cost us in 2008. We must have learnt the lesson by now,” he said.

“ I hope that the leadership of president Mugabe and the presidium will one day decide on how Manicaland should be handled and take a decision that will save Manicaland,” said Mushowe.

He said those involved in factional fighting in Zanu PF were keen on destroying the party.

“The people that will cause the demise of Zanu PF would be doing so against the wishes of those who died for the liberation of this country. We do not want that to happen,” he said.

Zanu PF has been dogged by infighting in Manicaland and other provinces ahead of primary elections to choose candidates for a watershed general election whose actual timing is still a subject of haggling within the shaky coalition government.

Last week, the Zanu PF leadership dispatched party national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo on a fire fighting mission in Mutare after factions intensified plots and counterplots which are tearing the party into pieces.

Manicaland has become the epicentre of the factionalism, which is largely caused by manoeuvres to take over Zanu PF leadership after Mugabe has left the scene.

Mugabe has failed to groom a successor, a factor many say has caused the deep divisions as warring factions within the party are engaged in a fierce battle to succeed Mugabe.

Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice president Joice Mujuru reportedly lead the two largest factions.

Mnangagwa is famed for the 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration, a clandestine meeting of party heavyweights described by Mugabe as a coup plot.

Like Tsholotsho in 2004, Manicaland has of late become the epicentre of the factionalism affecting Zanu PF with secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa pitted against a camp of other heavyweights led by politburo women’s boss Oppah Muchinguri.

This forced Mugabe, who badly needs the factions to rally behind his candidature, to appoint a special probe team headed by Khaya Moyo, which convened the weekend meeting.

Sources said Mutasa appeared to be losing the war going into a meeting after Muchinguri, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and former provincial chairperson Madiro appeared to have successfully plotted a revenge mission.

The camp had been angered by the way Madiro was suspended after being accused of looting close to $1 million donated to the party by diamond companies.

Madiro was also recently in court accused of looting beasts donated for Mugabe’s birthday bash held at Sakubva Stadium last year.

According to reports, the camp met at Muchinguri’s house in Mutare and drafted a petition for Mugabe’s attention lambasting Mutasa, resulting in the Khaya Moyo-led probe. - Sydney Saize

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