Succession tears Zanu PF apart

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is struggling to contain serious power struggles within Zanu PF which have reached a tipping point following chaotic provincial elections.

The 89-year-old last week met with senior party officials in a bid to resolve the fall-out between factions battling to succeed him.

The meeting was held at Zimbabwe House.

The veteran leader was briefed of the irregularities and chaotic manner in which Zanu PF provincial elections were held in three provinces.

A faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru was accused of cheating and vote-buying in the polls, a charge the faction strenuously denies.

Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, are front-runners in the race to succeed Mugabe but both deny leading any factions.

Provincial elections were held in Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central where John Mvundura, Jason Machaya and Luke Mushore were respectively declared winners, amidst accusations of vote-rigging through the use of fake voting slips.

Mugabe was briefed of the events in Mashonaland Central where six districts did not vote.

Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema, who was the presiding officer in the hotly-disputed election, was yet to give his report when the Mashonaland Central results were announced on radio.

Citing irregularities and the outstanding vote in those six districts, senior Zanu PF officials recommended the nullification of the results.

The State media, in particular, the Herald, ran a billboard announcing Mugabe had nullified the results. However, the story was not reported in its news pages.

Mugabe was said to be still digesting the Mashonaland Central report during his visit to the Far East.

“(The) politburo has not as yet received results from Mashonaland Central province. Equally, the politburo is still to receive a report which accompanies the same," Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba told the media.

“It is only when the politburo has been favoured with both the results and the accompanying report that it is in a position to study both before taking a decision.”

To underline the extent of the chaos, Rugare Gumbo,  Zanu PF secretary for information and publicity, contradicted an instruction given by Mugabe to his spokesperson, Charamba, to advise the media that the politburo was still to receive results of the Mashonaland Central provincial elections.

In a statement issued on Friday, Information minister Jonathan Moyo advised that the president’s directive as conveyed through Charamba was the correct and only official position regarding the status of the results of the Zanu PF elections for the provincial executive in Mashonaland Central.

“There can be no executive authority in Zanu PF higher than the party’s President and First Secretary,” said the statement. “Any suggestion or claim to the contrary is mischievous to the extreme.”

But Didymus Mutasa, secretary for administration, who has been accused of fanning divisions by his rivals, appeared to suggest Mashonaland Central results stand.

Mutasa said the Herald was not always right and does not speak on behalf of the party.

He said all announcements were made through party spokesperson Gumbo, dismissing assertions that elections in Mashonaland Central had been nullified.

Tensions are simmering in the province and top Zanu PF officials who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday said they have beefed up their security.

“People have reasons to be scared and have thus beefed up their security as they fear the worst. I have personally increased the number of my bodyguards,” said one official.

To further complicate things, Zanu PF has set up an ad-hoc committee to supervise the party’s remaining seven provincial elections, after the vote was sullied by fraud allegations.

Simon Khaya-Moyo, Zanu PF national chairman, told a news conference at the party headquarters that the seven provinces will vote on November 23.

“The vice president and second secretary Joice Mujuru chairs the committee with the national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo, secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, and the secretary for commissariat Webster Shamu, as members,” Khaya-Moyo said.

The committee, ironically, is the one that is accused of organising the disputed polls on the provinces that have held elections so far.

Provincial elections are due in Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South.

“Politburo members and members of the central committee will be deployed from the party headquarters to supervise the elections,” Khaya-Moyo said.

Provincial team leaders are ministers Ignatius Chombo,  Obert Mpofu, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Nicholas Goche, Sydney Sekeramayi, David Parirenyatwa and politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

Zanu PF holds an elective congress in December 2014 where Mugabe’s successor is likely to emerge. Members of the provincial executive play a pivotal role in the election of members of the presidium.

According to Zanu PF’s constitution, an endorsement for any of the presidium positions which includes the president, first and second vice president and national chairperson, requires six out of 10 provinces.

Mujuru, who has publicly said she was ready to succeed Mugabe, has an edge over Mnangagwa in the current setup.

If Mugabe were to leave office, retire or be incapacitated, Mujuru, according to the new Constitution, will complete Mugabe’s term.

While she can complete Mugabe’s term, the party at either an extraordinary congress or congress, can elect a new leader who might not necessarily be Mujuru.

The provincial chairmen and their executives are key to securing presidential aspirants victory at the congress.

So far there are no concrete indications that the election results in the Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central will stand.

Monica Mutsvangwa and Larry Mavhima, who both lost controversially in the two polls respectively, have appealed against the outcome.

Mavhima and Dickson Mafios’ grievances are similar, with both complaining that some wards did not vote.

This is the second time that Zanu PF has violated its standing rules guiding the conduct of its elections.

In June, the party held chaotic primary elections which were not completed in one day as stipulated in its rule book.

Zanu PF has been forced to bend its rules to hold staggered elections when traditionally all the elections have been held simultaneously.

Comments (14)

Grace Mugabe should be groomed to succeed Mugabe when Mugabe retires, as simple as that ! ! !

Member - 17 November 2013

President Mugabe, if he is to bring sanity to ZANU-PF provincial politics, he has to promote the Provincial Chairpersons to either to the Central Committee or the Politburo. The Chairpersons, particularly those with money, use their positions to corrupt the system. There is one Chairperson who is known to dole money and hampers and paying for hotel accommodation for corrupted voters around the days of voting. In short President Mugabe's wish for free and credible provincial elections will be subtouged by Provincial Chairpersons espetionally there is one who claims that he can buy anyone in Zimbabwe, and his province borders Mozambique. President Mugabe is the only one who has the power to save party democracy.

Brown Dhemba - 17 November 2013

Provincial chairperson, central committee, politiburo, blah blah. Zimbos want jobs, clean water, and decent healthcare. Just get rid of these geriatrics and their clueless, thieving sidekicks. 33yrs and we are worse off than in 1980. Blame it on the 'sanctions' boogeyman. No country in the world has so many natural resources as us. And yet we are poor. This is plain stupid.

Moe - 17 November 2013

With all these divisions, a neutral person is now required to succeed Mugabe in order to save the part from further cracks. Simon Khaya Moyo is a better candidate for that.

todini - 18 November 2013

ko kana zvidai paparty level zvakadini pageneral election

JOSEPH - 18 November 2013

It's good to have people in Zanu pf who are positioning themselves for the top job but none of the above mentioned people has the audacity to get that blessing from Mugabe. He has a successor in his own melancholy mind. The mendacity that is taking center stage in Zanu pf is caused by Mugabe's idea of stillness towards this fundamental issue. Whereas, one person is being groomed to take over. Despite his controversy and a period of introversy he bounced back again as a spin doctor. Jonathan went on to lose a parliamentary election which he won in the past outside Zanu pf circles. Nevertheless, the same President who had pronounced not to give a ministerial post to any losing candidate had to award him with a powerful ministry. Moreover, the minister of information is the only minister who is always with his deputy trying to prove a spirit of togetherness between the two and this is going well with his boss. He is up for a rise and he is making it a priority to lure the media into believing that he is the right person to get the job done. However, mending the once fragile relationship with the media and expecting favors in return when the time comes. All his efforts are for positioning himself according to the promises he got from Bob. Nobody knows the day and time but signs and wonders vindicates Emmerson and Mai Mujuru out of the equation hence Jonathan might be successor.

Shepy Tarzy - 18 November 2013

Okay. So today the Herald is not the spokesperson of ZANU PF? And today there is a dichotomy between the government and ZANU PF? What double standards. It becomes correct when it suits them nhai ! Nxaaa. It sucks

Mukorekore Mukuru - 18 November 2013

Zanu Pf is very good at rigging just imagine they rigg their own party elections kuzoti pave pa national election saka kana 31 july election was free and fair then the zanu elections are free and fair why kuita noise yekubirirwa kana zanu isiri mbavha nxaaaa.

Bob89 - 18 November 2013

Its not mujuru who will complete mugabe' s term.mujuru will only take over for 90 days and within that period a party that was holding the presidency nominates a person to complete the term.this is what the law prescribes and this will be in force for the next ten years whenafter the defered running mate clauses will come into this light to say mujuru will complete mugabe's term is not factual and backed by any law or regulation as things obtain or maybe.

kingston magaya - 18 November 2013

Sherpy Tarzy stop that bronco you are taking .....Mugabe appointing Jonathan Moyo as successor .....are you serious

Dread - 18 November 2013

Munhu ane game rese ndi Jonathan Moyo. Succession stories are now the mainstay of both the Herald and the DN. It would be expected in DN but that multiple succession stories feature in the Herald is suspect. JM is the puppet master

hohoda - 19 November 2013

Rega uone iwe!!!!!!!! Nhaka hakudliwi rinopisa.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 19 November 2013

We are tired your stories ,,,like it or not He is your President Viva Zanu,,,President Mugabe is a legend like it or not where do you get fact stories ,you said houses is gonna demolished on Tuesday we are still waiting for your Tuesday isingasvike be ashamed my\r editor.

Ghetto ambassodor - 19 November 2013

@Dread Thanks for your advice am now taking marijuana but the truth remains the same.

Shepy Tarzy - 26 November 2013

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