Succession: Zanu PF boils

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is in turmoil as party heavyweights publicly continue to clash as the battle to succeed the 89-year-old leader reaches boiling point.

Chaotic and controversial provincial elections, which have been marred by massive vote-rigging, intimidation and vote-buying, have laid bare the factional fighting between a camp led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and another fronted by vice president Joice Mujuru.

So brutal has been the fight that the ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services has been roped into the storm amid accusations and counter-accusations between the ministry and officials in the party.

In an unprecedented development, the factional fights have spilled over to the State media where top Zanu PF officials are engaging in vicious wars of words.

The ministry of Information has entered the fray arguing that they are articulating Mugabe’s position on the provincial elections but Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo is refusing to budge saying Information minister Jonathan Moyo and permanent secretary George Charamba have no business commenting on Zanu PF.

Yesterday, Gumbo accused Moyo of indulging in Orwellian spin saying the minister and those backing him were seeking to have provincial election results reversed.

Gumbo said that plans to nullify the Mashonaland Central results, due to be put before the politburo on Wednesday, would not pass the test.

Gumbo had no kind words for Moyo and Charamba in an interview with the Daily News yesterday.

Charamba told the media last week that his boss had instructed him to make it clear that the politburo has not as yet received results for Mashonaland Central province.

He said it was only when the politburo has been favoured with both the results and the accompanying report that it will be in a position to study both before taking a decision.

Gumbo contradicted the instruction ostensibly given by Mugabe to his spokesperson, saying he was the spokesperson of the party and no one else.

But in a statement issued by Moyo, he 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.

Luke Mushore was declared winner in Mashonaland Central against incumbent Dickson Mafios.

“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 Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that as far as his office was  concerned, polls went well and the announced results stand.

“Jonathan Moyo is a government minister and I am the party spokesperson, and what I said, I said so after consulting relevant people,” Gumbo said.

“The party is not run from the ministry of Information, it is run from the party’s headquarters,” Gumbo said, adding: “Government is not bigger than the party.”

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

Mugabe was briefed on 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.

Party insiders say Nhema, the man who should have announced the results in Bindura, the provincial capital, refused to do so due to irregularities noted in the vote, forcing Gumbo to make the announcement.
A top Zanu PF insider yesterday insisted that Gumbo was wrong and accused the party spokesperson of defying Mugabe using Moyo and Charamba as shields.

“Cde Gumbo is not serious. Either he is foolish or he is fighting the president. How else do you define his strange behaviour? Firstly, the president has come up with a position and he is defying him. How can he announce results on TV and national newspapers without briefing the party first. Even the president is getting results from the media, is that not strange?

“In Manicaland, Cde Mnangagwa announced the poll results there and then in Midlands, Cde Muchinguri (Oppah) did the same, but why did Gumbo, a national spokesperson, do so for Mashonaland Central?” queried the party source. “ ran away with the Mashonaland Central results and report only for Gumbo to appear in the press announcing the results. It’s ridiculous.”

Gumbo said the results he announced stood.

“The results I announced stand as presented by Cde Francis Nhema, the election coordinator,” Gumbo told the Daily News. “I announced the results representing the party and not individual interests. I will not pander to self-interest of certain ambitious individuals. I talk for the politburo and the central committee.”

The stand-off reflects deepening and increasingly widening cleavages between rival factions aligned to Mujuru and Mnangagwa, girding to takeover the party leadership.

While Moyo said the president’s directive as conveyed through Charamba was the correct and only official position, Gumbo — who is said to be in the Mujuru camp — alleged that Charamba could as well not have been talking on behalf the president “but other interests and is not actively involved in the running of Zanu PF.”

“Charamba is just a mere civil servant and the party is not run by civil servants,” Gumbo told the Daily News.

Gumbo further alleged that Charamba was trying to create a rift between him and the party leader.

“Those are tricks to try and create a rift between me and the president,” Gumbo said.

“But we know each other, we have been in this game for a long time from way back in the 60s, I would never defy the president because I speak for the party.

“I announced the results after getting a brief from Cde Francis Nhema and the secretary for commissariat (Webster Shamu), I don’t speak for myself, I don’t pander to self-interest.”

In addition to the stand-off, there will be a renewed push to endorse elections held in Manicaland, the Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces amid allegations of vote-rigging which have seen losing candidates challenging the results.

Although Mujuru and Mnangagwa have both denied leading any faction, reports suggest that they are positioning themselves to take over from Mugabe when he leaves either through retirement or natural means.

Insiders yesterday told the Daily News that Mugabe was angry that he was not officially told about the outcome of polls from Mashonaland Central, only to hear the results through State TV.

“Mugabe only got to know of the Mashonaland Central results on television, yet all the other members of the presidium were briefed before. Protocol requires that mukuru (President) must be briefed before an issue becomes public,” said a well-placed party insider.

The Daily News has also been told that Mugabe is receiving daily dosages of reports of the infighting in the Far East where he is on government business. Sources said he is also getting daily briefings of newspaper reports as the faction fighting is now being fought in the media.

Meanwhile, party sources alleged that Ignatius Chombo, the Local Government minister’s suggestion in an interview with a State weekly yesterday that polls should be postponed until the party’s conference in December, was a ploy to buy time for his brother, Nimrod Chiminya, who is vying for the provincial chairmanship post.

Chombo suggested that it would be ideal if polls were to be postponed so that the ruling party would have time to plan.

But officials said the Zvimba North legislator had vested interests in the issue as his brother does not have a huge support base against his competitors, Temba Mliswa, Phillip Chiyangwa and incumbent chair John Mafa.

Polls in Mashonaland West were postponed for two weeks amid allegations of vote-buying by some contestants.

Comments (33)

I think its high time, the presidium is dissolved from vice president downwards. Surely have never heard of a party spokeperson announce results when the presiding officer is there and Nhema did not want to announce because he knew of what had transpired and was not happy. This Rugare Gumbo is becoming dangerous. Chickens are coming home to roost, We know his history in the liberation struggle which is leaves a lot to be desired. The 3 elections held were a farce and that is it and should be re run. There were not free and fair, were not credible. Everyone know that, even a someone in a rocket flying past could have noticed that there was massive rigging and irregularities going on. Gumbo must be told that he was avoided by the President in conveying of the status of the Mashonaland Central Province because the President is no longer trusting him and must be rest assured that he will lose that post come 2014 congress. Anyone with opened eyes can see that the is a sinister agenda that is in place, especially by members of the so called presidium. We do not want to beat by the bushes. These people are up to no good and are destroying Zanu Pf. I f you look at these people carefully you see that there are just armchair politicians and government ministers or officials. They do not feature much when it comes to fight for the party or play any meaningful role for the survival of the party and when things comes to shove, they bury their heads in sand like the proverbial ostrich. The people who are undisputably destroying the party and have this sinister agenda are Joyce Mujuru, Simon Khaya moyo, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Webster Shamu, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu. Most of these have constituted themselves in what is laughably called national directorate to supervise the provincial election. Oh God help us.

Marawa - 18 November 2013

I wonder why the writer is interested in the goings-on in Zanu PF! What about the fighting in MDC T over the Tsvangirayi issue. this is indeed gutter journalism.

Godfrey Gudo - 18 November 2013

Why did Cde Mugabe convey his message to a govt spokesman rather than to the party spokesman? Isn't it strange? Jonso and George Charamba have involved themselves in a matter they are too young to handle!

Boorangoma - 18 November 2013

Cde stop talking about Cde Gumbo th@ way. Isu takanga tiriko tinoziva chokwadi chakaitika. Nobody is clean including the President himself. Let's talk about what is happening now, the President thrieves on confusion to justify his permanent stay as leader. Once there is a clear way of succession our party President will always bring disunity then he will ask the question, "how can I leave when there is disunity".

Nimrod Chiminya - 18 November 2013

Zvatosvorana gonzo nachin'ai. Rega uone iweeeeeeeeeeeee! Nhaka hakudliwi rinopisa vabiyangu.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 18 November 2013

Zimbabweans never be fooled. Mugabe himself is behind all these machinations so that he justifies his unwelcome stay in power. With this created confusion, people within ZANU PF will not even push Mugabe to go, but will want him to stay so that neither faction is a victor. His other strategy is to divert attention from him. Now pressure is off him but the fighting factions. The good news is the majority of Zimbabweans are not interested in whats happening in ZANU because its not gonna bring any food to their tables whther Mujuru, Mnangagwa or Mugabe himself. All are failures and have faild the nation.

Ziziharinanyanga - 18 November 2013

This is a reflection of what happened on the 31st of July 2013.

Musoja - 18 November 2013

Tinozviziva kuti magumo enyu mose avepedyo.Vamwe through natural means vamwe through coups.Hakuna manyepo anorarama nekusingaperi.Kutonga hakudi ganyabvu nekuginyavhura sezvamunoita izvi.Rugare Gumbo pamberi newe.Ndiwe uchaspiller beans bcz tinokuziva kuti you are a bitter man.The president of zanupf sidelined you in the last appontments so you have got a score to settle.the good part is that nothing will happen to you cz ndiwe uneyese yaitambika kuhondo zvose nemascrets ese.Ifa wataura.Udza Zimbabwe kuora kwakaita Zanu unofa wavegamba rechokwadi.

MHONDI DZOPONDANA - 18 November 2013

Remember maputo 1978 when gumbo and hamadziripi tried to topple mugabe from the leadership of zanu, how tongo saved him by detaining the renegades led by the duo. gumbo is at it again trying to get at mnangagwa who at that time is believed to have caused his arrest. its tit for tat. but iyi mnangagwa hauhwine nekuti bob ari kuda joyce for the throne.

cde churucheminzwa - 18 November 2013

Last week i commented that mukuru a.k.a. Mugabe strives on chaos like some creatures prosper and multiply in faeces and darkness.Strong words, maybe, but the point here is,while Mugabe and company are engaging in this brinkmanship ,they will loose focus on the real bread and butter issues that got them elected in first place.OR worse still,some among the different factions will revisit the strategy horned to perfection in the GNU of frustrating any meaningful contribution coming from those they disagree with.And where will that leave us,isu mapovo?

mascara - 18 November 2013

@Godfrey Gudo . Is ZANU PF issues not news worth reading? Mind you this is the governing party. We need to know what is happening. So you want the reporter to write MDC news only day and night.

Bruno - 18 November 2013

There is no art to find the mind's construction in the face.Surely Shakespeare's Julius Casaer is being portrayed here. Conspiracy!cospiracy!Cry my beloved country .Politicians fighting each other at the expense of serving the people.Sure power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.Jonathan Moyo wants to use the herald to prop up his ambitions remember the Tsholo debacle.He was promised the vice presidency by Ngwena.Zvino ropa raMujuru harizorori.If they can rig their own elections what then happened on the cursed 31st.

Aluta continua - 18 November 2013

@Aluta continua. I agree with everything you said except for one issue. You say the ZANU PF fights are "at the expense of serving the people". Nothing could be further from the truth. These people have no intention of serving the people. They want to siphon as much national wealth as they can. All these fights are about who sits next to "the pot of wealth". It's all about them and themselves alone!

Boorangoma - 18 November 2013

I don't see anything abnormal with this. These are power struggles. You can find this within the MDCT, in SWAPO, in ANC and even in CCP of Tanzania. There is no reason to celebrate.

jurist - 18 November 2013

Who cries foul play here ,what do they expect yet they rigged elections and stole the people's victory MDC.Zanu PF as long as it is in power Zimbabwe will continue to decay exponentially

Moyo Chirandu - 18 November 2013

Those who claim that the succession chaos is Mugabe' s plan are living in denial.There is rampant if not deadly factionalism.The Mujuru /Mnangagwa turf war is real.Dont credit Mugabe with everything, he is not a demi god.

theobserver - 18 November 2013

Those who claim that the succession chaos is Mugabe' s plan are living in denial.There is rampant if not deadly factionalism.The Mujuru /Mnangagwa turf war is real.Dont credit Mugabe with everything, he is not a demi god.

theobserver - 18 November 2013

Those who claim that the succession chaos is Mugabe' s plan are living in denial.There is rampant if not deadly factionalism.The Mujuru /Mnangagwa turf war is real.Dont credit Mugabe with everything, he is not a demi god.

theobserver - 18 November 2013

Those who claim that the succession chaos is Mugabe' s plan are living in denial.There is rampant if not deadly factionalism.The Mujuru /Mnangagwa turf war is real.Dont credit Mugabe with everything, he is not a demi god.

theobserver - 18 November 2013

chicken are coming home to roost ZANU (PF)

Mari Manyemba - 18 November 2013

if ZANU manages to come out of this strong then vachatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga

Mari Manyemba - 18 November 2013

if ZANU manages to come out of this strong then vachatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga

Mari Manyemba - 18 November 2013

The chaos in ZANU (PF) can only stop when leadership positions at all levels are contested rather than having appointees as per the POLITBURO. Ngwena has always won but has been sidelined because of tribalism. He is ZANU (PF's) saviour coz the Party is still in power through his sterling efforts but the powers that be choose to reward the faint-hearted who have not steadfastly stood for the ideals of the liberation struggle. Long live Ngwena, the Crocodile.

Chief C harumbira - 18 November 2013

Chief Charumbira question for you: What exactly are Ngwena's sterling efforts? The man had been losing elections until recently when a rural constituency was created for him. So remind us again how this man's efforts have saved the party? Just wonderingly loudly!!

Chipikiri - 19 November 2013

Mai mujuru mutengesi. vaipa masecretes enyika na president kuma americans and british.pasi nezvimbwasungata.

cde mabhunu muchapera - 19 November 2013

The very moment some of us have been waiting for...the beginning of the end...let the games begin and confusion reign..!

mammoth castle - 19 November 2013

Hey you fool Ray Gudo uri gudo zvechokwadi unoti MDC T news ndo news here sei usingade kuti tizive chokwadi Thats good news we must know Zanu pf is very good at rigging so that means 31st July election was rigged simple.

Bob89 - 19 November 2013

@Marawa i share the same opinion with you my brother .well said

bruno - 19 November 2013

Jonathan Moyo's behaviour could prove costly to the party. We are aware that he is the minister responsible for the media and thus has influence over ZBC and the Herald but that does not give him the license to articulate his position or that of a faction he sympathises or empathises with. We know that a person is naturally inclined to take sides but that should not blind him from his role as minister of information. He is not a journalist and must not be seen putting pen on paper for tomorrow's publication. That is certainly not for him nor is that role Charamba's..

The Herald -By George Charamba - 19 November 2013

siyayi zvigadzirisane

tired zimbabwean - 19 November 2013

@CHIPIKIRI,remember the antics used in the 2008 run off.thats ngwena

ngwena huru - 20 November 2013

divide and rule.

ndini uya - 21 November 2013

Gudo igudo zveshuwa. MDC yapinda papi? tongai handiti u won resoundinlgy kkkkkk. U can rig the elections and not the economy. Still blaming MDC over ur failures and incompetency. Shame

ndini uya - 21 November 2013

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