Zanu PF Midlands poll furore deepens

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has slammed its members who are challenging the appointments made to the Midlands executive saying they were defying the politburo and promoting factionalism.

Webster Shamu, Zanu PF national political commissar, announced a new Midlands provincial executive last week at an emotionally-charged meeting held at Midlands Conference Centre.

This was after the last executive was dissolved following allegations of vote fraud.

However, some disgruntled party members insisted most of the names announced were of people who had gate-crushed, while some questioned why some who were absent were appointed to the national executive.

A number of key members perceived to be aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction were absent.

Among the notable absentees were Chiundura legislator Kizito Chivamba, who was retained as deputy chairperson of the province, secretary for the commissariat, Makhosini Hlongwane who is also the Mberengwa East MP; and the secretary for security Owen Ncube.

Prosper Muchando was appointed deputy chairperson for the youth wing while Espfina Nhari of Kwekwe was appointed deputy chairperson for the women’s league.

Mnangagwa’s son Junior was appointed secretary for Information and Publicity for the youth wing. Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said those challenging the appointments were defying the politburo.

“We do not want members to jostle for positions and promote factionalism,” Gumbo said.

“Their behaviour is amateurish and childish. I urge party members to concentrate on the economic blueprint, ZimAsset. We need to deliver on the promises we made to the people during the campaign trail last year.

“Those party members who claim that the appointments were null and void are misguided elements. Since the liberation struggle, party cadres respect and follow to the party’s procedures and programmes.

“As far as we are concerned, the national executive announced by the national commissar is valid.

“Cde Shamu liaised with the provincial chairperson (Jason) Machaya and all district coordinating officers’ to inform members to attend the meeting. Some then decided not to attend after some gurus in the Midlands Province told them not to.

“The same people who were absent are the ones refusing to accept the new national executive and we are not interested in their business.”

Gumbo said investigations will be carried out on what happened during the meeting and Shamu will brief the party’s national chairperson, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo on what transpired.

“Shamu would also brief the politburo about the disturbances during the meeting,” Gumbo said.

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