Provinces torn over presidium endorsement

HARARE - All 10 provinces in Zanu PF are in a quandary over a key decision on whether to endorse President Robert Mugabe only or the whole presidium at the party’s crucial elective congress in December.

While rival factions believed to be led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are agreed that Mugabe must secure a ringing endorsement, sharp differences  have emerged on the endorsement of  Mujuru and other members of the presidium.

A Mashonaland West provincial executive member who declined to be named told the Daily News yesterday that the Mnangagwa faction was working round the clock to block the endorsement of party national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo for the position of second vice president.

The faction, said the official, prefers the elevation of either of former Zipra commanders Phelekezela Mphoko and Ambrose Mutinhiri. The official said Khaya Moyo was a junior in the Zapu ranks. Khaya Moyo is believed to be a Mujuru loyalist.

The second vice president post is reserved for a senior ex-Zapu official.

“Normally, President Robert Mugabe is endorsed together with the entire presidium but this time around it is different as different factions are pushing for their candidates,” the official told the Daily News.

He added: “For example, Temba Mliswa, the provincial chair wants the province to endorse the entire presidium with Khaya Moyo as second VP but his deputy Ziyambe Ziyambe is leading a group that wants the provinces to endorse only president Mugabe.”

The development comes as the Mnangagwa faction plans to have either the Justice minister or his protégé Oppah Muchinguri challenge Mujuru for the vice presidency.

All the party’s 10 provinces have since endorsed Mugabe not only to continue as party president, but also as the Zanu PF candidate in the 2018 elections.

In Masvingo, confusion reigns supreme with party stalwarts distancing themselves from the province’s reported endorsement of Mujuru and Khaya Moyo as first and second vice president respectively.

The province is also believed to have said it would second Didymus Mutasa, the secretary for administration, to become national chairman.

However, Josiah Hungwe, the Psychomotor minister, who is believed to be loyal to the Mnangagwa faction, has since dismissed the line up as Kalisto Gwanetsa, the provincial chairman’s personal position.

Gwanetsa, a Mujuru loyalist, however, insists that Masvingo has endorsed the entire presidium.

He, however, said they had not yet decided on the national chairman’s post, saying the province would meet to consult in due course.

“What we have done is to endorse the presidium and I am only hearing from the press that we went on to endorse the secretary for administration to become national chairman. We are yet to meet over that,” Gwanetsa told the Daily News yesterday.

Matabeleland South chairman Andrew Langa said they had endorsed Mugabe and Mujuru to retain their positions.

The province was yet to decide on Khaya Moyo’s expected ascendancy to be second VP and his subsequent replacement.

In Matabeleland North, they are yet to reach consensus. But Richard Moyo, the provincial chairman, has told the State media that both Mphoko and Khaya Moyo were interested in the post.

Manicaland is also yet to deliberate on the matter while Mashonaland Central is said to be waiting for the decision that will be taken by other Matabeleland provinces.

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