Mugabe meets faction leaders

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe  today comes face to face with angry Zanu PF faction leaders during the party’s politburo meeting amid fears that top politicians jostling to replace the 90-year-old are prepared for an open showdown with the veteran leader.

Mugabe will chair the key meeting of his ruling party’s top decision-making body with key rivals involved in the political rivalry that has beset the country for the past weeks, expected to engage in angry exchanges.

The deep-seated tensions in Zanu PF, that reached fever pitch after Mugabe’s wife, Grace entered politics following her endorsement to become head of the ruling party’s Women’s League, have caused unprecedented clashes, escalated factional fighting, and threatens to bring down one faction.

Grace, 49, who is set to take over as Zanu PF Women’s League secretary in December at the party’s annual congress, will secure a seat in the party’s powerful politburo, amid fierce resistance and in a move widely seen as an effort to stymie vice president Joice Mujuru from succeeding Mugabe.

Mujuru is said to be battling Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

The two factions have been trading accusations with the Mujuru camp accusing the Mnangagwa group of feeding Mugabe with lies, including that they were opposed to Grace’s ascendency.

But the Mnangagwa camp is insisting that Mujuru is against Grace and this seems to have angered Mugabe who in the process of protecting and defending his wife, has stormed into the factional fights in one corner.

Mugabe  declared he was convening an emergency meeting to discuss allegations of vote-buying and intimidation which characterised the party’s Women’s and Youth League conferences last month.

The meeting comes as chaos reigned in Harare South yesterday after anti-riot police moved in to stop a Zanu PF protest against Harare provincial political commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe, who reportedly asked politburo member Patrick Zhuwao to accommodate Grace in Mashonaland West province.

Mashayamombe yesterday alleged Zhuwao was a serial liar and loser.

“I was shocked by the allegations that Zhuwao made in the newspapers,” Mashayamombe told the Daily News yesterday.

“I never phoned him or approached him over Amai Mugabe. Zhuwao is just abusing his relationship with his uncle to tarnish my image.

“In any case, if I want to engage with the Mashonaland West province, I approach the provincial political commissar, so there is no reason why I would have called Zhuwao. He is a serial liar and a loser. I won this constituency with over 21 000 votes and Zhuwao lost in the party’s primaries.”

Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew, told Mugabe’s welcoming party at the Harare International Airport last weekend that  Harare province had asked him to “accommodate” the First Family in party structures in Mashonaland West, Mugabe’s home province.

Mugabe said no one had the right to make that call.

“We are all in Harare; it is not your city alone, we all belong to Harare,” Mugabe said. “I am saying so because I heard someone sending my nephew to go and tell Mai Mugabe to leave Harare.

“I want to hear why she should leave Harare, going where? I would also want to know where the emperor of Harare (Mashayamombe) got his powers from,” Mugabe said to rapturous applause amid shouts of “weevils”.

Mashayamombe, who is also the Harare South legislator, alleged there were people misinforming Mugabe.

“As Harare province, we endorsed Amai Mugabe to take over the leadership of the Women’s League,” he said. “But some people are telling the president the wrong things saying people in Harare don’t want Amai Mugabe. We have people not from Harare making malicious statements about the leadership in Harare and this is bad.”

Zanu PF Harare youth chair, Godwin Gomwe, has also accused Mashayamombe of attempting to hijack Mugabe’s welcoming rally by distributing bales of T-shirts bearing faction-related messages.

The legislator alleged that there are senior party members pushing for his ouster.

“Gomwe is being used by some senior people to fight the Harare leadership,” he said. “Gomwe was busy phoning youths telling them to go to my constituency as president Mugabe was going to address them. This was a ploy to get the youths here and make them demonstrate against me.

“I got wind of the plot and phoned Gomwe and he denied it, saying he was not involved. Thirteen youths who came here were arrested.”

Youths, who were in support of Mashayamombe, yesterday accused two politburo members  of being the brains behind the Harare turmoil.

“We know the two politburo members (names supplied) who are using Gomwe to undermine the Harare leadership and we will not sit and let this happen,” said Elliot Mafu, a Zanu PF youth.

“We must remove Gomwe because he is useless. As youths in Harare, we are saying he has failed in his mandate to represent us. He must go.”

One official said the meeting “is expected to decide on key party organisation and personnel matters as well as major policies,” added the official.

Officials said Mugabe’s intervention, which has deepened uncertainty over the party’s future, was a major step to deal with widening ructions in Zanu PF.

Insiders said they wanted “everyone” to start a dialogue aimed at ending the protracted political crisis.

Mujuru was said to be planning to “set the record straight” about her reported plan to succeed Mugabe, who was re-elected last year.

Comments (20)

To those who feel it appropriate, lets pray for our country. Prayer makes a difference. A little pose and few words is what is needed in times like these.

pastor - 3 September 2014

Needless to say,Daily news-Mnangwagwa is not the minister of Defence,get your facts correct. However, in my view the issue of succession is one which President cannot run away particularly at this time as his career is now in its twilight. He can decide to stand again as Zanu Pf candidate for 2018 but that will not stop the succession debate as it has become unviodable that one way or the other he has to leave office. The moment this octogenarian leader decides to shut dissenting voices in his part as he used to do the more implosions.

dende - 3 September 2014

What we do know is that zany pf and robby bobby have never had the interests of Zimbabwe and its people at heart. However zany pf top brass are now finding out ,whilst waiting patiently ( actually ass creeping ) in line, for top positions that their boss ,robby bobby, never had them in mind either. As we have now seen, he had other ideas all along ie Grace's Grand entrance to the stage. So the plan to keep bob in power to stop him from being prosecuted no matter what has backfired. Now we can see , bobs hidden agenda , was to actually groom Grace , while she matured politically and was now ready to take her fathers ,oops sorry, husbands job.

ronaldos - 3 September 2014

Suppose Mashayamombe said so,is there any problem?Time is gone when other people think they own the party.This is a revolutionary party it has no owners its from the people for the people and to the people.Frankly speaking who is he to force the people to take what they dont want.its clear sober Zanu pf elements we dont want the ascendancy of mai Mugabe.They cant continue to make our government a kitchen party event and our glorious party a circus.the so-called weevils is the man himself and those still opposing the will of the people.Let Cde Mnagwangwa or Mujuru take the reins without causing them discomfort.Yes Pamberi ne Zanu Pf kwete nemunhuwo zvake who is also just a part of it.

carson Macate - 3 September 2014

So why all of a sudden this old man is being told by any tom and jack that so and so said they don't like him/his wife? Now who is flip flopping? You have lost the plot old man. Chienda unoroya kumusha nedzimwe harahwa

chido - 3 September 2014

Mugabe Roby, Mugabe Gracy and Zhuwayo sitting in the Zanu - pf Politburo. A dynasty in the making. Soon Roby Jnr and Super mandiwanzira will join the club. Watch out

Sarangu - 4 September 2014

Where is that fool Jim Kunaka? Has he also been discarded like pampers or tissue paper?

Chipoto vhaivhai - 4 September 2014

i think joyee shld tek over askana ,joyce askana pinda munzira utonge

ngulumba - 4 September 2014

Age plays a very important role in Zimbabwean politics. ZanuPF's Monica Chigudu lied to Parliament and told an MDC MP, “You MDC people must mind your own business. You have no inkling of how this country was fought for. Don't belittle our ministers in our presence”. The MDC MP was probably too young to know what happened. The MDC MP was taken in by ZanuPF version of events which are lies. The fighting by Zanu and Zapu had no connection in the attainment of black rrule. If I was an MP I would have given the House a blow-by-blow account of how black rule was attained, and that Zanu and Zapu were forced to the Lancaster House Conference by the Front Line State Presidents, Nyerere, Kaunda and Machel. The danger is that the true events will slowly be overtaken by Zanu and Zapu propaganda that they defeated Smith when nothing of the sort ever happened. It was Zanu and Zapu who were FORCED to the negotiating table, not by Smith, but by Front line state Presidents. I have got the newspaper cuttings as proof.

Musona - 4 September 2014

atanga munhu uya. pfuti mukoma ndiyo yakamanikidza negotiations. without war there would not have been lancaster house. munhu adzidziswa nasmith angoti kudii?

taurai - 4 September 2014

"I won this constituency with over 21 000 votes and Zhuwao lost in the party's primaries.” Really, if a suburb as densely populated as Glen Norah failed to achieve that number of votes; where did 21 000 votes emanate from in a sparsely populated area? Kusanyara!

tomasi ndofeni tohwi - 5 September 2014

Someone said pray for our country but I would pray for the devil, ZANU PF to succeed. You know you would be struck with lightning.

George Kamande - 7 September 2014

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