Zanu PF has started targeting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s suspected backers following accusations that he is plotting against President Robert Mugabe.
On Friday, the ruling party’s commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and secretary for administration Ignatious Chombo descended on Masvingo where they signalled that another purge was looming in Zanu PF.
Mugabe has singled out Masvingo and Midlands as sources of divisions in Zanu PF, which he said had taken a tribal dimension.
“The message was very clear…. Kasukuwere said he was sent by the president to discipline the province,” the source said.
“He ordered the leadership to either dump Mnangagwa or face the music. He also said he would target the Midlands province.”
Kasukuwere is using Zanu PF’s ongoing voter mobilisation exercise to rein in suspected members of Mnangagwa’s faction.
The exercise started in Harare last Thursday before moving to Masvingo the following day. Kasukuwere was in Mashonaland Central province yesterday and was accompanied by Chombo, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo, women’s league secretary for administration Letina Undenge, Chiratidzo Mabuwa as well as war veterans linked to G40 led by George Mlala.
Today the team will be in Mashonaland West and in the Midlands as well as Matabeleland North during the week.
During the meetings, it is believed attempts would be made to build Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi’s profile.
Meanwhile, a Zanu PF youth league leader has claimed Mnangagwa’s top allies who included July Moyo were behind attacks against Mugabe at Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa’s funeral wake last month.
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi was accused of being Mugabe’s blue-eyed boy who was sent to poison fellow party members.
This happened soon after Mnangagwa fell ill during a rally addressed by Mugabe and there were claims that he was poisoned.
The poison allegations infuriated Mugabe and his wife Grace, who are angry that the VP did not act fast enough to dispute claims that he ate poisoned ice-cream from Gushungo Holdings.
And Masvingo’s Zanu PF youth chairperson Nobert Ndaarombe could have given ammunition to Mnangagwa’s rivals, who now want to go after his supporters after he wrote a letter implicating Moyo and others.
According to a letter to Zanu PF youth secretary Kudzai Chipanga and copied to Kasukuwere and Chombo dated September 11, Ndaarombe claimed the youths who targeted Mzembi and other MPs linked to G40 were influenced by senior party leaders.
“As a concerned member and chairman of the youth league, I carried out an investigation because this behaviour baffled me,” Ndaarombe wrote.
“I discovered that there were senior members of the party who had negatively influenced the group of youths to behave in an uncalled for manner.
“Besides threats of me being dismissed from the party, I would like to reveal these senior members who inspired this conspiracy as July Moyo [deputy secretary for administration in the politburo], Lovemore Matuke [deputy secretary for security in the politburo], Paul Mangwana [deputy secretary for legal affairs in the politburo], Clemence Makwarimba [central committee member] and Ezra Ruvai Chadzamira, the provincial chairman.”
He added: “This proves without doubt that these people acted with utter disregard of the name of His Excellency by dragging his name and brand into such self-created disputes.
“As Masvingo youths league province, we have been dented by this behaviour because the media has negative reports.
“We request that immediate action be taken to [discipline] these culprits before they disrupt the structures of the party and cause further confusion, especially those in the youth league because this did not only start at this funeral.
“They held rebellious PCC [provincial coordinating committee] meetings to denounce the first lady that appeared on television.”
Both Chipanga and Ndaarombe were not reachable for comment yesterday but an official in Zanu PF’s commissariat department confirmed that the letter was genuine.