Zvamaida Murwira and Tendai Mugabe
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday dismissed reports of alleged turbulence in Zanu-pf, saying the revolutionary party was united.
He said this while addressing journalists, senior Government officials and captains of industry in Harare where he launched a domestic appeal for food assistance following Government’s decision to declare a state-of-disaster owing to El Nino-induced drought.
VP Mnangagwa, who was responding to a question on whether or not hostilities between some party members would not affect food mobilisation efforts, said he read about the alleged differences in the Press, but had no differences with anyone.
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“We read about these things from the Press,” he said.
“In Zanu-pf, we are very comfortable and we are brothers and comrades, but we read about these things you are talking about in the Press and I do not know where you get them from.
“This is why, as a very revolutionary Government and progressive (party), we have been able to do what we are doing to make sure we take care of the lives of our people,” said VP Mnangagwa.
At the Press conference, VP Mnangagwa was flanked by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is reported to be opposed to him.
Media reports indicated that Minister Kasukuwere, who is also Zanu-pf national political commissar and some Zanu-pf Women’s League members were organising a demonstration against VP Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba.
They were said to be preparing to counter a threat by war veterans to bar Professor Jonathan Moyo from attending today’s Politburo meeting for using social media to attack fellow party members.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Cde Victor Matemadanda said they had exposed Prof Moyo enough and he was no longer relevant.
“He (Prof Moyo) is no longer a subject. He is now a dead donkey and to continue talking about him will be giving him unnecessary relevance. We have exposed him and it is now up the President to make a decision regarding his fate.”
Cde Matemadanda said it was clear that some elements in Zanu-PF had organised a parallel event to counter them.
He said the mischievous elements were attempting to set them up with civilian women and youths to cause violence.
Buhera South legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba said he was not happy by reports that there were people in Buhera who were part of the planned demonstration.
“You reported that some of the people coming for this demonstration are coming from Buhera. Tell us who these people are,” said Cde Chinotimba.
“As Buhera South, we will not be part of a plot against the party’s leadership. We know that there are people who are abusing the name of the First Family to push their agendas.”
Some Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons who spoke to The Herald yesterday confirmed that they had mobilised people at the behest of Cde Kasukuwere.
Cde Richard Moyo who is the Zanu-PF provincial chair in Matabeleland North said members of his provincial women’s league were coming to show solidarity with President Mugabe and to reaffirm his candidature as the party’s sole candidate for the 2018 harmonised elections.
Asked why they were reaffirming the President’s candidature after doing the same barely a month after the National People’s Conference in Victoria Falls, Cde Moyo said, “We were told by the national commissar to come to Harare.
“The women’s league is coming there to show solidarity with the President and thank him for the role he played as African Union chairman,” he said.
In Mashonaland Central, provincial chair Cde Ephraim Chengeta said they were coming to thank President Mugabe’s successful tour of duty as African Union chairman.
“We are coming to thank and support President Mugabe for the good work at the African Union,” he said.
Cde Chengeta said he was not aware that there was an underground move to turn the event into a demonstration against VP Mnangagwa.
“I am hearing that for the first time from you,” he said.
“We are mobilising as a province to show maximum support for the President.”
Midlands province said there was no formal communication from the commissariat and as such they were not coming.
“As a province, I don’t think that we are coming because there was no formal communication,” said Cde Mpereri.
“If there is something that is being planned nicodemously, we are not going to be part of it.”
Zanu-PF Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe said it was a programme for women.
“I think it’s proper that you get a comment from the women because they are the ones who are co-ordinating this programme,” he said.
“Get in touch with Cde (Eunice) Sandi or (Cde Sarah) Mahoka.”
In Mashonaland Central, provincial chair Cde Dickson Mafios said they were geared for the event.
He said they had mobilised 5 000 people mostly from Shamva, Bindura and Mazowe.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage and all administrative districts will be represented. By 5am, will be already at the Zanu-PF headquarters,” said Cde Mafios.
Other provinces could not be reached for a comment but yesterday Mashonaland East and Masvingo said there was no clarity on the purpose of the gathering from the commissariat department.