Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF has dismissed as “utter rubbis” reports in some sections of the private media that party members were making manoeuvres to stampede President Mugabe from power before the end of his term of office.
The party’s provincial structures on Tuesday reacted angrily to the reports and reaffirmed unconditional support for the President, saying the media were fomenting non-existent divisions in the party.
This followed a litany of concocted stories by the private media projecting alleged deep-rooted divisions in the party based on factional and succession lines.
The stories alleged that some senior Zanu-PF officials did not want President Mugabe to finish his current term of office though voted for in the 2013 harmonised elections.
In separate interviews, Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons said the stories, which were always confirmed by faceless sources, were a creation of the media in a foiled bid to destabilise the party.
One such story was published by the Daily News on Tuesday claiming that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted to force President Mugabe to retire before the end of his current term, which expires in 2018.
Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios (pictured) said: “We do not know where that speculation is coming from and we do not run the party through the media.
“We have taken a resolution that our candidate for 2018 is President Mugabe and why should people talk about succession when his term of office is still running?
“We cannot talk about the wishful thinking of the media because our President was endorsed by thousands of Zimbabweans who voted for him in 2013. That position was further endorsed by our Congress and by our annual National People’s Conferences. There is no way the party can be directed by the media to deviate from its resolutions.”
Cde Mafios said instead of being obsessed with succession issues, the media should direct its efforts towards development.
He said the picture portrayed by the media was not good for prospective investors.
“Unless the media wants to cause political upheavals in the country, this kind of reportage is not good,” he said.
“We have other things to concentrate on rather than succession.”
In Harare, provincial chairman Cde Charles Tawengwa said: “It’s hallucination of the media. The President was endorsed long back and I do not know where that is coming from.”
Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Ephraim Chengeta said they stood by their endorsement of President Mugabe as the party’s sole candidate for 2018 national elections and 2019 party Congress.
“In any case, the President’s support is actually growing in our province. Reports of divisions and other unsubstantiated things in the party are mere talk by the media that should not be taken seriously.
“You will see at the upcoming one million men march that President Mugabe is a darling of the people and as a province we are mobilising massively for that event,” he said
Cde Bernard Makokove, who is the ruling party’s Mashonaland East acting provincial chair, said: “There is no change to our Congress resolution. As a province we do not have any talk about succession and we are solidly behind our President and First Secretary.”
Masvingo acting provincial chair Cde Amasa Nhenjana said: “Some of these newspapers want to create fictitious divisions in the party and we are not going to be moved by that. President Mugabe commands great support and thinking of dislodging him will be a matter of wasting time.”