Zanu (PF) bigwigs jostle for post

The suspension of Lovemore Matuke, the Zanu (PF) provincial chair for Masvingo, has led to a power struggle in this politically volatile province, pitting against each other two rival camps that traditionally fought for leadership in the area.

Sources told The Zimbabwean that while the camps, led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice president Joice Mujuru, were at it again, it appeared retired military and security chiefs also had a hand in replacing Matuke.

Callisto Gwanetsa and Gibson Mashingaidze, retired brigadier generals, were tipped to take over the provincial leadership of Masvingo, following a fall-out caused by the entry into politics of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke in a manner deemed unprocedural by Zanu (PF).

Matuke endorsed Kereke’s candidature for the July 31 election in defiance of a party directive to endorse Elias Musakwa. The party decided to fire Kereke from its ranks and suspend Matuke for alleged indiscipline.

“We have decided to make sure that we include former soldiers in the Masvingo provincial executive in order to ensure discipline within our ranks,” said a senior Zanu (PF) official. “We have to emphasise the issue of discipline and seniority in the party.”

Matuke has vowed to stage a come-back, claiming his innocence from the Kereke case.

“I will be seeking re-election, but you know I have to wait for my case to be finalised and then wait to be given a direction as to whether I am able to contest or not. I am not hurt by my suspension because I know my hands are clean and therefore there is nothing to worry about.”

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “We must make sure all rebels are flushed out and a new sober and obedient leadership is put in place.”

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