Zanu (PF), MDC-T leadership wrangles heat up

Fierce infighting is rocking both Zanu (PF), which is set for a rerun of provincial polls, and MDC-T, which intends to restructure here.

In Zanu (PF), tension is reportedly high between the warring factions led by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Joice Mujuru, after a politburo directive for the re-run of the disputed provincial polls.

Jostling for the provincial posts has reached fever pitch with supporters of the rival factions clashing on several occasions as they push for their favourite candidates.

The controversially elected provincial chairman, Retired Brigadier General Callisto Gwanetsa (Mujuru camp), who is also MP for Chiredzi south, is facing a challenge from his predecessor Alois Baloyi (Mnangagwa camp).

Several campaign meetings held over the weekend ended prematurely as party supporters clashed and verbally abused each other. “We held several meetings over the weekend to try and find common ground but all did not help,” said a senior official. “There is chaos everywhere because at it seems no one is in control and it has become a free-for-all.”

In Masvingo urban a meeting held at the Chiefs Hall recently ended prematurely after war veterans, divided along factional lines, clashed on the way forward.

“Some war veterans and party supporters are totally against the poll re-run while others are pushing for fresh elections,” added the official.

Heavyweights involved include Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire (Mujuru), and former governor and current Minister of Psychomotor activities in education, Josiah Hungwe (Mnangagwa). Meanwhile infighting spread to MDC-T, with several party bigwigs positioning themselves strategically ahead of the dissolution of the provincial leadership following calls for party president Morgan Tsvangirai to step down.

The entire provincial executive, led by Wilstaff Sitemere, has been linked to suspended deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma and the organising department, led by Nelson Chamisa, is expected to wield the axe.

Highly placed sources within the party said that the provincial executive has been trying all along to invite Chamisa to the province to whip the Sitemere leadership into line but the Kuwadzana legislator allegedly refused.

James Gumbie and Bernard Chiondengwa have thrown their hats into the ring to take over from Sitemere. Gumbie confirmed the he was eyeing a post in the provincial executive Chiondegwa could not be reached for comment.

Local youth leader Joseph Chamisa was recently beaten up for allegedly supporting Mangoma. He had his shirt torn and had to be ejected out of the meeting bleeding as commotion at the meeting raged on. Party supporters have called for the immediate dismissal of Sitemere, arguing that they still owe their allegiance to the MDC-T leader.

Sources said party business had been paralyzed in Masvingo as leaders are pointing fingers at each other over the Mangoma debacle.

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