Factional fights have erupted in the ruling Zanu PF party ahead of elections for central committee members slated for this weekend.
The central committee is the principal and highest decision-making body of the party, and officials have opened the floor for aspiring members to submit CVs for vetting, with elections to be held on Saturday.
On Friday, the last day of submission, there was a last-minute rush by aspiring candidates to submit CVs.
Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha recently issued a circular on set minimum qualifications for participation in the elections.
A party insider said they had set traditional conditions for one to take part in the central committee elections.
“The central committee can make the drastic decisions of the party and have the power to change the national leadership of the party by calling for a congress unlike all organs of the party. They have set conditions of at least 15 years serving in the party and at least five years in the provincial executive. If you have served at least 15 years in the party you might have a better appreciation of the party,” the source said.
In Manicaland sources, who spoke to this publication, said former Agriculture minister Joseph Made, former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, former Information minister Christopher Mushohwe, and former local government deputy minister, Christopher Chingosho could fall by the wayside. The quartet will be eager to make it into the top four in the (Makoni) district where Information Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere and Shadreck Chipanga are ruling the roost.
“In Makoni district, there is a bid to inject new blood with the likes of Muswere and Chipanga expected to be elected into the central committee, and we are aware that Chingosho is being frustrated,” an official said.
Other Zanu PF bigwigs in Nyanga district who handed in their CVs for the central committee positions are Nyanga South legislator Supa Mandiwanzira, current central committee member Moses Gutu, former Nyanga North legislator Hubert Nyanhongo, and current Nyanga North legislator Chido Sanyatwe.
The tide is reportedly favouring Sanyatwe and Gutu. Bimha refused to comment on factionalism but said preparations for the elections were at an advanced stage.
“Preparations for the central committee elections are at an advanced stage but l don’t know about factionalism,” he said.
There are also indications that some senior Zanu PF members preferred to contest for positions in rural areas, especially in Mashonaland West. The most notable shift was made by Zanu PF spokesperson and war veteran leader Christopher Mutsvangwa who submitted papers to be considered for a central committee position representing Mhondoro-Mubayira. The shift is seen as an indication that Mutsvangwa would contest in Mhondoro-Mubayira, his rural home in next year’s elections having stood previously as a candidate for Norton.
In Zvimba, West Marian Chombo submitted her papers although sources in Zanu PF said her undoing could be her not having been a provincial member for five years as per one of the requirements.
Out-of-favour Webster Shamu submitted his CV for consideration ahead of former Zanu PF youth chairperson Vengai Musengi in Chegutu East. Former Harare North legislator Terence Mukupe is planning a comeback in his rural home of Hurungwe North. Mukupe will fight it out with senior members Rueben Marumahoko and Ability Gandawa.
Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna will face off against Abia Mujeri and Tapera Table.
Deputy minister of Media, Information and Publicity Kindness Paradza is poised for a central committee position despite a challenge from Pheneas Makumbe. In Chinhoyi Economic Empowerment Group (EEG) president Mike Chimombe will fight it out with Alderman Marashwa, Charles Mutisi and Alderman Simba Kanzou
All members who successfully submitted CVs awaits recommendations by the provincial co-ordinating committee this afternoon.
In Mashonaland West, officials resolved that Ziyàmbi Ziyambi, Mutsvangwa, Douglas Mombeshora and Madzongwe will not be contested. Newsday