WASHINGTON DC —
The Zanu-PF probe team, tasked to deal with mounting factionalism in the party, was Thursday in the Midlands where it held closed door meetings with the provincial leadership.
The team led by party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has already been to Manicaland, Masvingo, Harare, Bulawayo and Mashonaland East where some aspiring candidates are already campaigning in defiance of a party directive.
Zanu-PF is still to announce its primary election dates. The team Friday will be in Matabeleland North and then Matabeleland South on Saturday.
The rifts within the party, analysts say, have made it difficult for Zanu-PF to agree on primary election guidelines, raising fears within some aspiring candidates that the Movement for Democratic Change is gaining ground ahead of them.
The probe team itself has caused divisions in the party with some factions like the one said to be led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa unhappy with its composition, alleging it supports another faction allegedly led by Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Political analyst and director of the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe, Philip Pasirayi, said it is going to be difficult to clean the mess in Zanu-PF.
“It is a party gripped by rampant factionalism. We know that the party is also haunted by the ghost of the so called ‘bhora musango. There is a possibility that ‘bhora musango’ can return to Zanu-PF because there are some people who are now disgruntled that change within the party has been delayed for far too long,” said Pasirayi.
VOA Studio 7 failed to reach Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo who attended Thursday’s meeting. The party’s deputy Information Director Psychology Maziwisa referred us back to Gumbo.
Meanwhile, some Zanu-PF heavyweights will face new challenges this year following the recent MDC-T primary elections in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North where several first time contenders won the right to represent the party in this year’s crucial elections.
Zanu-PF is yet to announce dates for its primary elections.
Roselyn Nkomo, wife of Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo, will most likely contest Jonathan Moyo of Zanu-PF, in Tsholotsho North while Mines Minister Obert Mpofu will battle it out with Lilindo Masuku in Umguza.
Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman and Insiza North Member of Parliament Andrew Langa, who will face Bekezela Mpofu of MDC-T, told Studio 7 his party will win most of the contested seats throughout the country because of its indegenization and land reform programmes, which he says are popular with the masses.