WASHINGTON DC —
The Zanu PF elections directorate is expected to descend on the Midlands province following public in-fighting at the weekend which exposed how deeply the ruling party is divided as the succession fight heats up.
Midlands and Masvingo provinces have not had substantive provincial executives since late last year as factional fights between those backing Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa intensified.
The county’s leading daily newspapers quoted Mrs. Mujuru and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa on Saturday as taking turns to attack their perceived rival Emmerson Mnangagwa and his backers, accusing the alleged ambitious group of attempting to topple Mr. Mugabe.
While Mrs. Mujuru accused her rivals of trying to circumvent the party's constitution by bidding for presidency from their lower party positions, it was Mutasa, a Mujuru ally, who went a bit further, telling party rivals the current Zanu PF top leadership was ordained to lead for life.
Mujuru was guest speaker at the Zanu PF Manicaland women’s inter-district congress held at Mutare's Marymount College.
In apparent reference to Mnangagwa's faction, Mutasa described those angling to snatch the presidency during the next Zanu PF congress as "rebels and fools".
Attempts to reach Mrs. Mujuru and Mnangagwa were, however, futile. The two have previously rejected the notion that they lead factions in the party.
President Robert Mugabe a few weeks ago singled them out and said it was not given that they will succeed him should he decide to step down.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the party electorate will be in the midlands to try and address the friction in the province.
Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said the succession dispute will continue to haunt Zanu PF for as long as the ageing Mr. Mugabe does not step down.
Meanwhile, police have summoned former MDC-99 leader, Job Sikhala, following his statement at the weekend that Zimbabweans should brace themselves for war against President Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
The former Saint Mary’s legislator, who re-joined the MDC-T last month, told a rally in Harare on Sunday that Zimbabwe’s current economic conditions would slide further resulting in people losing their lives due to hunger.