WASHINGTON DC —
Pressure is mounting on Zanu-PF Legal Affairs Secretary and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s backers to accept electoral defeat and drop a defamation lawsuit against newly-elected Zanu-PF Midlands chairman Jason Machaya of the rival faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru as the battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensifies.
Machaya's chief elections agent in the recent party provincial polls, Douglas Kanengoni, filed a petition accusing Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia, Gokwe Kana Member of Parliament, Owen Ncube, Zhombe MP, Mackenzie Ncube, Douglas Tapfuma and former governor July Moyo for making frantic efforts to rig the polls in favour of former provincial deputy chair Larry Mavhima.
The five accused officials in turn filed a $50 million lawsuit against Machaya, widening rifts in the party that is torn by factionalism pitting Vice President Mujuru and Mnangagwa.
In elections held in three provinces, the Mujuru camp has prevailed, giving her an upper hand in the race to succeed President Mugabe. Attempts by the Mnangagwa camp to reverse the election results have been thwarted by the presidium which is said to be sympathetic to Mujuru.
The provincial elections are significant ahead of next year’s elective congress.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said elections are proceeding well, adding losers must accept defeat.
Political analyst Gideon Chitanga, a Phd candidate at Rhodes University in South Africa, said factionalism is tearing Zanu-PF apart.