WASHINGTON DC —
Divisions and bitterness are simmering in the faction-riddled Zanu PF ahead of tomorrow’s Women’s League conference marred by alleged poor organization blamed on factionalism.
President Robert Mugabe will officially open the conference and insiders say he will again try to address the growing factionalism in the party.
The friction has spilled into the public arena with party big wigs now openly trading barbs and engaging in physical fights. The party is allegedly divided between those backing Vice President Joyce Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa as the battle to succeed an ageing President Mugabe heats up.
Mujuru and Mnangagwa have previously refused that they lead any factions. Zanu-PF secretary for Women’s Affairs Oppah Muchinguru, linked to the Mnangagwa faction, dropped a bombshell after alleging that some party members are kidnapping and intimidating women ahead of the conference.
The charges have been dismissed by the Mujuru faction, that is now calling on the party to discipline her, for bringing the name of the party into disrepute.
But divisions reached a crescendo Monday when Zanu PF Kwekwe Central national assembly member, Masango Matambanadzo, allegedly assaulted the party's secretary for security for Kushinga district, Marco Msipa, in Kwekwe, accusing him of being aligned to Mnangagwa.
Efforts to get a comment from Muchinguru were futile as her mobile phone went unanswered. But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo in an interview with Studio 7 dismissed reports that the party is in turmoil.
Political analyst, Blessing Vava said the divisions in the party can be traced to Mr. Mugabe’s failure to open discussion on his successor.