WASHINGTON DC —
The long-awaited Zanu-PF congress opened in Harare on Tuesday with President Robert Mugabe chairing the party’s politburo meeting, which is expected to set the agenda for the week-long meeting.
But while Mr. Mugabe was consolidating his power base, presiding over a meeting recommending he be given more powers to run the party, unidentified people were driving around Harare in a vehicle marked Zanu-PF Marondera, littering the city with anti-Mugabe fliers.
Witnesses told Studio 7 that five people in the Zanu-PF vehicle threw the fliers inscribed “Vote of No Confidence Mugabe” as they drove around several streets in the city. Most people were, however, afraid to pick up the fliers.
Harare resident, Gilbert Kagodora, said he saw people in the truck dropping the fliers at the corner of Jason Moyo and First Street.
Another resident, who declined to be named, said the fliers were of poor quality and were unlikely to have been printed by Zanu-PF but were being distributed by some disgruntled supporters.
Studio 7 was unable to get comment from senior Zanu-PF leadership from Mashonaland East or acting spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo.
But Media Centre director and political analyst, Enerst Mudzengi, said given the infighting in the Zanu-PF, it is possible that the distribution of the fliers was done by one of the factions.
He said it is unlikely that anyone in Zanu-PF would ever propose a vote of no confidence in President Mugabe, especially with all the purges that have been going on in the past month that have seen senior Zanu-PF members like deputy President Joice Mujuru being dumped from the powerful decision-making organ, the Central Committee.
Zanu-PF has been rocked by serious infighting pitting factions allegedly led by Mrs. Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Zanu PF members who failed to get accredited in their provinces for the congress were camped outside the party’s headquarters hoping to get their tickets into the venue. President Mugabe is expected to officially open the congress Thursday.
A woman who identified herself only as Mrs. Mombeyarara is one of those who have been accredited. She said they expect a peaceful and successful congress.
Meanwhile, First Lady Grace Mugabe on Tuesday toured the congress venue which has been named the Robert Mugabe Square.
More than 12,000 delegates are expected to attend the congress which many say will now be a damp squib following the purging of the party and efforts to centralize power in Mr. Mugabe so he can chose his own deputies unlike in the past when they were elected.