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Zanu PF Supporters 'Abandon' Big Wigs Mutasa, Absalom Sikhosana

FILE: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014. Mugabe turned 90 on February 21.

Zanu PF stalwarts, secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, long-serving youth secretary Absalom Sikhosana, former cabinet minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and former governor Angeline Masuku, allegedly linked to the beleaguered Vice President Joice Mujuru, have been “dumped” by party supporters in a fight for key slots in the party’s powerful Central Committee following countrywide elections Monday ahead of its elective congress scheduled for next month.

Results obtained by Studio 7 last night showed that the other senior party officials, who were not elected for posts in the 245-member Central Committee, are Harare-based Politburo members, Tendai Savanhu and Charles Tavengwa, allegedly said to have helped the so-called Mujuru faction to craft undemocratic ways of unseating President Robert Mugabe.

Mrs. Mujuru recently dismissed these claims saying they were reckless statements being made by people who wanted to tarnish her image to ensure that she does not retain her post of Zanu PF vice president.

In Manicaland province, elected members include controversial lawmaker Joseph Chinotimba, Lands and Mechanization Minister Joseph Made, and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. They are believed to be in the other faction allegedly led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is said to habour presidential ambitions like Mrs. Mujuru.

The two have over the years denied such claims saying they have no interest in taking over from President Mugabe (90), who has ruled Zimbabwe for more than 34 years.

Zanu PF members in Bulawayo that were elected into the Central Committee include senior party activist Joseph Tshuma, former provincial information and publicity secretary Michael Sikhosana, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, former city mayors Joshua Malinga and Alderman David Ndlovu, provincial chairman Killian Sibanda and former Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa, Phelekezela Mphoko, who is eyeing the vice presidential post at the party’s congress. Others are Anna Moyo and Central Committee member Godfrey Malaba.

In Matabeleland North, Transport Minister Obert Mpofu, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, former governor Thokozile Mathuthu and Small to Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni were all elected unopposed.

They are allegedly linked to the Mnangagwa faction, which is almost in full control of the party a week before the Zanu PF congress.

Indications are that Mashonaland Central last week rejected papers filled by Mrs. Mujuru saying she has been linked to attempts to allegedly topple the president. These accusations have not been substantiated by the rival faction.

Latest reports say Environment Minister Francis Nhema and outgoing Women’s League secretary for administration Flora Buka, also linked to Mrs. Mujuru, have been cleared by the Politburo to contest Central Committee posts in the Midlands on Tuesday.

One has to be a member of the Central Committee to be eligible for a post in the Politburo, the top-most party’s decision-making organ outside congress. At least 10 members are appointed by President Mugabe.