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Cabinet Reshuffle Looms as Friction in Zanu PF Worsens

Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, Vice President of Zimbabwe stands next to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after the swearing in ceremony at State House in Harare, Friday, Dec, 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

President Robert Mugabe is expected back in Zimbabwe soon from his annual holiday in the far East and party insiders are warning of another cabinet shake up and crackdown on his opponents.

Addressing party members in his Midlands province, acting President Emmerson Mnangangwa warned party members allegedly defying Zanu PF directives that they will be axed.

Multiple party sources told Studio 7 that Mr. Mugabe’s cabinet reshuffle will target Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramai and Education Minister Lazarous Dokora, among other ministers, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries. Some members of parliament are being targeted for recall.

Party sources are also warning of a crackdown and invasions of farms and properties owned by former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her alleged backers. The two factions are trading barbs after it emerged that those linked to Mrs. Mujuru have approached lawyers to challenge the party’s December congress calling it unconstitutional.

The war of words during Mr. Mugabe’s absence has also escalated between those backing Mr. Mnangangwa and those backing ousted Mrs. Mujuru. The Herald, qouted Mnangagwa saying Mutasa was delusional for challenging the outcome of the congress.

Party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere chillingly warned Mutasa saying “if you want to take us head on, we are up to the challenge.” He added that “he will retire in pieces.”

In an interview with Studio 7, expelled party spokesman Rugare Gumbo accused Mnangangwa of using undemocratic means to deal with opponents.

Efforts to get a comment from Mutasa, Mnangangwa and Kasukuwere were futile as their phones were switched off. Party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo said he will issue a full statement next week since he is on leave.

Political analyst and expelled Zanu-PF member, Margaret Dongo, told Studio 7 she is not surprised by the friction in the party.