WASHINGTON DC —
Embattled Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman, Themba Mliswa, was on Thursday ousted from his position at a hastily-organised provincial executive committee meeting at Chinhoyi University Hotel.
Mliswa became the first scalp in the succession battle pitting two Zanu PF factions seeking to take over the reins from an ageing President Robert Mugabe.
Mliswa is believed to be aligned to the camp that supports Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The camp that ousted Mliswa is said to be aligned to Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa deny leading the two factions.
Also ousted was provincial secretary and Makonde lawmaker Kindness Paradza. Like Mliswa, he also maintains that he’s still in charge.
“It was a non-event, the meeting or the gathering was illegal,” said Paradza. “There was no quorum. It was not sanctioned by anybody. Our constitution is very clear, the provincial chairman, through me, is the one who’s responsible for calling such meetings.”
He continued: “Therefore, whatever their decisions were; they are not binding.”
Zanu PF lawmaker Ziyambi Ziyambi, who took over from Mliswa after leading efforts to remove him from his position, said 28 executive committee members signed the petition, casting a vote of no confidence in Mliswa.
"The no confidence vote is in line with the Zanu PF Article 29 (2.6.1) where a simple majority is required," said Ziyambi.
"The final fate of Mliswa will be sealed when the provincial coordinating committee meets, either to endorse or reject what we have done today.”
But Mliswa said the meeting was a non-event.
"It is a non-event, it's unconstitutional and it was an unsanctioned meeting with only 21 members present,” said Mliswa.
Ziyambi refused to say on what basis the vote of no confidence was passed saying they will report to national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo first.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said he could not comment as he was still to receive a briefing from the province.