Mugabe fails to douse Masvingo fireZanu PF could be headed for a split after President Robert Mugabe yesterday failed to contain serious divisions in Masvingo amid accusations that he appeared to have sided with one faction.

The ruling party is torn between two factions — G40 which is linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe and another group said to be loyal to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe, who yesterday flew to Chiredzi aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane to try to quell the raging fights in Masvingo, left Triangle Country Club an angry man after witnessing the two factions squaring up in front of him.

The meeting with MPs from Masvingo was a follow up to another one he held with some of the legislators at State House three weeks ago.

There was a strict screening of participants to the closed door meeting which lasted five hours with many officials linked to Mnangagwa being shut out.

While the meeting was said to be for legislators, provincial youth leader Nobert Ndaarombe, women’s league chairperson Veronica Makonese and provincial chairperson Amatha Nenjana, who are linked to G40, were allowed to attend.

But provincial war veterans chairperson Tendeukai Chinoonka, former Cabinet minister Paul Mangwana, retired brigadier general Livingstone Chineka and provincial secretary Ailes Baloyi among others linked to Mnangagwa’s faction were chucked out by Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Many of Mnangagwa’s supporters had no kind words for Mugabe and threatened to leave Zanu PF if the 92-year-old leader continued to show bias.

“Why were we barred yet G40 members were allowed inside? If they do not want to hear our side, we will leave the party,” said a provincial executive member.

Sources who attended the meeting said Zanu PF Masvingo political godfather and politburo member Josaya Hungwe and Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa were hammered in front of Mugabe for trying to prop up Mnangagwa.

Earlier on Mugabe had a one and half hour briefing with Hungwe, Mahofa, Home Affairs minister Ignatious Chombo, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, Kasukuwere, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora and Chief Fortune Charumbira.

After the meeting which ended well after 6pm, Mugabe left in a huff without addressing the hordes of Zanu PF supporters milling outside the venue, which was uncharacteristic of him.

Asked to comment, Chombo could only say: “This was a fair and candid meeting by the party. We are going to have another one after this one.”

Mugabe fails to douse Masvingo fire

Author: Tatenda Chitagu

Source: The Standard

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