Saturday 10 April 2021


ZANU PF has moved to contain its recently reinstated but highly divisive district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) by enrolling their members at its school of ideology, in a bid to foster party unity ahead of the 2023 polls.

This comes as the former liberation movement is once again riven with sharp divisions that are similar to those that almost disembowelled the party in the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe — who was ousted from high office in a stunning and widely popular military coup in November 2017.

It also comes as the DCCs have been at the centre of recent commotion in the party — which contributed to the troubles that have befallen outgoing Zanu PF national political commissar, Victor Matemadanda.

The DCCs stand accused of fomenting divisions in the party and usurping the powers of other organs — which prompted Matemadanda to intervene, causing problems with other bigwigs.

Zanu PF principal at its Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology, Munyaradzi Machacha, confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that DCC members had commenced lessons there to foster unity within the ruling party — and to ensure that the former liberation movement would be effective in supervising government business.

“The previous structure of the DCCs had gone off track and they were majoring on issues outside their mandate, concentrating on factional politics to determine who gets this or that position in the party.

“Now we want to refocus the new structure to concentrate on their core business that includes co-ordinating and advocating for national development.

“They must not be misled into factional politics and into taking the party on the wrong path, hence their presence here,” Machacha told the Daily News.

“Province by province, they are going through a course which is designed to make them better leaders who are capable of delivering on the party’s programmes and government policies, and mobilising communities for national development.

“They must be aware of the party’s expectations as well as those of the masses towards attaining the goals of Vision 2030,” Machacha said further.

The re-orientation process started with DCCs from the Midlands on Wednesday, with new members who recently defected from the MDC Alliance — including former senator Lillian Timveous and ex-Kwekwe Central legislator, Blessing Chebundo.

A source attending the re-orientation programme at Dadaya Youth Centre in the Midlands told the Daily News yesterday that Machacha had emphasised that Zanu PF structures should rally behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 2023 polls.

Another source also confirmed that Machacha had introduced more than 30 former members of the MDC Alliance in Midlands to the gathered followers — who included Chebundo and Timveous.

“He told the DCC leadership not to concentrate on consolidating their power and …  divide the party through people …  fighting for positions.

“It was clear that the party is not happy with the factional fights in DCC structures. People were told to work harder to build the party ahead of the 2023 elections.

“Machacha also said Zanu PF is focusing on growing the economy and that there was no need to put all its energy on politics. He said the DCCs must co-ordinate development in their respective areas,” the second source said.

All this comes amid Zanu PF’s deepening internal divisions and conflicting narratives, which were laid bare recently when the former liberation movement confirmed the “re-deployment” of Matemadanda away from the party.

The DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and former vice president Joice Mujuru’s battles to succeed Mugabe.

The run-up to last year’s DCC polls was also marred by allegations of bribery, factionalism and tribalism — with party wars coming to a head in October when violent youths disrupted the former liberation movement’s primary elections for the Kwekwe Central Parliamentary by-election.

The DCC structures elect Zanu PF’s 10 provincial executives — from where the party and Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo.

This also comes as Zanu PF itself has said that it wants to lure back many of its former big shots who were hounded out of the party in the twilight of Mugabe’s tenure in power.

Some of these bigwigs were booted out of both the government and Zanu PF, in the run-up to the party’s sham December 2014 congress which sealed the fate of Mujuru — who was sacked on false allegations of wanting to topple Mugabe from power.

Already, Zanu PF has succeeded in luring back former National Patriotic Front (NPF) interim leader Ambrose Mutinhiri and its ex-secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa. 

The ruling party’s brutal internal wars during Mugabe’s time were temporarily ended in dramatic fashion by the military, which rolled its tanks into Harare on November 15, 2017 — after deciding that they had had enough of the nonagenarian Mugabe and his erratic wife Grace.

By then, the Generation 40 (G40) faction had succeeded in having Mnangagwa sacked from both the government and Zanu PF — just as they had done with Mujuru in 2014, when she, together with other bigwigs such as Mutasa and Gumbo were jettisoned over false allegations that they wanted to oust and kill Mugabe.

At one time, the vicious brawling took a nasty turn when Mnangagwa was allegedly poisoned by his rivals during one of Grace’s high-octane youth interface rallies in Gwanda in 2017.

Mnangagwa’s fate was eventually sealed on November 6, 2017 when Mugabe fired his long-time lieutenant a few days after his allies had booed the irascible Grace during a tense rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

However, tables were dramatically turned on Mugabe when the military intervened decisively, deposing the long-ruling leader from power — which saw a number of alleged G40 kingpins fleeing into self-imposed exile soon afterwards. Daily News


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