ZIMBABWE – Senior Zanu-PF officials in Manicaland who are against the ascendancy of First Lady Grace Mugabe to lead the party’s Women’s League yesterday organised youths to disrupt a provincial co-ordinating meeting.
The same youths were the ones who tried to cause chaos at the First Lady’s “Meet The People” rally at Sakubva Stadium on October 10, with Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa being accused of having incited them.
This came as a Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial co-ordinating commitee meeting was yesterday aborted after demonstrations against ousted provincial chair Retired Brigadier General Callisto Gwanetsa. In Manicaland, the youths, who were being led by Sheila Mutsenhu jeered and hackled senior party members like Oppah Muchinguri, Mandi Chimene, Kudzai Chipanga and Supa Mandiwanzira.
Mutsenhu is alleged to have taken delivery of a Toyota Hilux vehicle from a senior Zanu-PF member as part of the anti-Amai Mugabe campaign. utsenhu is the same woman who in 2012 excoriated journalists after storming the Daily News newsroom before stripping and urinating on the reception area.
She also stripped for US ambassador Bruce Wharton in Mutare last year in protest against sanctions imposed on Mugabe. Zanu-PF national deputy youth secretary Chipanga disowned the demonstrating youths. “They are the same youths who caused chaos at Dr Mugabe’s rally at Sakubva,” he said. “We will take stern disciplinary measures against her (Mutsenhu) for bringing the name of the party into disrepute.”
The demonstrators carried placards which read: “Chinotimba is not a trained war veteran. He is not disciplined”, “Beware of Tsholotsho”, “Dambudziko redu muManicaland ndiOppah Muchinguri, Mushohwe naMuponda” and “Supa usatenga vanhu veZanu-PF, uri mucheche iwe”. Efforts to get a comment from Cde Mutasa were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.
In an interview, provincial chairman Cde John Mvundura defended the demonstrations. “The message I got from the demonstration point to the effect that people are against any divisive elements in the party,” he said.
The demonstrations in Masvingo degenerated into violence after some drunk youths allegedly bused to the venue of the meeting at Victoria Junior School started assaulting party officials. Riot police had to move in to quell the violence.
In a dramatic twist, Rtd Brig Gen Gwanetsa convened another provincial executive meeting on Saturday that passed a vote of no confidence on Chakona.
At yesterday’s aborted provincial co-ordinating commitee meeting, trouble started after provincial war veterans chairman Francis Nando questioned why Rtd Brig Gen Gwanetsa was seated at the top table.
In Harare South, Zanu-PF supporters yesterday demontsrated against Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe for perpetrating factionalism and discrimination against people who support the appointment of Amai Mugabe to head the Women’s League.
The supporters, who were singing revolutionary songs and chanting slogans, alleged that Mashayamombe was forcing them to rally behind Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru. Some supporters alleged that he was illegally selling residential stands in Southley Park and funding youths.
Herbert Chitepo Housing Cooperative chairperson Lydia Nzombe said Mashayamombe was abandoning his duty of representing the people in the area for personal benefits. Zanu-PF Harare provincial Youth League chairman Cde Godwin Gomwe said he blamed Cde Mashayamombe for the unrest in Southley Park.
“I blame Cde Mashayamombe and Dr Mujuru,” he said. “Dr Mujuru has not responded to the allegations leveled against her. This shows she is not clean. If she was clean she should have defended herself.” Mashayamombe denied the allegations and said the problem started when he discouraged people from buying residential stands illegally in the area as they will at the end be evicted.
“These are ways of trying to tarnish my image,” he said. “I warned the people against buying illegal stands as they will lose their money. The land in question belongs to the Tobacco Sales Limited and who am I to fight for the company?”