SOME senior Zanu-PF officials in Manicaland are reportedly planning to oust the provincial chairman Ambassador John Mvundura, as more woes continue to mount for loyalists of Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The planned ouster of Mvundura comes after a Zanu PF faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa pushed out Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa.
Another Mujuru ally, Killian Gwanetsa was last week given a vote of no confidence by the Masvingo executive. Gwanetsa is however challenging his ouster saying the meeting that overthrew him was not properly constituted.
Sources told The Standard yesterday that there are plans to bus in people to demonstrate against Mvundura and his allies at the Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting to be held at Marymount Teachers College in Mutare today.
“We heard there are plans to move a motion of no confidence vote in the provincial chair. They think he should also be sacrificed just like what is happening to Mujuru,” said one senior member who refused to be named.
“We are having our Provincial Coordinating Committee tomorrow [Sunday] and that is where they want to move that motion.
“However, it won’t be easy for those trying to plan that coup because the chairman is firmly in control and he is not guilty of all those allegations levelled against him,” another senior official said.
Another Zanu PF official from Manicaland said the plan to oust Mvundura was on orders from senior national officials who view leaders allegedly sympathetic to Mujuru as threats.
“Even if they fail to move the motion tomorrow, they will still push for it but they might be running out of time. Those behind the plan should be prepared to fight,” said another senior provincial executive who identified the deputy Information minister Supa Mandiwanzira as the brains behind the plot.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mandiwanzira denied ever planning to unseat anyone.
“That is coming from people who are guilty of something and as far as I am concerned and as the provincial secretary for Information, I am not aware of that. I am actually in my constituency doing developmental work and not planning to unseat anyone,” Mandiwanzira said.
“The question to be asked by those making those allegations is: what are they afraid of?” said Mandiwanzira.
A Zanu PF official from Manicaland province said those behind the plot to oust Mvundura “were behaving as if Zanu PF has never held a congress,” warning that it would not succeed.
“They want to have their Arab Spring revolution. In Manicaland, they won’t succeed as members are united towards the chairman,” the official said.
The Mnangagwa faction is pursuing a two-pronged approach to ensure that its people get key positions during the congress. The faction is pushing through amendments to the Zanu PF constitution to enable President Robert Mugabe to appoint his deputy and politburo members.
The faction has also roped in First Lady Grace Mugabe who has been attacking Mujuru during her nationwide rallies.
The Mnangagwa faction is also pushing to control the provinces as a fall back measure if plans to amend the constitution fail.
Mvundura was first seconded to lead the party while he was still Ambassador to Cuba following the removal of Mike Madiro and his deputy Dorothy Mabika. He went on to beat Monica Mutsvangwa in the elections to land the powerful post in November last year.
Close sources told The Standard the plot to oust all provincial chairpersons perceived to be aligned to Mujuru would move to Mashonaland East, Midlands and Mashonaland Central before congress and replace them with Mnangagwa loyalists.
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo on Friday said the move to pass a vote of no confidence in provincial chairmen was along factional lines.