Zanu PF structures yesterday passed resolutions that reflected the widening divisions in the party ahead of its annual conference set for Masvingo next month during their meetings at district level.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/NUNURAI JENA
Senior members across the country presided over the inter-district meetings where members passed resolutions that would form the basis of deliberations at the conference.
In Mashonaland West where proceedings were presided over by Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatious Chombo, President Robert Mugabe was endorsed as the ruling party candidate for the 2018 election.
The party said the 92-year-old leader must be allowed to choose his deputies without interference from party structures.
The party also resolved to support the controversial bond notes, while also calling for the control of the social media, allegedly because it was being used by senior Zanu PF officials to vilify Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The province also resolved to declare Mugabe’s birthday, February 21, a national holiday and Chombo confirmed the process was now in progress.
According to insiders at various meetings in other provinces, rival factions were putting across views targeting leaders perceived to be from different factions.
All the party wings which are the main wing, youth and women, presented their resolutions which will be taken to the inter-provincial meetings soon.
Among the many views raised in different meetings, women were reportedly renewing calls to have a female vice president.
“Women said they want their last year’s resolution of having one of the vice-presidents to be a woman,” a source who attended the meeting in Mutare said.
“They said women are under-represented in the party’s hierarchy; they want their resolution to be taken seriously.
“This resolution carried the day and people expressed optimism that it will be finally fulfilled.”
Last month, First Lady Grace Mugabe reiterated the need to implement the resolution, although she softened on the demand to sack one of the current VPs to accommodate a woman.
The resolution has been a source of perpetual divisions in Zanu PF as loyalists of a faction reportedly loyal to Grace called for the sacking of Mnangagwa.
Among other resolutions that came out yesterday was the need to penalise officials fingered in corruption.
“This resolution was basically targeting members of the G40 faction. Even at provincial or district level, there are people who have been enjoying immunity even on serious cases of corruption,” said a senior official.
“Those who want this resolution to pass are saying the party must take action against those fingered in corruption, with some openly giving examples of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
“This nearly caused a scene as some felt the resolution was meant to denigrate members of the G40.”
Others felt expulsions in the party must stop as they were retrogressive.
Acrimony usually plays out during the build-up of Zanu PF’s annual conferences as rival factions try hard to outshine each other and angle themselves for taking over from Mugabe.
Already the party has squeezed out nearly $4 million from the struggling companies to finance the conference.