More senior Zanu PF members, some of whom were booted out through votes of no confidence and subsequently warned against attending the on-going Zanu PF congress, have defied the threats and graced the gathering.
The senior officials include party political commissar Webster Shamu, who played his usual role of master of ceremonies, brown-nosing President Robert Mugabe, and his wife Grace like never before.
Other notable politburo members in this category include Tendai Savanhu, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Charles Tavengwa, Tongai Muzenda, Miriam Chikukwa, Olivia Muchena, Francis Nhema and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
Politburo member Munacho Mutezo also attended the central committee meeting on Wednesday in defiance of the “ban” imposed by hardliners.
But Simon Khaya Moyo, the party’s national chairman, was forced to intervene on a number of occasions after some youths became agitated by the presence of the senior members affected, pleading with the attendees not to denounce them.
“Let’s respect each other. We want discipline and everyone who is here is supposed to be here, and they are fulfilling their mandate and they must finish off their work as they are still politburo members.
“I am also doing my work constitutionally as the outgoing chairman,” Khaya Moyo said.
Harare provincial minister and former chairwoman for the women’s league in the capital, Chikukwa, came under particular pressure from the rowdy youths when she took to the podium to welcome delegates.
Tongai Muzenda, who is the deputy Labour minister and Gutu West legislator, told the Daily News on Thursday that he would be attending the annual meeting, citing the vote of no confidence against him as unconstitutional and the fact that he had not been served with any letter of suspension.
Tongai is one of the late Vice President Simon Muzenda’s sons.
“I cannot be barred from congress over flimsy reasons. Zanu PF was formed by my father together with President Robert Mugabe.
“So how can I rebel against my father? The people who tried to suspend me don’t know what they are doing. Reports that I am against vaMugabe who is my father too, are false,” he said.
This comes as Zanu PF youth deputy chairperson Kudzai Chipanga warned VP Joice Mujuru and her sympathisers not to attend the elective congress, saying they would participate at their own peril.
“We are giving a warning to Zanu PF members especially senior party officials who have been implicated that they no longer support president (Mugabe) and should not come to our congress as we don’t want to see them.
“If they decide to come, they are coming at their own risk as anything can happen to them. We cannot guarantee their safety,” Chipanga said.
He, however, declined to specify the kind of action they would take in the event that Mujuru decided to attend.
“We want to politically eliminate them and we shall the cross bridge when we get there. As youths, we are the vanguard of the party and we are not going to allow people who are accused of wanting to kill our dear president to come near him at the congress,” Chipanga said.
He said the political leaders that were behind the ouster of Mugabe were known in the party structures, which had resulted in the majority of them receiving votes of no confidence in their provinces.
“We know them, this is why we saw many of the senior politicians being booted out and we now hear some of them want to come to congress.
“We dare warn them not to try to provoke us. No matter how senior the person is, we don’t want to see them there,” warned Chipanga.
Almost all of the party heavyweights implicated in the anti-Mugabe plots have been blocked from Zanu PF’s powerful central committee.