Former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) has been hit by divisions, amid reports that some senior officials could be plotting to unseat the veteran politician.
ZimPF will hold its inaugural congress in October but there are indications the party could split before it even elects substantive leadership.
Former ministers Sylvester Nguni and Bright Matonga were singled out as the major source of problems for the party.
“There are serious fights, especially between those who claim to be close to Mujuru,” a source claimed.
“Bright Matonga and Sylvester Nguni are at each other’s throats over control of party processes and the direction the party should take administratively.”
Matonga yesterday said he was not aware of any divisions in the party formed this year.
“There is nothing like that. I am hearing it from you,” he said.
“I think you should be careful not to be used by people with a sinister agenda. But I can assure you, there is nothing of that sort.”
Nguni promised to give his side of the story last Thursday but had not done so at the time of going to print.
ZimPF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo admitted the party faced teething problems but did not refer to the alleged rift between Nguni and Matonga.
“The party has challenges but the important thing is how these are dealt with,” he said.
“There was always a likelihood that people would have differences and contradictions would emerge because we are a big party.
“However, there is no need for anyone to panic because I can assure you we are dealing with whatever concerns that have been raised by any member of the party.”
Former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa was also said to be disgruntled after he was not given a prominent role in the party. Gumbo suggested the party had been infiltrated.
“You must also understand that our opponents are not sleeping. They are working flat out to destabilise us and that includes rumour mongering among members and sowing seeds of divisions,” he said.
“The Central Intelligence Organisation is also working hard to make sure the party fails.
“I will tell you, however, we will get there, the party is here to stay, whether they like it or not.”
Mujuru wants to challenge President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections.