Close to 200 angry Zanu (PF) supporters denounced Shamu’s actions.
“Elections were held and there were winners and losers. Why is it that Shamu is taking sides and sympathising with the losers?” asked a Zanu (PF) supporter from Chimanimani.
“We respect him as the national political commissar, but we want him to be straight in dealing with these elections.”
The Zanu (PF) provincial chairperson, Mike Madiro, was allegedly said to be behind the demonstrations. Madiro denied the allegations.
The demonstrators threatened to turn violent if Shamu’s decision was not reversed.
The demonstrations were being viewed as a counter to similar protests held at the party offices last week by members opposed to the victory of the Mnangagwa faction.
Shamu nullified the elections for district coordinating committees in Mutare, Nyanga, Chipinge, Makoni and Buhera. Indications were that the Mnangagwa camp was poised to seize control of the other remaining districts, Zimunya-Marange, Mutasa and Chimanimani and complete their stranglehold of Manicaland Province.
“These chefs are destroying the party,” said a senior Zanu (PF) official from the province. “They are frustrating popular candidates. But even if they have the elections every day I can bet you that those who won will still emerge victorious because they are more popular.”
The sources said while some top Zanu (PF) officials in the province were supporting the faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru the entry of Didymus Mutasa, national secretary for administration, into the fray, had somewhat confused the already fluid situation in this politically volatile province.
An insider said Mutasa, regarded as the “Godfather” of Zanu (PF) politics in Manicaland, was also eyeing the top post and was reportedly mobilising his fellow comrades from Manicaland province in a bid to mount a strong challenge for the presidency.
“Of course anyone has ambitions of becoming president and it is his democratic right to do so, but in terms of the power dynamics in Zanu (PF) so far Mutasa is out, considering that there are two vice presidents so far,” said Blessing Vava, a political commentator in Harare.