The party is also said to be divided over the organising of President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash. Mugabe turns 86 on February 21 and this year’s celebrations for Mugabe’s birthday are scheduled to take place in Bulawayo.
Bikita Minerals,which is located about 60 kilometers east of Masvingo city, has of late been the battle ground of a raging battle to control the province between two Zanu PF factions, one led by Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other led by Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The Mujuru faction formerly enjoyed unchallenged control at the lithium mine through politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire, who is a board member but Mnangagwa’s faction had of late been pushing hard to gain control at the mine, resulting in a tense tug of war.
Recently, the Mnangagwa faction, through former Bikita West Member of Parliament Retired Colonel Claudious Makova tried to take control of the mine under the pretext of indigenisation and went on to mastermind the kidnapping of the mine manager Ronnie MaCphail and three other senior managers who enjoy the tacit backing of the Mujuru faction.
However, the Mujuru faction hit back, after Mavhaire used his political clout and influence to have Makova’s youths accused of kidnapping the Bikita Minerals managers jailed by a local magistrates court.
However, in a sign of the widening rift, the Mnangagwa faction led by Makova was reportedly trying to influence villagers in Bikita to stage demonstrations against the mine accusing it of destroying the environment.
‘The whole idea is to try and push out Mavhaire from the mine because the Mnangagwa faction fears that Mavhaire,who is aligned to the Mujuru faction, is getting powerful economically via his control of various big firms and companies in Masvingo. So Makova is being pushed as the senior Zanu PF politician in Bikita to fight very hard,’said a source in Zanu Pf,” who did not want to be named.
Workers at the mine said they now feared for their future after Zanu PF youths aligned to Makova descended at the mine last week and terrorised them accusing them of backing whites who work with Mavhaire.
Mavhaire at the weekend rubbished claims that there was a fight to control the mine.”If there is a fight going on then obviously it does not involve me because I will not waste my time fighting against fellow party members. Anyone who is fighting me because I am a board member at Bikita Minerals is against Zanu PF policies and does not belong to the party.”
Masvingo is long known for its reputation as one of the many battlegrounds for Zanu Pf factionalism in Zimbabwe. Mavhaire,who was a key ally of the late legal guru Eddison Zvobgo, is of late enjoying a purple patch in his political fortunes, mainly due to his alliance with VP Mujuru.
Meanwhile reports from Masvingo also says Zanu PF is divided over Mugabe bash.
There is serious in-house fighting following the dispute over the appropriate action to be taken against members who failed to contribute towards President Mugabe’s birthday bash to be held in Bulawayo on 27 February at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds.
Sources with the party’s provincial executive said Masvingo is struggling to meet its target of 30 beasts and thousands of dollars to be donated to Mugabe.
“Heads are expected to roll in the party’s structures, there is already a serious fighting as some big guys are refusing to donate anything to Mugabe and yet they are the people who should lead by example. As we speak, the province has totally failed to meet its target of at least 30 beasts. Some want the offenders to be punished while some guys are saying the move must tell Mugabe that something is wrong in Masvingo,” said a top party official in Masvingo.
However, Zanu PF provincial chairman Lovemoire Matuke said the media has nothing to do with Mugabe’s birthday. Matuke could neither confirm
nor deny the allegations.
RadioVOP is reliably informed that Richard Dzoro who was supposed to moblise resources from fellow party members refused to so following
some frustrations from fellow members who discouraged him. But Dzoro denied this to Radio VOP saying: “I was not discouraged as such; I only thought it was good that someone takes over from where I left. I mobilized for resources last year and I now think someone must do that this year. I am not sure if the province managed to meet the target.”