ZANU PF will disband its district co-ordinating committees (DCC) around the country as the party moves to address growing divisions linked to internecine struggles to for President Robert Mugabe’s succession.
A nationwide restructuring exercise was thrown into chaos in parts of the country with the party forced to nullify the results of some DCC elections which were marred by violent clashes as well as allegations of intimidation, vote-buying and ballot-rigging.
Mugabe told a meeting of the party’s Central Committee in Harare Friday that following the disturbances DCCs would be disbanded.
"We are afraid that the DCCs have become a weapon that is dividing the party," said the President.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told state radio said the DCCs had outlived their purpose and were causing divisions instead of unity among party members.
"We came up with a resolution that the DCC has to be disbanded with immediate effect. There will be an amendment to the party's constitution to enable that," he said.
Members of the disbanded committees would either be co-opted into provincial structures or “simply go home and rest and wait for new opportunities in the party”, Gumbo added.
Zanu PF has struggled to deal with divisions over the succession of Mugabe who turned 88 this year and has been dogged by reports of ill-health.
The veteran leader will represent the Zanu PF in fresh elections expected next year but that has not stopped his would-be successors trying to position themselves for the top job by winning control of party structures around the country.
The succession battle is said to pit Vice President Joice Mujuru against Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Both have ruled out challenging Mugabe as long as he remains in office.
Mugabe has ruled out retirement saying he fears the party would collapse if he were to quit.
He insists he is still in good enough health to go on for much longer and has dismissed suggestions he should anoint a successor, insisting in February: “The party will find a successor. It’s the people who can find a successor.
“I came from the people and the people in their wisdom, our members of the party, will certainly select someone once I say I am now retiring, but not yet.”