By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
FIERCE jostling for positions has emerged in Zanu PF ahead of its annual conference set for October, with the latest episode in the soap-opera style factional battles playing out in the volatile Zanu PF Mashonaland West province .
The annual jamboree, which was cancelled last year because of Covid 19, will be held in Bindura, Mashonaland Central, province in October.
Although such conferences are non-elective, they are always preceded by cutthroat factional fights.
Incumbent Zanu PF Mashonaland West leadership has admitted that divisive jockeying for provincial posts has reached fever pitch within the governing party.
The provincial leadership has since intervened and directed all prospective candidates to stop their political campaigns after aspiring candidates went into overdrive plotting victories in the impending internal elections. The winning candidates are guaranteed attendance at the Zanu PF Annual National People’s Conference.
In a notice to wrangling party members, provincial deputy commissar, Godknows Nigel Murambiwa issued a stern warning against those found campaigning for positions.
“It has come to our attention that some members have started campaigning for provincial positions that is mainboard, women, and youth chairmanship. The party has no vacancies to be filled. It is, however, against this background that we issue a strong warning to those who are seeking to dislodge or to unseat sitting officers of the party as witnessed by personalised jingles and soft copies of posters campaigning for the positions,” Nurambiwa wrote in the notice, which was to NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend.
One of the positions being campaigned for is that of provincial chair which fell vacant following Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s elevation to the Politburo in May.
Acting as a secretariat to the Central Committee, the Politburo is Zanu PF’s highest decision-making organ in between congresses.
Sources told NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend that potential candidates to replace Ziyambi include the frontrunner, Mashonaland West provincial Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, and provincial youth chairperson Vengai Musengi. Both politicians are close to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Acting chairperson Abia Mujere is also vying for the highly influential position.
Contestations are also simmering for positions in the women’s and youth leagues.
In his letter to party members, Murambiwa said: “Those who shall be found posting any material related to campaigning have themselves to blame if the long arm of the law of the party falls before them. The Commissariat Department is, therefore, urging everyone to wait until such directive is issued from headquarters.”
He also warned all members who submitted curriculum vitae (CVs) for vetting to desist from campaigning for local authority by-elections as doing so creates divisions and brings the party’s name into disrepute.
Murambiwa said the Commissariat Department was urging all-district coordinating committee (DCC) chairpersons to continue mobilising registration of new members.
“From the statistics, we have as a province we are still behind in terms of mobilising our membership. We are, however, urging all of us to direct our efforts towards this process,” he wrote.
Mashonaland West is targeting to mobilise 500 000 votes for Mnangagwa in the 2023 presidential election.
Murambiwa admitted in his letter the province was still far from meeting that target.
Repeated efforts by NewZimbabwe.com to get comments from Mliswa-Chikoka and Musengi were fruitless.