Zanu PF, State agents squabble over conference venue

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By Mashonaland East Correspondent

SEKE: The Zanu PF senior leadership and State security agents appear to be at odds over the possible holding of the party’s 2019 annual national conference in Mashonaland East province amid rising security fears in the ruling party.

This week, the Zanu PF national chairperson and Defence Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri led a delegation of senior party leaders to Murape Secondary School and Mandedza High School both in Dema where she announced that Mandedza High would now be the venue of the conference.

However, last week, State security agents and Zanu PF director of administration, Dickson Dzora, visited both schools and settled for Murape Secondary which is in the same area after raising security concerns at Mandedza High.

The decision by State security was shot down by Muchinguri-Kashiri this week before she went on to condemn the facilities at Murape Secondary.

Both are government schools but Mandedza High has boarding facilities.

“After touring several places which were listed, we finally settled for this place (Mandedza High) as the venue for this year’s conference. We now need to work on all the necessary developments in preparation of the conference, but we are impressed by the venue,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said after touring the school.

The clash over the venue choice comes amid heightened security tensions in Zanu PF where its president, Emmerson Mnangagwa has increased security around him.

Drones, sniffer dogs, security cameras and heavily armed police and army officers are now part of his security details when he ventures out into public spaces.

Last year, Mnangagwa narrowly survived a grenade blast at a Zanu PF election campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

The blast went on to claim two security aides and left 47 more seriously injured. Among those injured were the Vice President Constatino Chiwenga, his wife Marry and Muchinguri-Kashiri.