Mugabe flies into storm, party on the brink of major split

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is set to fly into a storm as tensions are reaching boiling point in Zanu PF, with Didymus Mutasa insisting he is still a member of the party and cannot be expelled by an illegal structure.

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Reports indicated that Mugabe was due to arrive in the country last Friday from his year-end holiday, but indications are that he is not yet back.

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Mutasa upped the ante at the weekend, saying he expected a response from Mugabe to a letter he and other axed Zanu PF members sent to Sadc.

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Didymus Mutasa

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Mugabe is the chairman of the regional body and he will be expected to handle a grievance against himself and the party he leads.

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The axed Zanu PF secretary for administration wrote to Sadc leaders and the chairman about his grievances with the party and its conduct of the December congress.

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“No, I have not yet received the response,” he said.

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“The response will come from the chairman of Sadc (Mugabe).”

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Mutasa could not be drawn into speculating whether he foresaw Mugabe responding to his letter.

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However, South African President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said he had not seen the letter Mutasa had written to his principal complaining about the congress.

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“I can’t tell you anything at the moment, I am still checking,” he said.

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South African President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj

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Maharaj said he could not promise when he could give a definitive response to Mutasa’s letter, as he was yet to see it.

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Responding to reports that he had been expelled from Zanu PF, Mutasa said he did not recognise the meeting that deliberated on his fate.

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“I don’t belong to the sixth congress of Zanu PF,” he said.

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“That is illegal, but I belong to Zanu PF prior to the sixth congress.

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“They are not members of that, so they cannot expel me.”

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Mutasa is expected, in the coming few days, to launch a court appeal, challenging the Zanu PF congress.

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Zanu PF insiders believe Mutasa is doing former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s bidding and that she may be the one behind the court process.

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Mutasa becomes the fourth high-ranking Zanu PF official to be expelled from the paty since the purging of perceived Mujuru allies began last October.

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The next Zanu PF politburo meeting is expected to endorse Mutasa’s expulsion.

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Former party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda and Chipinge South legislator Enoch Porusingazi are others that have been booted out.

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Zanu PF officials who attended the Manicaland meeting said Mutasa was expelled from the party for writing a strongly-worded letter to Sadc leaders in December 2014, imploring them to intervene in the country’s deepening political crisis spawned by the party’s internal fighting.

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The Manicaland provincial leaders accused Mutasa of being disrespectful of Mugabe and the party in the statement he released last week on Monday. – Southern Eye