HARARE – There is gnashing of teeth in President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF, as the party prepares to embark on more brutal purges of its senior officials and at least a dozen legislators perceived to be sympathetic to former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

\n

mutasaWell-placed sources within the party told the Daily News yesterday that the move to expel more of its cadres had taken an urgent tone following the recent decision by disaffected party stalwarts to break ranks with Mugabe and coalesce under the banner and principles of the “original Zanu PF” that will operate as Zanu PF under the slogan, People First.

\n

“Mashefu (party bigwigs) are rattled by the formation of Zanu People First and they are now just lashing out in anger at anyone suspected of supporting Mai Mujuru and (former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus) Mutasa. There will be plenty of blood on the floor in the next few weeks,” a senior Zanu PF official said.

\n

He said the future of at least a dozen party Members of Parliament perceived to be aligned to Mujuru was “hanging by a thread” amid indications that they were set to be recalled soon.

\n

“Those under attack include former provincial chairpersons who are said to be at the heart of the organisation activities of Mutasa’s Zanu People First, as well as a number of senior officials and Cabinet ministers who are said to be close to Mai Mujuru,” the official added.

\n

Zanu PF passed controversial votes of no confidence in nine of its 10 provincial chairpersons ahead of the party’s disputed damp squib “elective” congress last December. All of them are MPs.

\n

In Mashonaland West province, for example, the provincial political commissar Simon Solomon has since been dropped from the team campaigning for the Hurungwe West by-election on allegations of associating with expelled former provincial chairman Temba Mliswa, who is standing as an independent candidate.

\n

“Several MPs especially from Mashonaland East province will be recalled in the next few weeks. Ray Kaukonde (Marondera Central) and Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Uzumba) are among those targeted along with others like Callistus Gwanetsa (Chiredzi South) because they are believed to be the driving force behind the Zanu People First party’s recruitment exercise,” said an MP from Masvingo.

\n

The acting chairperson for Mashonaland West province, Ziyambi Ziyambi, confirmed that the party’s campaign team for the June 10 Hurungwe West by-election had been changed, adding that his executive would not hesitate to fire errant party cadres and MPs from the province.

\n

“We wanted to have people who understand the constituency, its terrain and the people in it to lead our campaign, so we roped in Godfrey Gandawa (Magunje MP) and Sarah Mahoka to lead the campaign because she is energetic and has a natural connection with female voters.

\n

“Solomon has not been withdrawn though, but he needs these people’s help. Anyone who associates with Mliswa will surely be sacked without even going through a disciplinary hearing,” Ziyambi said.

\n

Soon after the party’s controversial congress late last year, its provincial stalwarts held meetings under the banner of provincial coordinating committees in which they recommended the recalling of lawmakers accused of fanning factionalism.

\n

Lickspittle State media, which now operate as Zanu PF newsletters, have over the past few days warned that the party was prepared to remove from its ranks any officials with suspected links to Mujuru “to ensure it forges ahead with singularity of mind and spirit”.

\n

Mujuru was expelled from the party last Thursday for what the Sunday Mail said was “leading a cabal that attempted to unseat President Mugabe at both party and State level, and exploring the possibility of assassinating him if other strategies failed”.

\n

The lapdog weekly also said its “sources” had revealed that the party’s politburo, had “resolved to come down hard on party members who associate with Dr Mujuru”.

\n

“The politburo said it is ready to take hard decisions and to settle any remaining matters from Dr Mujuru’s sympathisers comprehensively. The party is prepared to expel even more MPs who are associated with her; we are even prepared to have more by-elections,” it quoted a source saying.

\n

Another one of its sources said associating with Mujuru by Zanu PF officials “would not be looked upon kindly seeing as she had been expelled from the party after being found guilty of very serious charges”.

\n

“. . . there is a readiness to take hard decisions, to settle the whole matter comprehensively, even if it means another mini-general election . . . so let no sitting MP think that there is a fear to expel, a fear to go back to the people (in an election),” the paper’s other source said. – Daily News