Factionalism within the ruling ZANU PF party was laid bare during a politburo meeting on Wednesday, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa accusing senior party officials of plotting against him.
There have been reports over the past two years of factionalism within the party, with one faction behind Mnangagwa while other officials have reportedly coalesced behind his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.
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Reports suggest that during Wednesday’ s politburo meeting, the party’s secretary for security, Lovemore Matuke, presented a report which implicated unmanned senior party members in plots against the President.
Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Isaac Moyo and his deputy Walter Tapfumaneyi who also in attendance, reportedly supported Matuke’s report.
Retired Zimbabwe National Army major-general Engelbert Rugeje, who was demoted from the position of party commissar by Mnangagwa last year for his alleged close connection to Chiwenga, was unhappy with the President’s submissions.
Mnangagwa had claimed that there was clear evidence that there were some party members plotting against him although he did not mention names.
Reports further claim that Vice President Kembo Mohadi spoke immediately after Mnangagwa, urging members to desist from fanning factionalism.
In his submissions, Chiwenga said he was aware of the accusations, but they were untrue. The Independent quoted its source as having said:
He (Chiwenga) spent a lot of time chronicling his history with Mnangagwa from the days of the liberation struggle and said there was no way he could now turn against him.
He also repeated Rugeje’s statements that Mnangagwa was making a mistake of listening to different narratives without caring to establish the facts.
Chiwenga also said he was aware of some people who were trying to alienate him from the President by tarnishing his image and most of them came from the Midlands province.
When he had finished speaking, people clapped hands in applause. He spoke very well.