ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo has dismissed statements by Media information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo and presidential spokesperson George Charamba as “tricks” trying to create a rift between himself and President Robert Mugabe.
The holding of elections in Mashonaland Central were reportedly marred by irregularities where chairman Dickson Mafios was beaten by Luke Mushore who was announced the winner which some party members argued was unofficial.
The elections last Saturday were initially meant to be held in one day, but were extended to the following day with six districts reportedly failing to vote.
Last Wednesday presidential spokesperson Charamba and Zanu PF spokesperson Gumbo issue contradicting statements over the status of Mashonaland Central province in an indication of simmering factional fight within the revolutionary party.
Charamba said the politburo was yet to receive a report on the Mashonaland Central elections, but Gumbo insisted that he was the party spokesperson saying the results stood.
However, Gumbo said the tricks would not work as he had a long working relationship with Mugabe stretching from the liberation war in the 1960s, adding that they knew each other well.
“The position of the party is that we announced the results of Mashonaland Central which were released by the commissariat department. Despite what other people are saying, the results will remain the same until we are advised otherwise,” Gumbo said.
“I am the spokesperson of the party and I do my job in consultation with the relevant department. I am a very experienced person and as we speak, Mashonaland Central is holding an inter-district conference and electing members for the remaining positions and coming up with resolutions for the party’s national conference next month.”
Responding to accusations that he was defying Mugabe, Gumbo said: “Those are tricks to try and create a rift between me and the president. But we (him and Mugabe) know each other. We have been in this game for a long time from the 1960s. I would never defy the president because I speak for the party.”
Yesterday, Moyo was quoted in the State media saying Mugabe’s directive, “as conveyed through Cde Charamba and reported by yesterday’s Herald (Thursday November 14 2013) is the correct and only official position regarding the status of the results of the Zanu PF elections for the provincial executive in Mashonaland Central.
“There can be no executive authority in Zanu PF higher than the party’s president and first secretary. Any suggestion or claim to the contrary is mischievous to the extreme,” Moyo said.
“As such and for the avoidance of doubt, the only position that still stands on the matter in question is what Cde Charamba told the media as reported by the Herald, yesterday, as follows ‘tell the media that I (the president) have told you (Cde Charamba) that the politburo has not yet received results from Mashonaland Central province. Equally the politburo is still to receive a report which accompanies the same’.
“It is only when the politburo has been favoured with both the results and the accompanying report that it will then be in a position to study both before taking a decision. This is the official position as directed by the president and it has not changed.”