Mugabe breathes fire

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President Robert Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday took a swipe at factionalism in his Zanu PF party and warned that sterner measures will be taken against errant and undisciplined party members.

EVERSON MUSHAVA
CHIEF REPORTER

Speaking to journalists after what people hoped to be a stormy politburo meeting in Harare , Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Mugabe expressed concern over officials who were advancing personal interests at the expense of the party.

Mugabe’s warning comes at a time Zanu PF officials have been involved in public and sometimes violent fights, as factions jostle to position themselves strategically in the race to succeed the 90-year-old Mugabe.

“Sterner measures will be taken on those members who do not heed to the President’s directives,” Gumbo said.

“In his introductory remarks, President Mugabe expressed deep concern over the amount of indiscipline exercised by party members in provinces.”

There has been mudslinging between Zanu PF factions ahead of the party’s elective congress in December.

The fights have seen a faction reportedly linked to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa labelling MPs linked to Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp as the “Dirty Dozen” agents of the United States spy agency, Central Intelligence Agency claiming the legislators received development aid from the US Embassy.

Hurungwe MP Temba Mliswa was on Monday slapped by Beauty Zhuwao, the wife of Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao in Chinhoyi, forcing an abrupt end of a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting.

But Gumbo said Mugabe denounced factionalism in the party saying such practice was divisive.

Mugabe also criticised the State media for perpetrating divisions in Zanu PF through headlines that portrayed the party in bad taste.

“He was critical about the media. He felt that the coverage in the media, particularly The Herald where he said the headings were destructive. He said it exposed the party to unnecessary criticism,” Gumbo said.