VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru has lost her central committee seat in what could mark her exit from the Zanu PF presidium, ZBC reported last night.
According to reports, the Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial elections directorate rejected Mujuru’s CV for nomination to the central committee citing her alleged plot to kill President Robert Mugabe.
The vice-president joined several politburo members believed to be in her camp that have fallen by the wayside ahead of next week’s congress.
Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Simbarashe Mumbengegwi lost in the Midlands province.
In Masvingo, reports say Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and his Tourism counterpart Walter Mzembi were also booted out in the central committee elections.
Politburo member Cleveria Chizema said the election in zone six in Harare, where politburo member Tendai Savanhu was contesting, could not go ahead because of violence. She said violence also broke out in zone five where suspended members of the party wanted to force themselves in.
“Zone six, where Savanhu was contesting, could not proceed because there was violence,” she said.
“I will be going there tomorrow to make sure elections go ahead before I go for the politburo meeting.”
While there was drama in Harare, in the Midlands, Zanu PF bigwigs, including Nhema, failed to make it to the central committee.
Nhema, the MP for Shurugwi, lost the right to represent the town in the central committee after a massive defeat to businessman Emanuel Fundira who bagged 105 votes against his 61.
Mumbengegwi lost to Timothy Gandire, who polled 81 votes against the Foreign Affairs minister’s 50.
In Gokwe North, Flora Buka lost her bid to Gokwe-Kabuyunu MP Leonard Chikomba after polling 74 votes against the legislator’s 169.
Outgoing deputy youth league chairman Edson Chiherenge Chakanyuka was nominated unopposed together with Cephas Cindi and Larry Mavhima of Zvishavane, who won the ticket unopposed.
Midlands provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mpereri confirmed the results.
The only chance left for the two Zanu PF bigwigs is through Mugabe’s benevolence, as he can appoint losing members to the central committee.
Tension also characterised the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial co-ordination committee meeting held yesterday as a purge on all leaders allegedly aligned to Mujuru continued. Fred Kanzama and John Chirimambowa risk being kicked out of the central committee after a resolution to drop them was made in a drama-filled meeting characterised by singing and dancing.
A motion to drop Ellen Gwaradzimba, who was elected in Mutare, was also moved and supported.
The party’s provincial administrator, Nelia Maenda, was immediately suspended for allegedly blocking the CVs of aspirants who were not linked to her alleged faction while co-ordinators from various districts face the chop. Some provincial members, including Tendai Saruchera, risk being dropped from the executive.
Aspirants for the central committee Mutasa South legislator Irene Zindi and retired army general Mike Nyambuya also risk being blocked from contesting because they attended the meeting at Matumba Six where ex–war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda said he was organising a march to seek audience with Mugabe.
Youth leader Kelvin Manyengavana instigated the purge when Chirimambowa was introduced.
“As youths, we have some objections in some central committee (nominees),” he interjected the secretary for administration, Kenneth Saruchera, who was introducing the newly elected central committee members.
“In Chipinge, youths are not happy with the ascendency of Chirimambowa because he was heavily involved in the Gamatox scheme.
“The youths are saying he should go.”
After Kanzama was introduced, deputy youth chair Mubuso Chinguno demanded that all central committee members-elect linked to Mujuru should leave the venue and they left.
Kanzama is set to be replaced by Morton Malianga, while Chirimambowa will be replaced by former Chipinge Central MP Alice Chitima.
The introduction of former chairman Mike Madiro elicited dances from the crowd reminiscent of Monday’s gyrations when it was announced that Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo had lost.
In Mutasa district, party supporters refused to vote where Zindi, Nyambuya, Victoria Chitepo and others were contesting, arguing that favourite, Luke Masamvu, was illegally disqualified by Maenda.
Secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa told supporters in Kwekwe that the central committee structure had been altered to accommodate 300 members instead of 245.
“We agreed on a new structure of the central committee after I proposed that we should have 300 people in the committee instead of 245 and that proposal was adopted,” he explained.
Mnangagwa said Mugabe will nominate 10 members, one from each province, while 94 seats will be filled through proportional representation based on performance during elections.