By A Correspondent- The battle for the control of Matabeleland North by Zanu PF factions is heating up with one of the camps accused of resorting to dirty tactics.
Former Tsholotsho senator Believe Gaule, who is said to be a staunch ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is seeking to topple Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo as provincial chairperson.
Gaule, a former Zanu PF district coordinating committee chairman for Tsholotsho, is said to be enjoying an upper hand in the race as shown by the outcome of district elections held so far.
In the Hwange district elections held last weekend, Reeds Dube who is fighting in Gaule’s corner polled 475 votes against 65 for Gift Nyoni, a Moyo supporter.
Gaule is said to be controlling five districts, which are his home area of Tsholotsho, Bubi, Binga, Nkayi and Hwange.
On his part Moyo has Umguza in his pocket while Lupane is split between the two protagonists.
Gaule’s supporters are accusing Moyo of employing dirty tactics like threatening to suspend some districts chairpersons for refusing to support him.
He is also accused of using state resources for his campaign activities.
Sources said during the Hwange elections, Moyo’s teams were distributing t-shirts with messages such as “Givie (Gift Nyoni) ngena (get in), Reeds phuma (get out)”.
A message distributed through a WhatsApp group and written by one James Phiri from Hwange read: “On Saturday Lwendulo will decide whether to accept and follow Gaule or remain Zanu PF with Gift Nyoni.
“The good thing about Hwange people is that they will pretend to like you, but take you out through the ballot. Lwendulo think and act wisely.”
Gaule was one of the people behind the Dinyane High School meeting in 2004, which was later to be known as the Tsholotsho Declaration.
A total of six provincial chairpersons namely Philip Chiyangwa (Mashonaland West), now late Themba Ncube (Bulawayo), July Moyo (Midlands), Jacob Mudenda (Matabeleland North), Lloyd Siyoka (Matabeleland South), Daniel Shumba (Masvingo) and Mike Madiro (Manicaland) attended the gathering under the guise of a prize giving ceremony.
It later turned out the meeting was meant to push for Mnangagwa to take over the post of vice president ahead of Joice Mujuru.
The vice presidency had become vacant following the death of Simon Muzenda.
However, at the end of the day then president Robert Mugabe supported Mujuru and Mnangagwa’s plans were scuttled.
At the Dinyane meeting Gaule had brought a leopard skin for Mnangagwa who was supposed to the guest of honour at the prize giving day ceremony, but ended up not turning up due to an emergency politburo meeting and Patrick Chinamasa had to stand in for him.
Artefacts such as leopard skins are only reserved for royalty in the African set-up.
Gaule and Moyo could not be reached for comment yesterday. Standard