By A Correspondent| PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Kazembe Kazembe is plotting to annihilate his long term nemesis, businessman Tafadzwa Musarara as it emerged this week he was employing dirty tactics ahead of the ruling party’s National Assembly primary elections.
The two are fighting for control of the province and the right to represent Mazowe West constituency at next year’s general elections.
Kazembe controversially won the provincial poll held in December last year amid rigging claims.
Musarara’s camp claims the Kazembe’s team hacked Musarara’s phone on Saturday and used it to churn out a message denigrating the party’s leadership.
Musarara took down the WhatsApp status as soon as he was made aware of it, but not before his rivals had taken screenshots and distributed the message.
They are now plotting to suspend the Grain Millers Association (GMAZ) chairman who is currently mobilising grain to supplement inadequate maize and wheat stocks in the country following a serious drought in the past rainfall season.
This publication understands that Kazembe and his camp is not planning to institute a disciplinary hearing with the view to suspend Musarara, a move which would disqualify him from contesting.
His supporters are however adamant that would never happen.
“What should be understood is that Kazembe is a ICT person, runs an ICT company and is a former ICT minister, so he is very much capable of that,” a source from the province said.
“It is a sham really given how the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has made serious inroads in the province, widely considered a Zanu PF stronghold,” the source said.
Zanu PF has maintained an unassailable electoral dominance in the province and has hitherto managed to post huge victories in general elections despite the emergence of strong opposition at the turn of the millennium.
In some parts of the province, the opposition has failed put up structures and gain enough support to mount a serious challenge.
However, the CCC, sources in the ruling party’s provincial structures said, has managed to penetrate and establish grassroots structures in a development that has left the ruling party there shaken to the core.
The CCC is believed to have despatched its co-vice president Tendai Biti to the province to mobilise for the party.
The sources said the Zanu PF national leadership was gravely concerned with the situation and considering ringing chances to try and save the situation.
Kazembe’s leadership is considered by many in the party to be weak and prone to opposition onslaught.
“Biti has been to the province six times over the past two months and has been able to set up village committees throughout the province. They are hard to break up and very useful in mobilisation. Clearly, the opposition has changed its tactics and we could be in for it come next year’s general elections,” a source said.
“They are targeting the presidential election and they want to diminish our margin from the last election. This is worrisome. What worries us more is that the Kazembe leadership appears too weak to deal with this menace. Previously, this could never happen and so knives are out for the provincial leadership,” another highly placed source said.
“What worsens the situation is the fact that this comes at a time when there are serious divisions in the provincial leadership. Right now Kazembe is seized with an internal struggle against (businessman Tafadzwa) Musarara over control of the party and the fight for Mazowe West constituency while the opposition makes inroads. Right now we hear they hacked his phone and want to suspend him from the party over some messages. These are just unnecessary fights. You cannot fault the opposition for taking that easy opportunity,” the source said.
The good thing is that the national leadership is aware of what’s happening and we could see some changes being made soon. There is a strong possibility that Kazembe could be moved to the politburo where he could become a committee member and we would be allowed to re-elect a new chairman. The same happened with Ziyambi Ziyambi in Mashonaland West. That’s what many are lobbying for here,” the source further said.
Kazembe and Musarara have a long-standing rivalry for control of the party in the province. They are also fighting for the same Mazowe West National Assembly constituency.