Zanu-PF structures in South Africa are teetering on the brink of collapse, and Zanu-PF Deputy Secretary for Youth, and politburo member Lewis Mathuthu is expected to submit a scathing report on growing tribal differences, factionalism and rowdy behaviour by the rank-and-file to party leaders in Harare this week.
Party members, some drunk, heckled and repeatedly disrupted victory proceedings in Johannesburg this week, and engaged in running battles with their commanders in the parking lot.
Mathuthu, who as guest of honour at the victory celebrations, decried the sorry state of Zimbabwe’s ruling party structures in South Africa, and said that he would submit a report to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and party leaders, calling for urgent steps to bring about renewal of Zanu-PF in the district.
The Zanu-PF victory celebrations, which were held at Morning Hill Country Club in Bruma, were boycotted by some of the top known Zanu-PF leaders in SA.
The celebrations were marred by rowdy behaviour by the party faithful, who not only failed to sing Zimbabwe’s national anthem, but spent the greater part of the afternoon heckling party leaders, much to the dismay of invited ANC officials who were in the audience.
“Throughout my interactions with you, I can see that there are divisions. I can see that you (Zanu-PF SA) is divided on languages, and I can see that you are split on tribal lines. Even the SA structure leaders here are divided, and I will compile a report (about what I gave seen) and hand it over to headquarters.”
“Why don’t we focus on recruiting members and strengthening our structures ahead of 2023. Zanu-PF is due for renewal of all party structures from next year, even down to district, village and cell structures. What we expect from our SA members is party cadress who recognize that the party is supreme, and that the party is the authority of government. So don’t abuse your authority by tearing each other into pieces,” Mathuthu said.
He added that reports had reached Zanu-PF that Zimbabweans in the diaspora were extorting money from prospective investors, and this had not only driven business away from interest in Zimbabwe, but also brought a bad name to the efforts by the Zimbabwean government to bring investors to Zimbabwe.
Zanu-PF spokesman for SA Kennedy Mandaza, who endured his own share of heckling during the event, said it was regrettable that incidences of indiscipline and rowdy behaviour were witnessed during the victory celebrations, but added that much more needed to be done to keep the party united, and especially on social media.
“What we are seeing here is just one side. Even our leaders and party members are engaged in vicious battles in social media. What is happening on whatsapp is deplorable, you wouldn’t think that we are members of the same political party. It is very unfortunate, and should not be seen as a reflection of what Zanu-PF is all about,” Mandaza said.
Zanu-PF leader for Western Cape, Gibson Karimakuenda, who was the unexpected star of the show, chanted slogans, and said what was seen in Johannesburg at the weekend was not a reflection of the Zanu-PF status in the rest of SA.
He said Zanu-PF structures in KZN and Western Cape were disciplined and they recognised the supremacy of the party.
Contrary to reports that some Zanu-PF members had extorted money from investors, Karimakuenda said that Zanu-PF in Western Cape had found genuine investors who were willing to invest in Zimbabwe, and it was only a matter of time before the investors were brought to Zimbabwe.
Sources told Zimbabwe Digital News that much of the chaos in Zanu-PF in SA could be traced to the re-admission to the party of some stalwarts who are reportedly accused of running the party down in SA.
Speculation is rife over the emergence of Sangano Madzimbabwe amid the party structures, and its status in the Zim SA Zanu-PF, with reports that factionalism was tearing the party apart amid claims of factionalism, backstabbing and unprocedural expulsions.
The party in South Africa was reportedly under-resourced, there is no printer to print party membership cards and documents, the executives were not attending party meetings, vote buying was rife, and party activities had been reduced to junkets and events to disperse largesse.
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