The recent victory by independent candidate Temba Mliswa in the Norton by elections has left Zanu PF in great confusion with senior members in Bulawayo accusing each other of factionalism.
Mliswa defeated Zanu PF candidate Ronald Chindedza in the by elections held on Saturday.
Zanu PF is currently divided along two factions who are angling to replace the 92 year old Mugabe. One faction which goes by the moniker Lacoste is believed to be angling Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over whilst another G40 is fronted by younger party members among them Professor Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo.
Speaking to this reporter close sources within the ruling party said the waves of Mliswa’s victory were being felt in the Bulawayo Zanu PF structures with factions counter accusing each other of the defeat.
“The debate after our loss factional. G40 cabal are accusing Lacoste saying Lacoste funded Mliswa with Sandi Moyo (Bulawayo resident Minister) saying The Herald are bidding in the Lacoste corner hence the loss,” said a Zanu PF Bulawayo central committee member who refused to be named.
The source also highlighted that those who are linked to the Lacoste faction are saying Zanu PF did not lose the election but G40 did.
Another Bulawayo provincial member who is linked to the Lacoste faction said the party’s imposition of candidates had cost them.
“I think they are a number of factors that affect our poor performance against opposition movements in elections. Imposition of candidates by the PC (Kasukuwere) to represent the party when the electorate does not know the imposed candidates.
“The factionalism scenario that that if so and so has won a primary election we align ourselves to certain individuals instead of putting the party first. Also vote buying by primary election candidates causes divisions within the party,”
Another Zanu PF top provincial member said, “Not having competitive candidates to match the opposition candidate makes us to lose elections. Individuals also plays a part in our loses. Bhora Musango disease is still lingering within us,” said the Zanu official who also refused to be named.
Efforts to get comments from the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial Chairperson Alderman Ndlovu were fruitless.
However a Bulawayo provincial executive member and Deputy Youth Secretary Munashe Mtutsa said they was nothing much to fear from the defeat.
“This is just one loss out of a series of almost 30 wins and cannot be used as a benchmark to determine the strength of Zanu PF. To think that this is a picture of 2018, is like the thinking of the Pharisees and the devil who thought the death of Jesus was the end. Our Easter as Zanu is coming!” said Mtutsa.