Mugabe rally on edge over Undenge

RIVAL Zanu PF groups in Manicaland province are pinning hopes on the politburo meeting expected this week to resolve the leadership crisis, which could potentially threaten the smooth flow of President Robert Mugabe’s rally set for Friday.


Mugabe will be in Mutare on Friday for the presidential youth interface rally, where he is expected to drum up support for the upcoming 2018 elections.

Manicaland has been facing a leadership crisis after its executive members passed a vote of no-confidence against chairman Samuel Undenge, who, however, is contesting his suspension.

The pro-Undenge group is expecting the provincial resolution to be overturned by the politburo, while his rivals are expecting their resolution to be rubber-stamped.

Youths and other executive members have vowed not to recognise Undenge until he is cleared, with reports of a plan to freeze him out on Friday.

Zanu PF provincial secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera told NewsDay that they hoped Undenge’s matter would be solved before the rally.

“This issue is a matter in the hands of our leaders. So they will guide us,” he said.

“I think the matter will be resolved soon, but the issue is now in the hands of our seniors. I don’t know if the matter is on the politburo agenda, but we are just hoping that the issue will be clarified at the politburo meeting.”

Saruchera said the Friday rally was a youth programme with support from the party provincial main body.

Although provincial youth leader Mubuso Chinguno refused to comment before seeking clearance, NewsDay is reliably informed that the provincial executive is contemplating stopping Undenge from acting as chairperson at the rally.

“We want to sideline him. It will be better for him to back off and avoid embarrassment because he is suspended,” one of the executive members, who requested anonymity, said.

“He knows the party constitution more than anyone else and he should know that as a suspended person, there are certain things he must not do and part of it is not forcing his way to the high table.”

Those in support of Undenge argued the beleaguered chairman enjoys a “special relationship” with the First Family, hence he was safe.

Efforts to get a comment from Undenge were fruitless, as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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