Mugabe told to muzzle spin doctor

Harare – The Zanu PF Women’s League on Wednesday asked President Robert Mugabe to stop his spokesperson, George Charamba, from commenting on party issues.


Speaking at a meeting requested by the Women’s League to congratulate Mugabe on his successful chairmanship of the African Union, which was preceding the Politburo meeting scheduled for later in the day at the Zanu PF Headquarters in Harare, the party wing’s Secretary for Finance, Sarah Mahoka, said Charamba should stick to commenting on government business and leave party issues to politicians.

The Politburo is Zanu PF’s supreme decision making body outside congress. “How can he be spokesperson for the party and the government? Charamba must not talk on party business when he works for the government. You are the only one who can reign him in, please stop him,” she said to applause from the partisan crowd of largely women.

Mahoka said the Women’s League, which is chaired by Mugabe’s controversial wife, Grace, was not amused by Charamba’s wading in the party’s succession debate, which has split the revolutionary party.

She claimed that some women from the Midlands province had been barred from attending Wednesday’s meeting by some rowdy party youths who blocked them from entering buses which had been hired to ferry them to the venue, adding that some had used their own resources to secure alternative transport to the venue.

The Women’s League Chairperson, Grace Mugabe, castigated politburo members involved in factional wars saying they were derailing the country’s efforts to revive its ailing economy. She said Zanu PF had an upper hand in the politics of the country and there was no need for party members to fight. “So why is there all this fighting, you stop it all of you.

We don’t want to appear as if the president and his lieutenants are in conflict, we don’t want you to do that. My silence in this matter does not mean that I don’t know what is going on; I will be watching you.”

The sentiments by the Zanu PF women’s league were viewed by analysts as an attempt to influence the party’s supreme decision making body to kick out Charamba, who is widely believed to be fighting with vice president Emmerson Munangagwa. Munangagwa in turn is believed to be leading a faction in the party which is fighting against another faction, known as the G40, fronted by Mugabe’s wife Grace.

The politburo meeting, which was scheduled to start late Wednesday afternoon, is expected to run well into the wee hours of Thursday and is expected to deliberate on the issue of factionalism, which is threatening to tear the liberation war movement apart.

African News Agency

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