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Zanu-PF row cuts Mugabe's holiday short
January 11, 2005
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has cut short his scheduled month-long holiday in Asia to return to Harare to try to sort out the chaos in his ruling party.

Hundreds of disgruntled party officials invaded the ruling Zanu-PF's headquarters on Monday to voice their discontent over what they perceive as the imposition of the party's candidates for the March election and the sidelining of those who are not in harmony with party leaders.

Mugabe has cracked the whip against party officials who convened a secret meeting at the home of his spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo, to try to plot a strategy to block his anointed successor, Joyce Mujuru, from being elevated to the vice-presidency.


Many of those who were struck off the Zanu-PF candidates list have been linked to the Moyo plot. Moyo himself has been expelled from the party's top structures.

He and other party members have been barred from standing in the March election. Some have been suspended for five years.

Monday's well-organised protest, to coincide with Mugabe's return from Asia, has prompted speculation that it was sponsored by Moyo and other sidelined party faithful.

Moyo has appealed against the bar on standing in the March poll. Zanu-PF's elections directorate started hearing appeals from prospective candidates who had been similarly sidelined.

It yesterday heard complaints from candidates from Harare province. The semi-literate war veterans leader and self-styled commander of farm invasions, Joseph Chinotimba, who has also been linked to Moyo's meeting, was successful in his appeal and will now stand in Harare's Glen Norah constituency in.

Sources said Moyo was unlikely to be successful because he was out of favour with members of the elections directorate.

Mugabe has not commented on the deep divisions within his party since returning from Asia.


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