The Chiredzi offices of a prominent Zanu PF official linked to former Vice President Joice Mujuru were petrol-bombed on Thursday night, as the ruling party’s factional and succession wars get nastier by the day — amid renewed fears that the ructions could soon claim lives.
Admore Hwarare, the under-fire secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers’ Union (ZISMWU) and a former Zanu PF provincial political commissar, told the Daily News yesterday that he had been shaken by the bombing that had reduced his offices to ashes.
He was also emphatic in his belief that the bombing was the work of his erstwhile Zanu PF comrades, whom he alleged had also been behind what he called recent “choreographed demonstrations targeting him” to relinquish his ZISMWU position.
“My offices have been reduced to ashes and I have lost everything including very important documents.
“I think this is the work of those who have been demonstrating against me from the political front. I am now afraid that these attacks could get worse,” he said.
The arson attack, that was carried out in the dead of the night, left property worth an estimated $150 000 in ashes.
A Fire Brigade from Hippo Valley that was called to deal with the inferno battled valiantly to extinguish the fire, but could do nothing to stem the destruction of the offices, property and valuable documents.
Two weeks ago, hundreds of Zanu PF supporters were bussed to Hwarare’s offices where they staged a demonstration against him, accussing him of working with the decimated Mujuru faction.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Charity Mazula, were unsuccessful as her mobile phone went unanswered.
Hwarare has lately been under a sustained attack from some Zanu PF elements who accuse him of playing a prominent role in the so-called Mujuru faction.
At the heart of the anger towards him is apparently his perceived refusal to nail former Labour Minister Nicholas Goche when the latter was accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe late last year.
This happened during the chaotic run-up to the party’s damp squib “elective” congress that was held in Harare last month, where Mujuru and other party officials linked to her — including Goche — were ruthlessly and controversially kicked out of their Zanu PF positions.
Hwarare appears to have courted the wrath of his comrades when he distanced himself from lickspittle State media reports that had quoted him saying Goche had allegedly spoken to him about an impending war and the removal of Mugabe at the party’s December congress.
And as the murky charges against Mujuru, Goche and other’s have begun to crumble spectacularly, at least in the court of public opinion, because of a glaring lack of evidence — angry party hardliners are meting out their frustration on the likes of Hwarare, who have seemingly got in the way of their plans.
A Masvingo-based top Zanu PF official said the bombing of Hwarare’s offices was not just “desperate but also frightening considering that anyone linked to Mujuru could be subjected to similar attacks”.
“Today it is Hwarare and tomorrow it’s somebody else. Who knows where all this will end,” the official said ruefully.
On his part, Hwarfromet’s certain that the onslaught against him was linked to the brutal succession wars currently raging within Zanu PF.
“I think this attack is intended to instill fear in me so that I comply with the demands of those who want to give substance to the plot (to oust and assassinate President Robert Mugabe),” Hwarare said.
He said his enemies also wanted him to step down from the influential union position that he held because of his perceived connections to Mujuru.
Another Zanu PF official who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation said the factional fights were also likely to see those toppled from their positions losing their farms and other properties — in the ongoing crackdown that sought to completely destroy the Mujuru camp.
“This anarchy is just beginning. If anyone things that we have reached the bottom, just wait and see what will happen to the likes of (Didymus) Mutasa and others in the coming few weeks,” he said.