A senior Zanu PF official and Politburo member, Cleveria Chizema was Wednesday suspended from the party with immediate effect after she was found in possession of fliers and placards for the planned July 31 mass protests.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa confirmed the suspension at a media briefing Wednesday after a Politburo meeting that was chaired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The Politburo has unanimously directed there be thorough investigations of the matter, how the fliers were delivered to her home, why she did not report the matter to the rightful authorities either or security department or the security department in the government of the commissariat who are responsible for discipline within the party,” the ruling party spokesperson said.
Chizema is also a senator in Parliament and her possession of what Zanu PF has branded as subversive material has exposed the deep-seated factional fights in the ruling party.
“The fact that the fliers were delivered at her home and she did not do anything other than to try and phone other members of the Politburo for a meeting without disclosing the nature of the meeting was considered a serious dereliction of duty,” Chinamasa said.
“Pending investigations the Politburo member has been suspended and the concerned Politburo members is Cleveria Chizema, the secretary for health, child care and elderly.”
According to sources, the placards and fliers that were seized from across the country were presented during the Politburo meeting indicating the demonstrators were going to show their support for Vice President Constantino Chiwenga while attacking the leadership of Mnangagwa.
Tensions have been rising in Zanu PF and State security agents as Zimbabweans brace for anti-corruption demonstrations this Friday.
Meanwhile, addressing Politburo members Wednesday, Mnangagwa warned organisers of the Friday demonstration that State security agents would be on high alert to quell the protests.
“I want to warn the organisers of this ill-fated demonstration that our security services will be vigilant and on high alert to appropriately respond to their shenanigans,” he said.
“Zanu PF will never ever stand by and allow our people to be put in harm’s way. We will equally defend our independence and sovereignty to the letter and not betray the fallen heroes and heroines who paid the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.”