Zanu PF has moved to curb squabbles bedevilling the party through banning several WhatsApp groups in Masvingo province, which the party said are not serving any purpose but just fuelling factionalism.
In an urgent notice addressed to all members including affiliate organizations, Provincial Secretary for Information Pepukai Chiwewe instructed that all WhatsApp groups which talk about or have any links to Zanu PF be dissolved.
“Instruction has been issued by the Security Department to dissolve or delete all WhatsApp groups that talk or have links or have anything to do with the party Zanu PF with immediate effect.
“However, constituencies, wards or party districts are still allowed to formulate, manage and organize one group which incorporate(s) every party member,” read the notice.
It also indicated that District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairpersons and secretaries for information from all organs will be monitoring activities in the allowed WhatsApp groups, before warning members to adhere to the order with immediate effect, failure to which they will face the law.
“The department of information would like to warn all members to remain guided by the constitution of the party and keep their maximum adherence to instructions guiding us. The group admins who are going to defy this order shall be treated as divisive and they will face the ugly reality of the law without fear or favour. The deadline to comply with this directive is effectively immediate.
“I appeal to all members in our illustrious province to comply as expected. Any inconveniences caused are sincerely regrettable,” the directive read.
Chiwewe in an interview also said that the decision was taken after party leadership realised that members were haphazardly creating WhatsApp groups to insult each other as well as settling personal vendettas.
He added that the move was just a housekeeping issue which will enable social media to further party interests once it is properly coordinated.
“We are not saying groups should be totally banned, but we are saying at district level, there should be a group, as well as at cell level, with all our executive members in that group. That also applies to provincial level, not having several WhatsApp groups that end up promoting the undermining of the Zanu PF constitution.
“Some of the groups are fuelling funny factionalism, aggravating divisions while at the same time weakening the party; that is what we want to guard against,” Chiwewe said.
The decision comes barely a week after the party embarked on a healing exercise aimed at consoling those who lost during the party’s primary elections, including those who are aggrieved that they lost due to rigging machinations that marred the polls.
The party is battling to bring its house in order pending an imminent Bhora Musango from those who felt short changed with the outcomes of the primaries.
Some who won the polls were later disqualified for different reasons while in some cases, cell registers were said to be in shambles leading to the defeat of some aspiring candidates.
Factionalism in the province has seen the party divided salong two leaders namely Provincial chairperson Robson Mavhenyengwa fronting the faction aligned to Vice president Constantino Chiwenga while former chair now Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira leads the other aligned to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.