Well-placed sources told the Daily News On Sunday yesterday that Mnangagwa had threatened to jettison the fingered officials from the ruling party while addressing a Zanu-PF politburo meeting in Harare - after he learnt that they were among the people creating havoc within the former liberation movement ahead of its district co-ordinating committee (DCC) elections now slated for next weekend.
Acting Zanu-PF spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, confirmed to the Daily News On Sunday that Mnangagwa had indeed had a go at land barons in the party, warning them against fomenting chaos in the former liberation movement.
This comes amid concerns that Zanu-PF is slowly drifting towards the climate that prevailed in the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe - which was marked by debilitating factionalism and tribalism.
"The president warned that politburo members who are implicated in land baron shenanigans must expect what is due to them.
"He said the law will take its course without fear or favour. It is important that in re-organising the party, we must be on the forefront explaining things (grabbing land and creating havoc in the party) … because what was done was wrong," Chinamasa said.
The party insiders who spoke to the Daily News On Sunday said Mnangagwa had told his lieutenants that the party would investigate all the officials using illegally acquired land proceeds as campaign tools in the impending DCC elections, with a view to expelling them from the party.
"The president also said that there are some in the politburo who are not necessarily land barons, but who have links to them and tend to benefit from their land deals.
ZANU-PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa
"He said those people are using the same money to destroy the party by financing their preferred candidates ahead of the DCC elections.
"He said, in very unambiguous terms, that he won't hesitate to fire anyone caught on the wrong side of the law," one of the insiders told the Daily News On Sunday.
Last week, Mnangagwa also openly threatened to expel some party bigwigs that he accused of abusing his name and dividing Zanu-PF.In his address to the same politburo, he said DCC elections were meant to unite the party, not divide it.
"The DCC structures are a system to strengthen party coordination, as well as a useful vehicle to entrench party constitutionalism, internal democracy and grassroot mobilisation.
"More importantly, once established, DCCs should coordinate and unify our party through constant interaction with political districts, as we journey towards Vision 2030," he said.
"Our meeting today should remind us that we are a people's party with the responsibility to advance the emancipation and economic empowerment of our people.
"The need to engrain the liberation and revolutionary history, ethos and value systems in all our activities is equally
"The party constitution requires members to be loyal, patriotic and to promote peace and unity. "Under the Second Republic, our DNA entails that we serve our people whole-heartedly and promote inclusive development which leaves no one, and no place behind," Mnangagwa said further.
Meanwhile, some party insiders also claimed that during last week's meeting, the politburo could not reach a consensus on how to proceed with the DCC elections - with some officials apparently recommending that the elections be held this year to avoid continuous infighting, while others wanted the complaints that had been
raised by aspiring candidates to be dealt with first.
"The debate was robust, with the commissariat and security departments insisting on having early elections, possibly before the end of the year - as the party cannot afford to go on fighting like what is currently happening , " one of the insiders said.
"They argued that the longer the candidates remained on the ground campaigning, the more the fights in the party would escalate - hence there is a real need to have people taking their positions after elections, so that they work on unifying the party," another insider added.
On Friday, Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu announced that the DCC elections would be held on December 5 and 6. This comes as the run-up to the re-instated and highlydivisive DCC elections has been sullied by vicious infighting, which has seen some bigwigs being accused of fanning party chaos.
The countdown to the DCC elections had also been marred by allegations of dirty money changing hands - amid unproven claims that remnants of the party's vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction were burning the midnight oil to influence the outcome of the internal polls, in an alleged bid to engineer their group's political comeback.
The DCC structures elect Zanu-PF's 10 provincial executives - where the party and Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo from. The party's DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and former vice president Joice Mujuru's battles to succeed Mugabe.
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