ZANU PF has expelled suspended former spokesperson Rugare Gumbo for his continued attacks on President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing the media after the central committee meeting Wednesday evening, national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo said Gumbo had been expelled for bringing the name of the liberation movement into disrepute.
“Suspended spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo has been expelled from the party by the central committee,” said Khaya Moyo.
Gumbo was suspended for five years earlier last month for allegedly opposing Mugabe.
He also condemned Mugabe’s decision to amend the party’s constitution to enable him to choose his deputies and members of the politburo saying the decision reduced the ongoing congress to a charade.
Gumbo’s expulsion comes as Zanu PF hardliners linked to justice minister Emmerson Mnangangwa vowed to block vice president Joice Mujuru and her allies from attending the party’s congress.
The central committee also scrapped a clause in the party’s constitution which states that one of the vice president must be a woman, meaning that Mnangagwa – who has been tipped to replace Mujuru – could easily land the crucial post and, subsequently, be in line to take over from Mugabe.
In addition, politburo recommendations that the party president appoints his two deputies from the central committee’s elected membership as well as the national chairperson were also endorsed.
Mugabe will still be expected to consider the unity accord when appointing the vice president, a move that keeps former PF Zapu officials still in the run for one of the two vice president posts.
Meanwhile, emboldened hawks in the party have said Mujuru should be banished from taking any party position together with secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who is accused of working with the embattled vice president to topple or assassinate Mugabe.
Zanu PF MP for Gokwe-Nembudziya Justice Mayor Wadyajena told his constituency on Monday that Mujuru should be banished from party activities for her wayward behaviour and plots against Mugabe.
“The same fate that befell Gumbo must hit Mujuru and the other plotters who want to kill our president,” he said.
“She is very unappreciative and a disgrace to the women of Zimbabwe. After being picked up from the rags and made a vice president she now wants to take over in an illegal way. She must be banished.”
The youthful MP said apart from Mujuru and Gumbo, Mutasa – who is also presidential affairs minister – should also be relieved of his cabinet post which “is very sensitive and at the core to national security”.
“Zanu PF cannot allow sell-outs to be in its ranks. Once a sell-out always a sell-out and this is what we are seeing today,” said the legislator.
“We have people like Mavhaire (Dzikamai) demanding that President Mugabe leaves office way back and now he is revolting against him again.
“He too must be banished. He used his authority for factional benefits while Zimbabweans were subjected to suffering.
“He has championed the looting of public resources for factional interests. As the party we must not allow that to continue.”