Dabengwa back in charge

Former Zipra intelligence supremo Dumiso Dabengwa, who was almost kicked out of national politics by ZANU-PF Young Turks in Bulawayo, has bounced back as one of the most powerful persons in Bulawayo.

Insiders say Dabengwa, who was rescued by the party presidency which weeded out all the Young Turks because of their alleged involvement in the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration that was allegedly against the nomination of Joyce Mujuru as Vice-President, has been given a blank cheque to reorganise the party from cell level.

"He has been given a blank cheque just like Jonathan Moyo was given during his heydays. The only difference with Moyo is that Dabengwa does not have free access to the media," a source said.

Former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo was expelled from both the ruling party and the government last month when he decided to stand as an independent candidate in Tsholotsho.

Moyo had become one of the most powerful men in the country, doling out millions of dollars to lure people to the ruling party.

Dabengwa, who indicated last October that he was calling it a day and would not be participating in any elections, almost got kicked out of politics when the young Bulawayo provincial executive excluded him from the line-up for the party's central committee.

But he was rescued at the party's congress when he was appointed both to the central committee and the politburo, ZANU-PF's powerful inner cabinet.

He was also tasked with restructuring the party's Bulawayo province and the war veterans association.

The Bulawayo provincial executive was dominated by war veterans, most of whom were said to be loyal to Jabulani Sibanda, a former leader of the ex-combatants who publicly stated that the old guard was a spent force.

The executive was dissolved on January 17 because of "incompetence".

In a move that seemed to be aimed at completely wiping out the influence of the Young Turks, Vice-President Joseph Msika dissolved all ZANU-PF party structures two weeks later, right down to the grassroots, a move which observers say has given Dabengwa a free rein.

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