Vice President Joice Mujuru has denied the existence of factions in the ruling party, saying there is only one Zanu-PF led by President Mugabe. Addressing delegates at a Zanu-PF Woman's League Inter-District Conference in Mutare on Saturday, VP Mujuru -- who is Zanu-PF Second Secretary -- said factionalism had no place in the party.
There have been widespread reports that VP Mujuru leads a faction that wants her to succeed President Mugabe, while Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to be her main contender.
President Mugabe recently said he was aware of such reports and indicated that neither VP Mujuru nor Cde Mnangagwa had an automatic ticket to the Presidency as the people would choose their next leader via Congress.
At the weekend, VP Mujuru said: "Our party, Zanu-PF, in most cases survives because of discipline among members. That is what we must show, our discipline in our party.
"I am always not happy to hear a leader in Zanu-PF moving around fanning factionalism. You must understand the hierarchy of the party leadership.
"That is what we must show to the majority of the people. If you hear anyone saying 'my post is small, I need a bigger post', that's betraying the party. Do not ever tell anyone that there is factionalism in Zanu-PF, there is nothing called factionalism in the party."
VP Mujuru said it was foolhardy to discuss a change of leadership while President Mugabe was in office.
"If you hear people talking about factionalism, ask them where it is written in the party's constitution. The person will tell you a word that looks nice.
"No, that person should tell you that he wants to remove President Mugabe kana kuti ndapanduka ndavakuda kuita zvinhu zvangu saka musazomuteerera munhu iyeye because isu vamwe veZanu-PF tichiri paya paya pane discipline.
"VaMugabe varipo, vaMugabe vanotiudza mazuva ose kuti dai maenda kuvanhu muvadzidzise gwara remusangano. Iwe unoda kukwira pamusoro pauri wago gona here?
"Handisati ndagona pandiri saka pamusoro paunoda pane munhu unopada peyi iye aripo? Wacho aripo ugozomuita sei, kana kuti wavakuda faction isiri yaMugabe.
"Kana isi faction yeZanu-PF, isiri yavaMugabe, yako yauri kutaura ndeyani nokuti wedu musagano watinoziva unotungamirirwa navaMugabe?" she said.
VP Mujuru said Zimbabwe was blessed to have a leader like President Mugabe who understands the values and ethos of the liberation struggle, which today was being fulfilled through Zim-Asset, a homegrown economic blue print.
Present at the conference were senior party officials among them Cdes Oppah Muchinguri, Olivia Muchena, Flora Bhuka and Victoria Chitepo.