Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Manicaland Senator Monica Mutsvangwa was still a Central Committee member despite contesting for the provincial chairmanship last year.
This is contrary to statements by the revolutionary party's secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa that Sen Mutsvangwa had forfeited her Central Committee position by contesting in the plebiscite.
Sen Mutsvangwa lost the elections to Ambassador John Mvundura.
Cde Mutasa then wrote a letter, which was read out during a provincial co-ordinating meeting last month in Mutare to Sen Mutsvangwa advising her that she had ceased to be a Central Committee member.
Responding to questions from journalists in Harare yesterday, Cde Mnangagwa said the purported dismissal of Sen Mutsvangwa was a farce.
"I think you are correct to use the word purportedly," he said.
"As a journalist you know that it means you are in doubt whether it is correct or not correct. Indeed it (the dismissal) is purported."
Asked if Sen Mutsvangwa was still in the Central Committee, Cde Mnangagwa retorted: "Absolutely!"
In a text message yesterday, Cde Mutasa, who is said to be out of the country, referred questions to Sen Mutsvangwa.
"Please ask her (if she is still in the Central Committee)," he said.
Last month, Cde Mutasa said Sen Mutsvangwa was no longer a Central Committee member.
"The letter, which was read on Saturday (last month) was just a reminder to Sen Mutsvangwa that she is no longer a Central Committee member because she voluntarily resigned to contest a lower post, which she lost to Mvundura," said Cde Mutasa.
"In our party, it is clear that if you hold a senior post and want to contest for a junior post, you relinquish that post first.
"Sen Mutsvangwa should blame herself for making an ill-informed decision. She knows this very well, and why should she blame others for her own mistakes?"
Sen Mutsvangwa said it was politics at play as it took about seven months for the letter to be written to her, showing that there was a hidden agenda.
"The letter purporting to dismiss me from Central Committee is just dirty campaign tricks," Sen Mutsvangwa said.
"It has nothing to do with this outgoing Central Committee, but these are desperate efforts from people who are mortified of my popularity and strong candidacy in the forthcoming Central Committee elections.
"They are trying to undermine democracy in the party by cheating and scaring away the electorate to elect a candidate of their choice."
She added: "This clearly vindicates my earlier position that their earlier win in the provincial elections last November was an outcome of rigging.
"As the party leadership elections are approaching, all I request is for President Mugabe, as the leader of the party, to ensure that there are conditions for free and fair elections in Manicaland.
"I can assure you that I will teach those male chauvinists a lesson they will never forget."