Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned that Zanu PF will not hesitate to expel more members as factionalism rocks the ruling party.
Last week Zanu-PF suspended 87 members from holding any leadership positions within the party for two years, while two others were handed three-year suspensions after the Politburo upheld the recommendations of the National Disciplinary Committee.
Speaking on Sunday at a campaign rally for the party’s Hurungwe West by-election candidate Keith Guzah, Mnangagwa claimed Zanu PF was cleansing itself of members who were plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
“We fought for our liberation and we can only safeguard it through voting for the right candidates,” he said.
“We were enlightened by (First Lady) Grace Mugabe of what was happening in the party in the build-up to the congress and the party had to act.
“You had Mliswa and we want to apologise that we failed to see that he was a renegade.
“We fired him because we had no faith in him and because of his activities.
“Zanu PF is like an elephant which is not scared of anything, even a barking dog.”
Former Zanu PF provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa lost his seat as Hurungwe West MP after he was expelled from the party for allegedly belonging to a faction of the party led by sacked former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Mliswa will contest as an independent against Guzah.
Although Mugabe loyalists continually accuse Mujuru of having plotted to assassinate the ageing leader, no arrests have been made suggesting the allegations were a mere cover to destroy her succession ambitions.