VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has all but admitted he revels in Zanu PF’s factional fights, saying he would get worried if there were no squabbles in the ruling party.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Long viewed as President Robert Mugabe’s heir apparent, Mnangagwa, who is currently on the receiving end of the ruling party’s G40 faction, told State television at the weekend that the internal contradictions were healthy and strengthened Zanu PF.
“I have been in the party since 1962, I can’t remember a year when there were no squabbles since 1962, but we are still going. The squabbles make us stronger and more sharpened to deal with issues,” he said.
“If everything dies and there are no squabbles, and there is nothing. I would be very worried. When these things happen, you know what people are thinking and you know what to do to resolve the misthinking (sic).”
Zanu was formed in 1963 and Mnangagwa’s 1962 reference could have been made to mean before the party split from Zapu.
But, academic and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza accused Mnangagwa of trying to gloss over a situation that could actually lead to the death of the party.
“Zanu PF and all political formations in our system are not parties in the truest sense of the word. Parties are a western democratic phenomenon,” he explained.
“What we have are loose movements of people coalescing from different sectors of society with the objective of taking power.
“The State becomes a feeding trough or a vehicle for aggrandisement and nothing more. Zanu PF lacks the discipline associated with political parties and Mnangagwa is trying to justify the mayhem gripping the party.
“The chaos in Zanu PF does not serve any of the factions except the one with the power.”
Mnangagwa survived a 2004 purge when he was accused of being the main beneficiary of what is commonly referred to as the Tsholotsho Declaration and had to take a backseat as former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was elevated in his stead, before his 2014 success.
Another analyst, Pedzisai Ruhanya concurred with Mnangagwa arguing, society by nature is characterised by conflict.
“Zanu PF uses these factions to test its strength and its internal contradictions,” he said.
“Not all internal conflicts are bad, if you look at the liberation struggle, it was a conflict that was meant to install a new and desirable order.
“Conflict is necessary even in a democracy as long as it can be controlled and not allowed to turn terminal.
“Zanu PF can control its internal contradictions because it is in control of the coercive apparatus of the State.
“They can unleash the army, intelligence and other apparatus as and when required. That is why you find Mugabe at the centre of every conflict situation in Zanu PF because he has capacity to end it. He uses it to find solutions to problems in the party and elsewhere.”
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, last year, in a stinging communique, accused Mugabe of manipulating internal contradictions within Zanu PF to stay in power.
The former fighters also claimed Mugabe is the godfather of a faction of the ruling party known as G40 that has been pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed the veteran ruler.
Interestingly though, Mugabe and his wife have been at the centre of the current intra-factional storm engulfing the G40 faction that has seen the resignation of senior women’s league leaders, Sarah Mahoka and Eunice Sandi Moyo, while national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere is battling for his political life.