'Mugabe losing control of Zanu PF'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has “completely lost control” of Zanu PF, as factional fights and other political clashes have become more public, and dirtier, analysts have said.

This comes as Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa touched off a political storm after he made stunning accusations alleging that Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa connived with businessman Billy Rautenbach to use members of the Zimbabwe National Army in their mining deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when the country’s military intervened in that country’s political crisis just over 15 years ago.

He also alleged Information minister Jonathan Moyo was abusing State media to wage factional wars, an accusation immediately rubbished by Moyo who said Mliswa had been caught with “his hands in the till” and should be fired from the chairmanship of Mashonaland West province because he has confirmed that he belonged to a certain faction.

In another indication of deepening factionalism within Zanu PF, Foreign Affairs deputy minister Christopher Mutsvangwa openly attacked his boss Simbarashe Mumbengegwi saying he was unprofessional, undiplomatic and blundered on the First Lady’s denial of a visa to the just-ended EU-Africa summit.

Mutsvangwa accused his boss together with the ministry permanent secretary Joey Bimha, of running the ministry like a fiefdom.

Mutsvangwa also attacked the government on Wednesday, telling students taking Joint Command and Staff Course No. 27 at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare that the country was a bad debtor.

He said the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) squandered a $70 million loan  from China accessed to embark on a tractor company venture.

To add more fuel to the factionalism, Mugabe last week attacked the State media for using extraordinary measures to impose a media blackout on retired Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, saying he would kick out those responsible.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) — a conflict-prevention, non profit, non governmental organisation with branches all over the world, said the dog-eat-dog situation in Zanu PF was an ominous sign that Mugabe was losing grip of his party.

Piers Pigou, ICG Southern Africa project director, said the turmoil provided ample evidence that the president was no longer in total control of the party.

“He may not be on the verge of dying as some claim or even hope for, but it is self evident that his capacities are waning significantly,” Pigou said.

“That key figures feel emboldened to speak out vociferously against one another, either means they have little fear of censure, or realise that they must raise the stakes if they are to maintain ‘a dog in the fight’.

If Mugabe does maintain control, one has to ask what benefit he, the party accrue from such a damaging situation.”

Pigou was quick to warn that Mugabe is a foxy politician who has a penchant of playing one faction against the other and as such is allowing the factions to fight so that he retains leverage and relevance.

“At one level, it certainly reflects a failure of leadership.

“We, of course, do not know how much of what is going on he is actually aware of and how and by who he is being briefed,” Pigou said.

“It is likely to be selective and reflect partisan interests at some level, but he cannot be blind to the growing dysfunction and dangerous dynamics.

“During his birthday interview on ZBC, he tried to affirm he was still in control and going nowhere.

“I thought his comments on ‘not leaving his party in tatters’ was very telling, as it clearly infers that’s how he sees it — that is, his party is in tatters.”

Pigou said the president should exert his authority and rein-in senior party officials who are not toeing the line.

Mugabe needs to appoint a successor, Pigou said, as this would ease fights between factions angling to succeed him.

Charity Manyeruke, a University of Zimbabwe political analyst,  said people should not read too much into the fights as they are normal in a political establishment.

“It’s normal in political formations to have misunderstandings but the leadership has a responsibility to rein-in such situations,” Manyeruke said.

“When individuals attack each other, it is not Mugabe’s problem but some of them like to also test their power. It is the nature of politics; there are no written scripts.”

Comments (8)

Even during the liberation struggle factions were there. It has always been like that in ZANU-PF. Fighting never ends because politics is all about different views and philosophy. Life goes on and they cling to power. They are not like poor MDC where people easily split because they lack when it comes to unity of purpose and sharing a common vision. There is nothing wrong with Mr Morgen Richard Tsvangirai. All the so called MDC rebels are power hungry politicians and those who need publicity. Put them into M. R Tsvangirai's shoes they will not do anything new to remove Va Mugabe from power.Tsvangirai is fighting a formidable enemy armed to the teeth with all they need to suppress him. The Media, Chiefs, Headmen, Churches, Cults, The Army, CIO, Police, Airforce,Prison Services and funds from the RBZ. ZANU -PF survives because their own are afraid of one another as most have committed serious crimes too. Fear binds them together.However the bubble is about to burst

SHAVA - 6 April 2014

He ran away with the Ford Foundation till from wits after he was a reader (Associate Prof), joined the constitutional commission in the year 2000 and stayed in expensive hotels. He was rewarded wth a post as a junior state minister of information, got big headed and started playing kingmaker in 2004. He continuously places the same role through the media and has found his match through lose canon and motor mouth called Mliswa. He is betting on the wrong horse because Sekeramayi will be annointed heir by september. Even the mum he is fighting will be retired this year. So let him keep his cool and advise his backers to do the same. Thats the safest course our politics should take for the sake of peace and self actualisation

Sam - 6 April 2014

Just hope they don't start eliminating each other such as we have witnessed in the past; I mean the Chitepo, Tongo, Manyika, Malunga, Mahachi way, for example.

Dopori - 6 April 2014

I despise this party and all it represents.....let the eat each other...our country will be much better off without them.

mukwerekwere - 6 April 2014

If at all Mugabe is loosing control of ZANU PF, then your beloved puppet Tsvancry has lost control of MDCT.

reason - 7 April 2014

"Its normal in political formations...blah blah blah" Its only normal when it happens in Zanu PF circles. Only a few weeks back this Manyeruke witch was singing lyrical about the impending split in MDC T. One wonders whether its wise for one to aspire to be a Professor because the thinking of all our so called professors leaves a lot to be desired. Just look at our Musorodambas, Musorobangas, Mutambaras, Manyerukes, Chivaviros, Mupeperekis, Mahosos Ncubes, you name them. They all behave like assylum cases.Masailomu chaiwo.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 7 April 2014

Kachembere keKwachivi makes me luagh really masailomu chiwo ndaseka hangu. Professorship in Zimbabwe means idiocy. Almost all the professors I have erady about are pyschic cases. Madhunyasi chaiwo. Pandainzwa vakuru vachiti njere dzikawandisa unodhunya I think they ,meant our professors. Back to Mugabe and ZanuPF. This state of affairs suits Mugabe best because come congress there is no clear person to take over and he remains in power until Robert or Chatunga comes into fray or even Grace kuto[pata kwa Grace dai atoti 'Baba Chatunga choose me now as successor moti vamwe havana kubatana and vari power hungry so I annpint my wife to take over' Zvino kutyawo kwa Grace kuchatiparira dai iye zvino akutogadzira power yake so achipa vari relevant enough kuti vatsigire iye ko muno mu Zimbabwe ane mari ndiye mukuru ka.

Maita Manyuka - 7 April 2014

your headline does not correspond with the contents written.the party that is falling apart isMDC T

chief svosve - 12 April 2014

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