Zanu PF seriously fractured

LONDON - President Robert Mugabe gave as one of the reasons for his continued stay in power the desire to leave his party united.

It is the assumption then that he had long known that his party was fractured.

But his continued stay seems to have only achieved the opposite; the divisions have only worsened.

What does he do now?  

Mugabe has already accepted nomination by his party’s Women’s League to stand as the Zanu PF candidate in the next election.

Whether Mugabe decides to be the candidate for the 2018 election or not, the reality is Zanu PF is now a seriously divided party.

It was only inevitable after Mugabe’s lengthy rule some would position themselves for a take-over.

If Zanu PF becomes a weakened party as the fissures portend, Mugabe should therefore take the blame.

Had he wanted his party to survive, he would have ceded power and promoted internal democracy.

Other regional vanguard parties — some after periods of one-party rule, have since learnt the value of leadership change for their survival.

Frelimo in Mozambique and the ANC still enjoy dominance after periodic changes in leadership after dispensing with personalistic rulerships.

Two Frelimo leaders have won elections since Mozambique switched to multi-partyism in 1994.

South Africa has had two ANC presidents since Nelson Mandela.

These parties have evidently managed to foster democracy internally.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of the late Kamuzu Banda (president from 1961 to1994) and the United National Independent Party (UNIP), once led by Kenneth Kaunda ( from 1964 to 1991) took far too long to nurture internal democracy.

These inordinate personalistic rulerships eventually cost the two parties.

MCP and UNIP have been losing elections. 

Lengthy stays in power that have anchored themselves on the charisma of liberation war legacy have thus proved self-defeating.

Zanu PF could suffer the same fate.

For a long time, it has proved to be ill at ease with internal democracy, choosing to engender lengthy personalistic rule.

The mention of Mugabe’s removal has invited repercussions. The departure of Simba Makoni, the so-called Tsholotsho declaration and so on, all attest to Zanu PF’s aversion to
internal democracy when it comes to Mugabe.

As the internecine battles now show, this philosophy has been self-defeating.

For Zimbabwe, the hope for change may now lie in a party that is defeating itself in the face of an imminent end to personalised rule.

This is a party that the opposition has failed to defeat since 1980 — partly because of the unity around Mugabe, and partly, because of Zanu PF’s electoral fiddling.

However, that unity is now in peril.

Mugabe might decide to stay longer but, as pointed out earlier, this is unlikely to heal the divisions. At 90, the inevitability of his eventual departure means camps might now remain, covertly or otherwise.

In the event that he stands, “bhora musango” might occur in 2018 as frustration in his party’s ranks mounts.

This protest transfer of the vote to the opposition has happened before when the divisions in Zanu PF were less visible.

The electoral prospects may be worse if either Mnangagwa or Mujuru takes over. Either camp may not lend electoral backing to the other.

It is too early to predict, Zanu PF might confound all and emerge a united force after its December congress, but if these divisions persist, they could create ground for long-needed regime change.

It now depends on whether the MDC can organise itself, capitalise on Zanu PF’s self-immolation and become more vigilant during elections.

Compared to the events in Zanu PF, the ructions in the MDC are stuff of the kindergarten.

The divisions in the MDC have pretty much defined themselves quickly and conclusively, one group publicly detaching itself.

The factions might as well now concentrate on what they can offer to the electorate.

On the other, Zanu PF’s divisions are far more insidious without the purported faction leaders openly declaring interest.

The plotting and scheming will continue until Mugabe’s departure.

Comments (10)

Zanu PF wll never suffer the same fate as eitherMslawi's MCP or Zambia's UNIP because the opposition in Zimbabwe is too stupid to realise and utilise the advantages offered them by the shenanigans going on in Zanu PF. As long as the opposition in Zimbabwe is more disfractured than ZanU PF then the latter will rule "kusvika madhongi amera nyanga", to quote the late John Nkomo's words.

Johno - 26 August 2014

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we d - 26 August 2014

I have known it that we may cry because ZANU PF is clinging to power but was very sure that the departure of Mugabe from that position by whatever means will be the end of that party. Zimbabwe would have been an exciting country with all the wealth of brains of people who were dying under unclear circumstances since the independence of this country. Its a shame how some leaders don't want people who challenge their thinking and their way of doing things or people who seem to be better rivals than them,its a bad leadership quality, now its paying dividends.

Shona - 26 August 2014

Johno,you do not have to go to school to see that ZANU PF are very likely to face the same fate as MCP, KANU &UNIP. Opposition will eventually wake up one day&it is naive for you to think of MDC as the only opposition party forever. Honestly,ANC owes its longevity to periodic leadership changes which is very taboo in ZANU PF.Your only focus on MDC may well be costly.


Mugabe's endorsement by ZANU PF women as their sole presidential candidate for the 2018 elections at 94, may be construed as ''KURAMWIRA MAKUDO MUMUNDA,''or ''ZVIBAYE WEGA.''There is too much hypocrisy in ZANU PF.

TAPERERWA HAMAWEE - 27 August 2014

True true. ZANU PF is turning out to be the weakest liberation movement in Southern Africa. Within 20 years of attaining independence, they were losing up to 50% of votes to the opposition (Remember the parliamentary election of 2000). 8 years later, only outright violence kept them in power (2008 presidential and parliamentary elections). In comparison, liberation movements that provided for succession continued to enjoy victories by wide margins well beyond 20 years after independence (ANC, BDP, SWAPO and even the CPC). Interestingly, those movements have evolved with time to adopt moderate approaches to economic emancipation which has brought relative prosperity to the citizens of their countries. Turning to the opposition, if they were wise, they would also see the trend. Tsvangirai should have relinquished power after two terms to ensure continued success of the party. The party collapsed before it even got into power. The We appreciate their efforts to liberate us from ZANU PF. New opposition now, new faces, new ideas. Chimindo for 2018, who is with me?

John Chimindo - 27 August 2014

The lucky thing is zanupf faces a divided opposition with most in opposition being selfish and chasing selfish interests. We now need a very string opposition and my worry is the failure by Simba Makoni to take advantage of the chaos in the MDC camp T and B and N MDcs are in a mess and Zimbabweans have been let down by these selfish people now we need amadoda sibili who can stand he heat throw away selfishness and start building a formidable opposition for 2018.

maita - 27 August 2014

Its undisputed that there is blood on the floor in ZANUPF but their strength lies in the weakness of the opposition which lacks political maturity and experience. If the octogenarian springs a surprise in December by anointing a neutral successor then all the problems will rest. However from the look of things the Herald under the stewardship of Jo is now openly attacking the other faction.

Aluta Continua - 27 August 2014

Kuti pachazombova nekubatana futi mu Zanu? I dont thinks these camps will go away now. Even if Mujuru is annointed, Mnangagwa camp will sabotage; if Mnangagwa takes over, Mujuru camp will sabotage. Zanu iri pakaoma

zvabvondoka - 27 August 2014

vamugabe is a good father.long live president mugabe

MAKONI L - 29 August 2014

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