Mugabe must rise above factionalism

HARARE - Recent developments within Zanu PF where party members jostling for power ahead of an elective congress in December are now claiming they are being victimised for supporting the First Lady Grace Mugabe’s candidature are nothing new.

The manner in which warring factions are dragging Grace’s name in pursuing their selfish agendas shows a great deal of deceit.

The First Lady was recently nominated as the Zanu PF Women’s League boss.

Now, youth leaders facing disciplinary action in their provinces for various misdemeanours are invoking Grace’s name as a shield to protect themselves.

This culture of deceit and misinformation has become a trait within the party which has clung onto power since the country gained independence in 1980.

The lies and deceit have also degenerated into fierce fights which have spilled into the media and unfortunately Mugabe is caught right in the middle of the lies.

This is, however, not the first time that the party has been caught up in a web of lies which divided it.

The 2004 Zanu PF meeting popularly referred to as the Tsholotsho declaration is one such example where lies where peddled and had far reaching consequences.

It appears that the meeting convened by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Media, Information and Media Services minister, Jonathan Moyo was done above board but the organisers fell out of favour after President Robert Mugabe was fed with lies.

Even the case of Godwills Masimirembwa, who was accused of fraud involving $6 million, is another classic example where lies are fed to Mugabe within the ruling party.

Mugabe even went on to publicly call for Masimirembwa’s arrest only to find out later there were discrepancies in the reports he had been given.

Such misinformation and deceit, which has been allowed to go on, has become part and parcel of the 51-year-old party.

What makes the problem worse is that Mugabe almost always acts based on this flawed information, something which does more harm than good for the party and the nation at large.

Right now, the warring factions have taken to using his wife Grace as a pawn in their political shenanigans.

Grace who is a political novice, is now viewed as the gun which is being used to settle factional grudges.

All factions have now dragged her name into their fights with one group saying they are supporting her candidature while others argue that they are being victimised for supporting the First Lady.

We, therefore, urge Mugabe to look closely into the matter and restore discipline and dignity to the party by allowing democracy to take precedence in Zanu PF.

The 90-year-old leader who was recently appointed Sadc chairperson should lead by example and allow the factions to contest openly through free and fair elections.


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