LONDON - Zanu PF politics is harmful to itself and the country.
Just when we thought its December congress had brought the infighting to an end, the internal squabbling continues.
Justifying his stay as leader of Zanu PF, President Robert Mugabe stated he could not leave his party divided. It would appear he has only achieved the opposite.
Potential successors, naturally, saw the opportunity to consolidate their positions to take over from someone clearly nearing the end of his political career. The emergence of sub-party groups was a direct result of his ordinate hold on power.
Mugabe failed to address the divisions in his party maturely, instead electing to unleash his rabid wife, Grace, to embark on a reckless personal mission to fell archenemy, Joice Mujuru.
The best way to describe Zanu PF’s brand of politics is “disastrous”.
The irony escapes Grace’s praise-singers that the metaphors they ascribe to her, derive from disaster and destruction rather than constructiveness.
Hurricane Grace, Tsunami Grace…these metaphors are invoked to describe power and force. But they derive from destructive natural disasters. Grace has proved to be one.
Last week, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in his praise-singing for Grace, drew on another metaphor of calamity, this time human-sponsored.
“We did not know… that president Robert Mugabe was keeping a political atomic bomb at his house. She is like that bomb dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War.”
As Mnangagwa would know, the negative effects of Hiroshima have been long term; so could Grace’s impact on Zanu PF.
She would be better known as Calamity Grace, an epithet ascribed to an error-prone former Liverpool goalkeeper.
The idea that she changed the face of politics positively when she named only a few political targets, Mujuru mainly, as inept and corrupt is dishonest.
The dishonesty is clear to see: it is only when a party member or official falls out with Zanu PF that we learn of their alleged ineptitude, corruptness and nefarious conduct.
We are now learning that Didymus Mutasa — author of the protest letter after Zanu PF’s internal changes — was corrupt.
Why are we getting to know about this now?
We do not know whether Mutasa is guilty of the allegations. But the simple inference is that, in Zanu PF, you can get away with iniquitous conduct as long as you remain loyal.
This disastrous politics resulted in the expulsion of “disloyal” ministers and appointment of replacements.
The ministerial changes were, of course, not necessitated by or based on any merit or national interest, for instance, infusing new thinking for the development of the country.
Rather, they were the usual rewards to loyalists after dispensing with suspected members of the alleged Mujuru sub-party group.
One such replacement is Christopher Mushowe, former provincial minister for Manicaland, who landed the Indigenisation ministry.
We all know the disastrous message he sent to potential investors soon after assuming the reins at his new ministry.
His successor in Manicaland, Mandi Chimene, is no less disastrous. Last week, she addressed executives of Mbada Diamonds, Kusena, DMC, Marange Resources and the Russian-owned DTZ-OZGEO.
She told the mining executives that they should not employ members of the opposition.
Last week, I said, above everything else, the main problem that this country faces is the “ownership” question.
It is an albatross, for nothing stands in the way of Zanu PF’s claim to ownership of this country; not law, not human rights, not elections and now, not even the Constitution that bans political discrimination.
Chimene went further. She said if the mining companies could not pay money demanded of them for community trusts, they could always remit 10 percent of their diamonds to her office.
She would then find alternative markets to sell the diamonds and hand the proceeds over to local communities. This is a bizarre way of handling a national resource.
Where will we get to with people who scare investors away; have no respect for constitutionalism and transparency with national resources?
God save Zimbabwe from Zanu PF’s disastrous politics.