'Zanu PF vultures smelling blood'

HARARE - As succession politics play out in Zanu PF, vultures and newcomers in the party are smelling blood and continue to eliminate each other through the party’s politburo expulsions and suspensions.

So far, Zanu PF has reportedly suspended 141 officials and expelled several others accusing them of clandestine activities to illegally remove President Robert Mugabe in support of former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Political analyst Mcdonald Lewanika said the vultures in Zanu PF smell blood and are eliminating each other in order to be well-positioned to take prime positions and have the biggest share of the politics carcass.

Lewanika believes the battle in Zanu PF is not about Mugabe but about who takes over from the 91-year-old.

“Mnangagwa is clearing the path for taking over and perceived opponents are being purged under the guise of doing this for Mugabe because this is a convenient cover, but the reality is indeed about Mnangagwa’s aspirations to be the new king with those opposed being banished from the court.”

He said loyalty to Mugabe has never really been an issue to those expelled or suspended as they still professed their loyalty to Mugabe and Zanu PF.

Political activist Tabani Moyo said the trend and pace of suspensions is aptly captured by the late academic Masipula Sithole in his legendary book Struggles within the Struggle.

“Attention should no longer be on the common enemy group, which has already been pushed out. But what will happen to the remaining co-group as it seeks to organise itself for life after Mugabe.

“In essence when they are done with the purging, the nudging question still remains — who will succeed Mugabe?”

Moyo said as long as the question remains unanswered, “the party is playing on the margins; the new contradictions are on the current ‘centre’ and the emerging fractures in its attempt to answer the succession question.

“The battle lines are therefore drawn on the following frontiers — who is organising the structures and for what purpose? What is the role of the army in the financing and commissariat work?”

In the long run, Moyo said the alliance forging purges on the Mujuru camp will face new contradictions with the battle for control of the army and repressive state machinery as an organising, financing and power-handling tool.

“The first faction to control this tool will maintain temporary hold to power and use the cooling period to re-organise the party.

“In summary, what is happening now as seen in the purging of the Mujuru camp shall befall the party again; hence the struggles within the struggle are taken to new frontiers.”

Political commentator Blessing Ivan Vava said the recent purges are succession politics at play.

“The Mnangagwa faction is preparing for life after Mugabe and they would not want any resistance in case Mugabe goes. Remember the constitution is clear that after the death or resignation of a president, there will be an acting president for 90 days thereafter the party of the former president nominates a successor. So in this case removing Mujuru allies will be a way of removing the obstacles to power for Mnangagwa.”

Journalist Njabulo Ncube said the decks are being cleared to make way for the newcomers who orchestrated the purging of the Mujuru camp for them to fit perfectly in the new set-up likely to succeed Mugabe.

“The hatchet job has been done. But what is interesting about the latest purge is the annihilation of the (Webster) Shamu and (Andrew) Langa families, who to all intents and purposes, sang loudly for their supper as they hero-worshipped the First Family.

“Langa recruited his whole clan in Matabeleland South into Zanu PF. Shamu, of the ‘cremora’ fame, was suspended together with his wife while Langa, his wife and three other male relatives faced the same fate. It confirms that in politics boot-licking does not always guarantee success and I am sure Shamu and Langa can attest to this.”

Playwright Silvanos Bhanditi Mudzova says people should remember that Zanu PF is Mugabe.

“Mugabe wants to die in power and anyone who goes against his dream is fired. People may speculate about Mnangagwa and Mujuru but the real person is Mugabe who is suspending all these people.

“He would rather lose all and clinch on to power. The goal is for Mugabe to contest the 2018 election and handover power to Mnangagwa without competition.

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