Can Mugabe heal Zanu PF rift?

HARARE - The exclusion of pertinent issues involving Ziyambi Ziyambi and Energy Mutodi from the politburo agenda on Wednesday reveals that Zanu PF could be headed for a turnaround.

Early this week, the Mashonaland West provincial executive passed a vote of no confidence in Ziyambi who was interim chairperson over accusations of leaking party information to former provincial party boss Temba Mliswa who was fired from Zanu PF.

Mliswa stood as an independent candidate and slugged it out with Keith Guzah in the Hurungwe West by-election that was held on June 10.

Curiously, Guzah, who emerged victorious in the controversial by-election, has been thrust into the top provincial party post, albeit on an interim basis. The by-election was marred by irregularities, including allegations that Guzah’s name did not appear on the voters’ roll for the Hurungwe West constituency.

Mutodi has of late been issuing statements on social media which are viewed to be divisive and may cause further damage to the faction-riddled party.

One would have hoped that Zanu PF, which has since last year been on a rampage, pruning its members in an attempt to weed out any form of indiscipline, would deal with Ziyambi and Mutodi during their meeting of the party’s supreme governing body outside congress.

However, the cases were not part of Wednesday’s politburo meeting agenda which chose to dwell on policy issues like ZimAsset.

President Robert Mugabe’s attitude reveals this could be a time of healing in the party which purged most of its high-ranking members, particularly those perceived to have supported former Vice President Joice Mujuru .

Political scientist Eldred Masunungure says the fact that Mugabe chose not to appoint a substantive Information minister during his Cabinet reshuffle last week points to the fact that the nonagenarian wanted to heal the rift caused by the purges of senior officials, Mujuru and her sympathisers.

We tend to agree.

The 91-year-old leader, who is revered as a shrewd poker player when it comes to politics, will however, need to deal with the issue of his wife’s presidential ambitions if healing is to be realised.

Grace, who turns 50 this month, is no doubt a force within Zanu PF as elderly men twiddle their thumps and kneel before her as they try to ingratiate themselves with the First Family.

It, however, remains to be seen if Mugabe can heal the rift in Zanu PF in the absence of a clear succession plan.


Comments (1)

Can Mugabe heal the rift? I think that it has already gone too far. Too many people have been deeply hurt and harmed by the accusations made and the manner and style in which individuals have been smeared and their reputations trashed. The basic and fundamental problem is that Mugabe just cannot take any form of criticism be it right or wrong, strong or mild. He will not tolerate it and immediately brands critics, many of whom are trying to offer good and sound advice, traitors and Western imperialists. Both Mugabe and his wife are the ones primarily responsible for these deep divisions which has destroyed ZANU PF and they will now reap the consequences of their mischievous and deceitful actions and behaviour.

Epson Shoko - 19 July 2015

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