Zim implodes as centre collapses

HARARE - As Zimbabwe teeters on the verge of total collapse, amid fears that the country could soon plunge into unprecedented chaos as Zanu PF’s brutal factional and succession wars escalate, analysts say it is clear that the centre can no longer hold in the ruling party.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, the analysts said the free-for-all rumpus devouring Zanu PF — widely seen as the worst ever to hit the party since it came to power 36 years ago — also showed that both Zanu PF and the country were on “auto-pilot” in President Robert Mugabe’s dotage.

At the same time, Zanu PF insiders insisted that the reluctance by the increasingly-frail nonagenarian to either anoint or help the party to settle on his successor was the main factor behind its seemingly-unstoppable and often mindless bloodletting.

“This is why not even the purging of (former Vice President Joice) Mujuru in 2014 has stabilised the party. We now have Team Lacoste (the party faction aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa) and the G40 (ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40) tearing each other apart and taking everything down with them.

“Unfortunately too, the president, for unclear reasons, but possibly related to his advanced age, has not put his foot down to end this madness and anoint a successor.

“As a result, the sharks are taking matters into their hands and publicly campaigning for themselves or for their preferred candidates,” a despondent politburo member lamented yesterday.

The official spoke in the wake of last week’s tumultuous events which saw hawkish presidential spokesperson George Charamba,  described by his Zanu PF detractors as an “idiotic” Mnangagwa ally, openly shellacking the G40 as “foolish sucessionists”.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was unavailable to comment on the party’s growing anarchy yesterday.

But a careful Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira — who was one of the few senior officials willing to openly comment on the matter yesterday — said given that Charamba, who as a civil servant is not allowed to be political, was both Information permanent secretary and Mugabe’s spokesperson, it was difficult to draw the line where his work began and ended.

“If I got him right, I think he said he was speaking (in his controversial Thursday radio interview) in his capacity as the spokesperson of the president and that is where it becomes difficult,” Mupfumira said.

But the analysts who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said the anarchy that was ravaging the ruling party was a reflection of an organisation “in an “advanced state of decomposition”.

Respected University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, said the level of indiscipline in the party, which reflected the internal battles for supremacy, also showed that “the centre cannot hold anymore”.

“Unless and until the real problem afflicting Zanu PF, the problem of succession is resolved, chaos will continue to rein supreme, with rules being bent and broken at every turn to achieve various factional objectives.

“The future that awaits the party is bleak and that of continued fragmentation as it has been proven beyond doubt that former VP Mujuru, who was accused of being a faction leader was not the problem, as we are now hearing from Charamba who is mentioning sucessionists in the party,” Masunungure said.

Afghanistan-based analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, was even more scathing in his analysis of Zanu PF’s ructions, saying these were “a manifestation of a deeply-divided and factional party without anyone in control of the ship”.

“The centre no longer hold in that party with its tired president whose wife (First Lady Grace) appears to support the G40, while most of Mugabe’s own close aides, including Charamba, are on Lacoste’s (Mnangagwa’s) side.

“Thus, Mugabe is caught between a rock and a hard place as he can’t fire all his close lieutenants and he can neither discipline the people from the G40 like (Higher Education minister Jonathan) Moyo.

“He is in a dilemma and he is being forced to witness his party being taken down by these busy bodies fighting each other,” Saungweme said.

He also bemoaned the fact that the ruling party’s deadly infighting was paralysing government functions at a time that the country was faced with a myriad problems, including rising poverty levels, looming hunger and growing joblessness.

“Both Zanu PF and the government are very dysfunctional and chaotic at the moment. They are fighting even as we are facing drought and dealing with a collapsing economy on auto pilot.

“All this needs urgent and serious attention from the ruling party and the government, but they are too busy fighting and have no solutions at all.

“The likes of Charamba and Moyo, with nothing to do in their dysfunctional party and government, have found somewhere else to expend their energies — which is engaging in an unproductive war where they rip each other apart.

“The war betrays a redundant government with redundant officials who have nothing to do despite the fact that the country’s woes desperately need government intervention,” Saungweme said.

Renowned academic and publisher, Ibbo Mandaza, also questioned why Mugabe had recently admonished senior members of the country’s security sector for involving themselves in Zanu PF’s politics while he was himself failing to do the same with his spokesperson.

“Charamba should just resign immediately because he is offside. He is way off the mark because he is in breach of the law which is clear that as a civil servant he cannot participate in politics.

“It is a reflection of the extent to which national institutions and the constitutional provisions under which they operate have been subverted that all this is happening. Where is the Civil Service Commission in all this drama?

“Mugabe on the other hand chooses to be discrete when dealing with such issues, while publicly telling the security sector to stay away from politics as the likes of Charamba are breaking the law. Why does he not rein him in?” Mandaza asked.

A Zanu PF central committee member said the fact that Zimbabwe was once again “on the brink” politically and economically, was not a matter of speculation — as developments of the past few years were reflecting that clearly.

“While it’s sad for me to admit this, it does not matter which way one looks, the signs of anarchy are everywhere in our country. Notwithstanding the propaganda, the party is in trouble and the economy is dying.

“As you have seen recently, the government is also broke and cannot pay its obligations. On the other hand, companies are collapsing like dominos and the rate of job losses has reached catastrophic levels? That’s why something will have to give sooner rather than later,” he said.

Meanwhile, economists say average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest levels in 60 years, with more than 76 percent of the country’s families now having to make do with less than $200 a month, well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

Comments (16)

Mugabe at first thought he was being clever by having divide and rule tactics and having these people have factions and fight among themselves. But it has grown big and out of proportion now and even civil servants like Charamba are now chirping and making noise about it. All in all I think this Zanu PF in-fighting is a good thing - let them fight themselves.

Inyika - 31 January 2016

It's interesting from the responses to articles such as this in the Daily News, that people do not care if ZANU-PF does fragment. There is almost this resignation - things can't get worse, there is no way in hell ZANU-PF will ever run a free and fair election, maybe it is better if ZANU-PF does collapse. And I kind of see their point.

david taylor - 31 January 2016

come on people first. you have my vote come 2018. mai mujuru is a moderate. she is able to work with everyone for the betterment of zim.

zvirozviyedzwa - 31 January 2016

Civil servants have rights like any other citizens except that they are bound to work with the government of the day. They are the custodians of order in any country. Hence Charamba can air his views like anybody else. To expect mafikizolo to rule any country more so a struggling country is expecting to much.

Isheunopa Mangari - 1 February 2016

If civil servants are not allowed to participate in politics so why do they vote , Ibbo you lost it there . Charamba is entitled to support the political party of his choice and there is no way a presidential spokesperson can come or support an opposition .

Mudhara - 1 February 2016

Please stop displaying your ignorance or deliberate intellectual ineptitude Mudhara. Ibbo's comments are very clear. Charamba is offside just like Chiwenga, Nyikayatenda and their ilk. Do a bit of research guys before you indulging in 'baffonery'

Save - 1 February 2016

Save muinonyepa Charamba spoke in the shoes of the president a politician.Thats a political office it can not be separated for applicability s sake.

Emmerson Chikuni - 1 February 2016

Should you guys not be celebrating that, with the over-played implosion of Zanu-PF, horse that you are betting on, i.e.PF, will have no competition. If there should be any competition, that should then come from MDC-**; isn't that you preferred scenario? Maakutinyaudza ne type of coverage on the Zanu-PF factionalism.

Biggie Taapatsi - 1 February 2016

Saungweme n mandaza,what yu r missing is the fact that this interest in zanu fights that has generated big interest from the public is due or rather ,rightly,owing to the fact tha the opposition ,particularly MDC is dead.Theris nthing o dicuss in mdc so people ar coming to interesting zanu.kids play more at neighours house bcoz its more exciting than their house.Daily news is more conernrd or has a lot more interes in zanu than mdc.so are yu guys,ibo n max,hardly yu comment on mdc coz its a boring house run by out of ideas leaders.yu welcome I zanu ,dont procrastinate ,huuryup n register yoself in zanu.its the rie thing to do.zanu is moe exciting than those hot air doomsday parties.after mugabe there will be another leder n zanu will carryon .Ibbo yu know beter.tell me which 1 liberation party in SADC that went out of power?nope.

viola gwena - 1 February 2016

If zanu is dead as yu say ,how come mdc is so quiet,?its mdc yu shuld be worried about.yo party.its not on the ground.its invisible.I see most of mdc leaders cajoling for mujurus .they want to run.money hs left mdc.its supposedly headed to mujuru,so all mdc leaders ,grassroot leaders r following RUgare everywhr.Mr Tsvangirai is headed for closure,which is not good.we need him 2018,our punchbag.we need to sweat it out,come2018.

viola gwena - 1 February 2016

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French ruler and a strategist for that matter. He incited countries to go to war and when the two countries are tired he would send his army to go and pick up the pieces. Let the ZPF factions fight and destroy each other and the evil party then people of Zimbabwe will reclaim their freedom.

Plumber - 1 February 2016

The economy is in tatters and there is not enough money to finance ZPF Patronage system. The factions are tearing at each other's throats while the economy continues to die. Somebody said "you can rig elections but u cannot rig the economy". It is so true and we can all see the economy is dying by the day and in our eyes. What is most interesting is to see where they are going to get money to pay govt workers. At this rate govt will fail to mobilise money to pay monthly wages and pensions for civil service. It is inevitable with an economy in a free fall. Where will the money come from?

Tulani - 1 February 2016

Viola Gwena, weather you want to shift the focus from a ruling party that has gone to the dogs and try to put it on any opposition, does not make ZANU PF a saint nor does it bring food on the tables of the suffering Zimbos. Write your own article and blame the MDC for all you like. But be assured, that will not stop ZANU PF from going to the grave with its 1st secretary who is also the last secretary who is also the only secretary, since everything is about him.

ziggy zigawo - 1 February 2016

Keep dreaming n dont wake up.bcoz thats only when mdc rises again,in yo dreams.the exciting party is zanu,some love it ,some prtend to love it,some love to hate it.its a big organisation.a political party.bt yu all welcome to join.its free.yu wil always be a winner.

viola gwena - 1 February 2016

Viola yu r anoying,bt yu maybe rite on mdc,its does seem dead.I last herd of Tsvangirai 4months ago.Gutu here n thr 1thing or 2.whr yu mdc.

jabu - 1 February 2016

Viola which zanu yu talki g about?intelligent people like yu shuld see beter.

gobvu - 1 February 2016

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