Zim in potentially explosive week

HARARE - Long-suffering Zimbabweans are bracing for another difficult and potentially eventful week — with a massive anti-government demonstration planned for Wednesday by the country’s opposition, while President Robert Mugabe’s under fire administration is expected to finally introduce the much-feared bond notes tomorrow.

At the same time, the increasingly frail nonagenarian is scheduled to present his State of the Nation Address — after the drama of last year when he embarrassingly read the wrong speech — amid the worsening tribal and succession wars devouring his ruling Zanu PF and as the imploding former liberation movement gears for its annual conference in Masvingo next month where more factional fireworks are anticipated.

The ruling party’s seemingly unstoppable bloodletting has escalated alarmingly over the past three months, with the ructions set to reach the stratosphere at the Masvingo gathering after Zanu PF Mashonaland Central put the cat among the pigeons by proposing for the election of the party’s vice presidents and the reservation of a place for a woman in the presidium — a move which insiders claim is targeted at Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is said to harbour ambitions to succeed Mugabe.

However, the Midlands godfather and his party supporters — collectively referred to as Team Lacoste — are facing serious resistance in their alleged “successionist manoeuvres” from another party faction going by the name Generation 40 (G40), which is rabidly opposed to the VP ascending to the throne.

In addition, Zanu PF insiders told the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News two days ago, that there was a feeling within the brawling party that Mugabe was beginning to visibly give “oxygen” to the embattled G40, in an apparent endeavour to push back the marauding Team Lacoste which had lately appeared to gain an upper hand in the worsening succession wars.

A Zanu PF bigwig said yesterday that he feared that this week could mark the further deterioration of matters both within the ruling party and the country generally.

“It is not an issue for much debate anymore that as it is, Zanu PF is possibly at its weakest ever. Matters are not being helped by the vicious succession infighting and the fact that the economy is in shambles, and millions of Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty.

“Amid all this, we have the MDC’s planned mega demonstration that will be led by (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai himself on Wednesday, and if previous experience is anything to go by, this will be a massive protest because he (Tsvangirai) has clearly started his 2018 campaigns in earnest,” he said.

“Then there are the bond notes which are finally going to be introduced and which are facing massive resistance from both inside the party (Zanu PF) and among Zimbabweans generally. What this will mean economically and politically will only become apparent once they hit the market, but the signs are not encouraging.

“But the biggest problem for me is the upcoming (Zanu PF annual) conference. We have already seen how divisive this gathering is going to be this week (last week), and I suspect that things will deteriorate further from next week onwards until the meeting is concluded,” the senior party official added.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that pounded Harare yesterday conspired to put spanners in Tsvangirai’s rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare, which forced him to cut short his speech.

But before his speech was interrupted by the downpour, the former prime minister in the government of national unity lamented the country’s catastrophic economic collapse which he blamed squarely on Mugabe and Zanu PF’s gross misrule — further calling on the increasingly frail nonagenarian to retire in Zimbabwe’s interest.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu later told the Daily News on Sunday that the party, working with all Zimbabweans, would keep putting pressure on Mugabe as the suffering of the nation had reached intolerable levels.

“The MDC led the way in April when we held the ‘mother of all demonstrations’ in Harare, whose unprecedented success galvanised the toiling masses of Zimbabwe into appreciating that peaceful demonstrations are a major tool of fighting against the paranoid, bankrupt and crumbling Zanu PF dictatorship.

“The people of Zimbabwe are taking to the streets again in their tens of thousands on November 30, as we continue our unrelenting, consistent and peaceful democratic resistance to the Zanu PF autocracy and dictatorship,” he said.

However, Zanu PF insiders told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that authorities, in particular members of the Joint Operations Command were hellbent on thwarting the planned demo.

“Political activists must be warned, we are now prepared to stop all this nonsense. The party (Zanu PF) is particularly prepared to deal decisively with the so-called demonstration on Wednesday.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme also predicted that Mugabe’s embattled government would react ruthlessly to any planned demonstrations, to keep the nonagenarian and his party in power.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980, is battling to save his long political career as the citizen unrest has escalated over the ever-deteriorating quality of life locally, which citizens blame squarely on his misrule.

But the increasingly frail nonagenarian has not taken lightly to people challenging his power and he has resorted to unleashing the country’s security apparatus on the restive populace with devastating consequences — amid fears that the government may soon effect a State of Emergency to foil further unrest

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.