Mugabe's Zanu PF brawls: Wheels come off

HARARE - Terror-stricken supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s warring ruling Zanu PF say the former liberation movement’s mindless bloodletting is fast reaching “a tipping point” — after its followers in Bulawayo engaged in an unprecedented orgy of intra-party violence at the weekend.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, a shaken senior party official in Bulawayo said he had never imagined that “comrades would one day fight each other so viciously over factionalism and succession to this point of literally wanting to kill each other”.

“I cannot tell you how concerned I’m about what we witnessed on Sunday and on other occasions before that.

“For a long time, I thought that you guys in the media were exaggerating the party’s infighting, but it is now clear to me that in fact you have been underplaying the extent of the divisions, and that some comrades are prepared to kill to advance their interests,” the traumatised bigwig said.

This comes as authorities say they have arrested a number of people linked to the Bulawayo mayhem, as Zanu PF’S ugly tribal, factional and succession wars continue to escalate — with the camp rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40) faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the VP’s backers, Team Lacoste.

Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the weekend bloodletting had apparently been sparked by the current party push to oust embattled national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere from both his party and government positions — resulting in those sympathetic to him allegedly stabbing a Team Lacoste member.

Worryingly for Zanu PF and the country, as Mugabe gets ever more frail due to old age, and as Zimbabwe approaches the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, Team Lacoste members were breathing fire yesterday — promising “a mega fight back” against alleged G40 kingpins and Bulawayo provincial chairperson Dennis Ndlovu and his executive.

At the same time, Zanu PF insiders also said the party’s influential women’s league was facing a fresh crisis following the expulsion of six officials from the wing’s Bulawayo executive at the weekend — as the fallout over ousted bigwigs Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, continues to haunt the key organ.

Eyewitnesses said Sunday’s Bulawayo chaos occurred after angry youths stormed the provincial co-ordinating committee meeting (PCC) which was being held at Davies Hall — whereupon they demanded that Ndlovu and youth league chairperson, Anna Mokgohloa, recuse themselves on account of their alleged support for Kasukuwere.

But the defiant Ndlovu told the Daily News yesterday that he was still chairperson of the province — accusing Team Lacoste of causing Sunday’s mayhem.

“They are saying I must not step foot at Davies Hall . . . They are just drunk mafia gangs pushing dirty politics, but as an executive we will not be intimidated and we will not be pushed out through dubious means.

“It’s politics and it will soon pass . . . Sometimes people kill each other over such power struggles, but we are glad it has not come to that yet.

“What we have noticed though is that these are the very same people who are given money and beer to come and cause chaos. It’s terrible,” Ndlovu said ruefully.

One of the alleged Team Lacoste members, Magura Charumbira — who was stabbed during Sunday’s bloody clashes — told the Daily News that they were “preparing for a mega fight-back” that would drive Ndlovu and his allies out of the province’s party executive.

“I know they stabbed me and beat me up using sjamboks, but these Kasukuwere thugs should be warned that the war is far from over.

“They think they are done with me, but let Dennis Ndlovu and his cabal be warned that I will call a big meeting at Davies Hall this week, where we will seal his fate and that of his cabal once and for all,” Charumbira said from his hospital bed.

Zanu PF’s deadly infighting has escalated over the past few months, and ever since Kasukuwere was put on notice by the ruling party’s 10 provinces — weeks after Sandi Moyo and Mahoka were forced to resign from their women’s league positions.

Mahoka, who is famed for having publicly dressed down Mnangagwa in front of Mugabe last year, was the women’s league’s treasurer, while Sandi Moyo was First Lady Grace Mugabe’s deputy.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party rivals are “systematically working for his demise” — in the same manner former Vice President Joice Mujuru was chased out of the warring former liberation movement in 2014.

Political analysts also warned yesterday that the Bulawayo bloodletting was likely “to mark the beginning of more violent clashes” among Zanu PF’s warring factions.

“It is becoming more and more significant until the mother of all issues, which is Mugabe’s succession, is brought to finality, and we are likely to see more of these fights.

“It (violence) only represents the escalation of the internal squabbles which have gone a gear up. I don’t think the fights have reached a crescendo yet, but the struggles are going to take a more violent turn as opposed to the propaganda that we see in State media,” University of Zimbabwe politics expert Eldred Masunungure said.

Another political analyst, Dewa Mavhinga, also warned that Sunday’s horrific violence was likely to see more clashes in future, as Zanu PF was used to “resorting to violence as a tool of expressing itself in sticky situations”.

“In the past, Zanu PF violence predominantly targeted opponents outside the party. But as the end-game approaches, the machinery of violence appears to have been turned inwards, to target factional opponents inside.

“With a highly partisan and extremely politicised leadership of the police, it will also be difficult for the police to stamp out this lawlessness in Zanu PF and maintain law and order.

“Things are falling apart, and the primary source of the violence and tensions is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession. That is the elephant in the room,” Mavhinga told the Daily News.

Other observers have also previously said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu PF’s succession riddle is fuelling the party’s deadly infighting.

The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own choice.

Comments (6)

Mpoko and company from Matebeleland, are you opening your eyes to clearly see what is happening? Or you guys are too drunk with power while assupping with the devil and enjoy the fruits of evil that you are totally blind to reality??? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!!! Selithengise kakhulu alisaboni okwenzakalayo!!!!

MR COOPER - 23 May 2017

Come on Daily News you have been reporting that "the squabbles in Zanu PF are "reaching tipping point" for a long long time now. When is the tipping point going to be actually reached? I think it's better to keep mum on the matter until the tipping actually occurs and then you can report "Zanu PF squabbles have tipped over"!!

Jonso - 23 May 2017

Come on Daily News you have been reporting that "the squabbles in Zanu PF are "reaching tipping point" for a long long time now. When is the tipping point going to be actually reached? I think it's better to keep mum on the matter until the tipping actually occurs and then you can report "Zanu PF squabbles have tipped over"!!

Jonso - 23 May 2017

Get some popcorn, watch them kill themselves and then we can rebuild the country ZANU free!

Light - 24 May 2017

As long as u killing each other no one cares,u much fight each ather because u are idiots,,we only get worried when u fight&kill opposition people.Its obvious that u don't even have underwares not talking about shoes but u bz killing each other just to promote someone,,u don't even think about yrselves.

Matsotsi - 24 May 2017

This time around the violence has started in their backyard....excellent. Now they will all taste their medicine.

Sagitarr - 24 May 2017

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