'More purges costly for Zanu PF'

HARARE - President  Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party cannot afford to expel more of its members ahead of the crucial 2018 elections, as this will lead to a costly implosion, analysts have said.

This comes after calls from war veterans and some sections of the party for the expulsion of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, for undermining Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa by castigating the government’s Command Agriculture programme.

Moyo is not the only one who is being placed under the cosh as the Zanu PF factional and tribal wars continue unabated.

The party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has been facing serious pressure from other party members to relinquish his post, following accusations of attempting to topple Mugabe.

The duo’s situation is not any different from that of the War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube, who recently torched a storm after he threw his weight behind former liberation war fighters who are putting pressure on Mugabe to name his successor in order to stop the infighting in Zanu PF.

This is against the background that other party members like former Zanu PF women’s league executives Eunice Sandi-Moyo and Sarah Mahoka are facing possible prosecution for criminally abusing their offices following allegations that they stole thousands of dollars during their tenure.

Some have even been calling for their total expulsion from the party, following these allegations.

Though analysts said anything is possible in Zanu PF, they argue that the party might not consider trading on these murky waters of expelling more members, as this would be an ill-advised move.

They believe this will be a catastrophic move, considering that the country will be holding elections in just a year’s time, adding that more purges will benefit the opposition. 

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said: “The purges will be costly and will hasten implosion of the party.

The people concerned are part of Zanu PF elections rigging architecture, so firing weakens the efficaciousness of their planned elections manipulation antics.

“You know some of them like Moyo are loud hailers - they will speak a lot. But also the centre in that party is no longer holding, so don’t expect much decisiveness from Mugabe.

He is more comfortable with his surrogates fighting, as that deflates pressure from the real issue  — succession.”

There have been several dramatic developments within Zanu PF that have seen the public hackling of senior party members in the past, in these succession wars.

Before their resignations, Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka had seen a wave of demonstrations being held against them in all the provinces.

This has been the case with Kasukuwere, whom analysts believe might survive the current onslaught.

The party is currently divided between two stark groups, the Generation 40 (G40) and Mnangagwa’s alleged Team Lacoste.

Each of the groups is using every opportunity at its disposal to mutilate the other, with a view to lessen the number of supporters of any of the cliques.

The Zanu PF party’s wars exploded in 2014, when former vice president Joice Mujuru was sacked together with several other Cabinet ministers, in a historic carnage that set the tone for more divisions.

Mujuru was fired on allegations of plotting Mugabe’s ouster and assassination. Since her expulsion Zanu PF has never known peace in as far as the factional fights are concerned.

Another political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa said as long as the factional wars are benefitting Mugabe, he will not expel anymore of his party members.

“Nothing is impossible in Zanu PF. But Mugabe is the one with the final say regarding who should leave the party.

“As long the people you mentioned are furthering factional struggles that are benefiting Mugabe then there will be no purges until such a time when the factionalism reaches a point of threatening Mugabe’s position,” Hamauswa said.

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