Zanu PF gears for potentially explosive annual conference

HARARE - ZANU PF is gearing for a potentially explosive conference in Matabeleland South, with various factions within the ruling party trying to outwit each other ahead of the December conclave.

The conference will run from December 10 to December 16 — a period during which government business literally comes to a halt as ministers and MPs of the ruling party get involved in the so-called Zanu PF Annual Peoples’ Conference and its preliminaries.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said preparations are going on well, claiming there were no fights in the party.

“Everything is under control. Preparations are going on well. We are expecting 5 000 people to attend. Currently accreditation is being done in all provinces,” Khaya Moyo said.

This comes as succession demons have resurfaced, with the party’s senior officials locking horns over who should take over from President Emmerson Mnangagwa — a few months after the 76-year-old strongman won a hotly-disputed five-year mandate to lead the country.

Insiders say things were again not looking good in the ruling party, with a group that included some of Mnangagwa’s long-time loyalists starting a search for Mnangagwa’s successor.

This has angered other leaders of the party who want to deal with this matter at the conference.

There are some who also want the old Zanu PF guard — which includes other former Cabinet ministers who were shunted to the party’s HQ after the July 30 elections to leave their positions at the conference.

Mnangagwa re-assigned these “chefs” to the party’s headquarters in a desperate bid to breathe new life in government and to strengthen the former liberation movement’s administration.

The Zanu PF leader’s idea was apparently to emulate the Chinese Communist Party’s model, which has also been adopted by South Africa’s African National Congress.

Another bone of contention in the ruling party is that top former army chiefs have occupied influential positions in the party, among them Constantino Chiwenga, who was retired from army to take up the position of vice president and second secretary of the ruling party and government.

Sitting along with Chiwenga in the party’s supreme decision-making organ in-between congresses, the politburo, are decorated former army chiefs, retired Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and retired lieutenant general Sibusiso Moyo, who are committee members.

The party’s commissariat is now headed by retired lieutenant general Engelbert Rugeje, whose appointment was at the expense of Victor Matemadanda, the secretary-general of war veterans, who was stripped of that role at the ruling party’s extraordinary congress held last December.

The history of factionalism in Zanu PF is as old as the party itself.

Factionalism became more pronounced in the 1990s when Zanu PF was torn between factions loyal to Mnangagwa and retired army general Solomon Mujuru (now late).

Comments (1)

economicall challenges

albert siyamulafu - 7 January 2019

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