ZANU PF has once again had to rope in the party’s security department to deal with the unabating ructions in the former liberation movement, which are threatening elections to choose members of its re-introduced district co-ordinating committees (DCCs).
At the centre of the latest fire-storm are allegations that remnants of the party’s Generation 40 (G4o) faction that was routed three years ago are making fresh inroads into its structures and want to use the impending DCC polls to regain control of the party.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently deployed Zanu PF bigwigs in three provinces that are being ravaged by ugly infighting ahead of the DCC elections. It also comes as Zanu PF’s fissures are fast-approaching the levels that almost disembowelled the party in the last years in high office of the late former president Robert Mugabe – who was later ousted from power by a stunning and popular military coup in November 2017.
Zanu PF secretary for security in the politburo, Lovemore Matuke, confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that his department had been called in to restore order in the brawling party.
“There are some G4o elements who are trying to come back, but we are strictly vetting the CVs. We are going to look at each CV as we want to deal with these elements.
“We are receiving reports from provinces on this issue. As the party security, we are going to do our work diligently and weed out such elements.
“There are some people who were fighting the current leadership who want to use these elections to come back into the structures and destabilise the party,” Matuke told the Daily News.
Another politburo member, David Parirenyatwa, warned Zanu PF members on Wednesday about the growing factionalism in the party, adding that those found wanting faced expulsion.
“You must be loyal to the party. You must also be loyal to the party leadership … We don’t want to hear that the health department belongs to a certain faction.
“There is no room for factions … We don’t want to hear that you are on the forefront of factionalism,” Parirenyatwa told a Zanu PF health department workshop in Harare.
Also this week, Zanu PF national commissar Victor Matemadanda warned of stern action against Zanu PF officials wishing to interfere with the DCC elections.
“I understand that in some provinces they have set up teams for vetting and recommending … that is outside the instructions we gave.
“The instructions were that they receive and yes, put remarks, but not to necessarily have a panel that is going to vet people.
“It’s against the instructions that we gave and if anyone has, or is going to do that, it is null and void. We are not going to consider anything from that,” Matemadanda said.
“I want to emphasise that everyone who is going to be involved, including the leadership … we … must be bound by party discipline.
“Party discipline entails also not going against instructions despite the level of a person. There is no one who is above the law. If we say a procedure must be followed that is what must be done,” he added.
“No one is allowed to change that because we only direct what has been communicated by the politburo. “Any deviation from what we have said will be considered as indiscipline and action will be taken,” Matemadanda said further. This comes as the process to choose members for the ruling party’s DCCs has been sullied by allegations of rampant vote-buying and the imposition of candidates in some provinces.
Recently, the Daily News reported that there was serious jostling for posts along factional lines, with this said to be most rife in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and the Midlands.
This had seen Mnangagwa deploying senior party officials, including former Cabinet minister Christopher Mushohwe, to lead probes in the troubled provinces. The party’s DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and former vice president Joice Mujuru’s battles to succeed Mugabe.
Then, Mnangagwa’s group had gained control of most regions, including Mujuru’s Mashonaland Central province – putting him in a strong position ahead of the party’s 2014 congress.
Earlier this week, liberation stalwart and former Cabinet minister Tshinga Dube highlighted the growing factionalism in Zanu PF when he warned that it would be futile for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his African National Congress (ANC) to hope to end Zimbabwe’s long-standing political and economic crises without support from the party’s brawling factions.
“It all starts with the leaders in Zanu PF agreeing that we need dialogue and that South Africa has a critical role to play.
“They need to find common ground on that to make the ANC’s work easier. We can blame this group or that group, but I don’t want to do that because what is important, for the sake of progress, is that they must find each other.
“It is not difficult for the leaders to find each other because they have been working together for quite a long time,” the fearless Dube told the Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News On Sunday.
“I don’t think it is impossible for them (Zanu PF factions) to do that for the good of the country and our people.
“That is what leadership is all about. If they do not agree and continue like that, then it will be difficult for anyone who wants to help, including the ANC,” he added.
The widening fissures in Zanu PF appear to have taken the same route of the last few years in power of Mugabe. Then, Mnangagwa was involved in a hammer and tongs war with the G4o faction – which had coalesced around Mugabe’s erratic wife Grace.
The vicious brawling took a nasty turn when Mnangagwa was allegedly poisoned by his rivals during one of Mugabe’s highly-divisive youth interface rallies in Gwanda in 2017.
The then VP’s fate was eventually sealed on November 6, 2017 when Mugabe fired his long-time lieutenant a few days after his allies had booed the irascible Grace during a tense rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
However, tables were dramatically turned on Mugabe when the military rolled in their tanks on November 15 of that year and deposed the long-ruling leader from power – which saw a number of alleged G4o kingpins fleeing into self-imposed exile soon afterwards. But despite Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power, some ambitious bigwigs in the former liberation movement continue to stand accused of plotting to unseat the new Zanu PF leader. – Daily News