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Zanu-PF fissures widen over Mnangagwa term

by Staff reporter
03 Mar 2024 at 03:49hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is battling to prop up waning support in his ruling Zanu-PF party and  disloyal party cadres are facing the axe as power battles take centre stage while the economy implodes and ordinary citizens sink into poverty.

Party members aligned to Mnangagwa ‘sdeputy Constantino Chiwenga are said to be manoeuvring to disrupt Mnangagwa's push for a third term bid.

This pubication is reliably informed that Zanu-PF factionalism had cascaded down to the lower echelons of the party, the cells, ahead of a restructuring exercise.

As the factional wars spiral out of control, the Zanu-PF commissariat was forced to stop the district coordinating committee elections which are due this year amid reports that members aligned to Chiwenga were strategically positioning themselves for influential party posts and to stop Mnangagwa's third term bid.

Zanu-PF enjoys a two-thirds majority in Parliament to railroad legislation, but Mnangagwa would still need a national referendum to make constitutional changes to allow a third term.

Mnangagwa has this year alone fired two of his lieutenants — former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and Airforce of Zimbabwe boss Elson Moyo - reportedly over their questioned loyalty to him.

Moyo was fired on Friday after Mnangagwa aborted his trip to Victoria Falls following a bomb scare at the resort city's airports.

Moyo's dismissal raised eyebrows as Mnangagwa was quick to name his successor Air Vice Marshal John Jacob Nzvede on the same day he announced that he was retiring.

Mnangagwa last week rallied party organs to step up and emulate the youth league that pledged their allegiance to the Zanu-PF leader for his third term bid during the National Youth Day celebrations held in Masvingo last month.  

The youth uexposed  Mnangagwa's third term bid through the slogan, ‘2030 VaMnangagwa vanenge vachipo (Mnangagwa will still be in office by 2030).

Addressing the Zanu-PF politburo last Thursday, Mnangagwa showered praises on the youth for their "clarity of intentions".

He told the senior party members that he was looking forward to officiating at events by party organs where they would be expected to follow in the footsteps of the youth league.

"I was pleased to receive and address the multitudes of our youths in Masvingo province as we celebrated the National Youth Day," Mnangagwa said.

He also urged senior party leaders to guide the youth in accordance with the party constitution.

"I also remind the youth of our party to be alive to the founding provisions of the party constitution, values of hard work, honesty, discipline, patriotism and loyalty," Mnangagwa said.

 "I am now looking forward to officiating at programmes by the women's league, veterans of the liberation struggle and affiliates.

"Where are they ... [war veterans league secretary] Mahiya? Have you seen how others performed in excellence?" Mnangagwa said, to which war veterans secretary Douglas Mahiya responded by pledging not to disappoint.

Close Mnangagwa allies told The Standard that the president was increasingly becoming suspicious of acts to sabotage against him  and they cited incidents where he has shown agitation in public.

Last Thursday, an angry Mnangagwa chastised his aides over a bad national anthem recording during an event where he was handing over vehicles to chiefs.

Later on the same day, Mnangagwa could not hide his frustration against his lieutenants over an omitted word in his speech during a politburo meeting.

"I think I have left something here? Hey, imi vapfana imi (you young men)," he said after he had noted the error  in his speech.

As factional fights within the party threaten to rip the party apart, elected   Zanu-PF representatives aligned to Mnangagwa have also scaled up campaigns in their constituencies to strengthen support towards the Zanu-PF leader.

His allies are handing out goodies to party supporters, mainly basic commodities such as mealie meal, cooking oil, flour and rice which are branded with Mnangagwa's face as they strive to prove their loyalty to the Zanu-PF leader.

Analysts yesterday accused Mnangagwa of plotting a constitutional coup.

Political analyst Sydicks Muradzikwa said concentrating power in the hands of a single individual was undermining democratic processes.

"This is weakening the democratic institutions and further eroding checks and balances, and stifling political pluralism and dissent," Muradzikwa said.

"This bid barely six months after the elections, much of the political energy should be directed on realising the manifesto subjects and not the 2028 bid.

"Such actions might provoke public unrest; the economic impact of political instability resulting from attempts to extend term limits can be severe, with investors becoming hesitant to commit resources to a country embroiled in political uncertainty."

Muradzikwa said Mnangagwa risked pushing Zimbabwe into international isolation.

"International condemnation and diplomatic isolation often might follow such attempts, as the global community tends to support democratic norms and principles," he said.

Source - the standard