The Daily News reports that there is intense jostling for top positions within the ruling ZANU PF party.
The internecine factional fights which engulfed the political outfit before the fall of former President Robert Mugabe are said to be back with a vengeance.
Quoting unnamed sources privy to the developments within the party, the report says:
There are indeed chefs (senior party officials) who are angling for Mnangagwa’s and one of his two deputies’ jobs. Very surprisingly to many of us, some of these ambitious chefs are from the president’s Midlands Province.
The fighting for top party positions has become so obvious and problematic that even the praesidium, and now the national chairperson, has noticed it as well, as it is incapacitating the difficult job of the party and government to rebuild the country’s economy.
So when you hear Mnangagwa, (Deputy President Constantino) Chiwenga and now the chairperson publicly warning ambitious party members against what they are doing, you must know that it is not by coincidence.
Recently, ZANU PF chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, who is also Defence and War Veterans Minister, revealed the unbridled ambitions among some of her colleagues.
Addressing a war veterans’ inter-district conference at Bezel Bridge in Manicaland over the weekend, Muchinguri Kashiri said:
We still have ambitious individuals that are angling for posts in the praesidium. Be warned. It is not that easy.
We should lead by example as war veterans and check the direction that the nation is taking.
We must not think about ourselves but the majority of Zimbabweans. Some people want the presidency.
There is no vacancy. There is no vacancy. There is no vacancy. Make sure you are playing your role where you are. We do not want divisions.
Prominent University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure told the Daily News that factionalism within the party is as old as the party itself. He said:
The existence of factionalism has been a permanent feature in Zanu PF since its formation in 1963. It is nothing new … but coming from Muchinguri-Kashiri, it’s really revealing.
… While we cannot say one faction is consolidating around X or Y, it is clear that ED is leading one faction. If you also look closely, the line of cleavage is between the civilian side in Zanu PF and the military.
Eventually, we would expect someone from the military to lead because it is clearly a division between the civilian and the military wings in the party.