By Gumisai Nyoni
There is no reason to believe there will be an end to internal fights currently rocking the ruling Zanu PF party.
Prior to the party’s December 2014 Congress, fissures widened and the struggle reached a boiling point which led to the ouster of the then Vice-President (now ZimPF President) Joice Mujuru and other party stalwarts who were accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe from his throne.
As Zanu PF approaches its 16th annual congress, its structures continue to be decimated by power struggles that have seen several ministers throwing mud in each other’s face. Divided along the so-called Group of Young Turks (G40) and the Vice-President Emmerson Mnangangwa-led Lacoste team, Zanu PF appears to be on its knees.
Fraud allegations levelled against Higher and Tertiary Minister Jonathan Moyo and those against the party’s National Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere are a clear testimony there is escalating discord which the party’s president can no longer control or stop.
The political dogma in Zanu PF no longer reads: “The buck stops with Mugabe”, it now rings: “Any other who can convince the old leader that he/she can spy better on potential rivals to safeguard his throne.”
The Lacoste and G40 tussle is ironical in that it is centred on trying to win Mugabe’s favour (now inept and incompetent ruler who is less alert to the needs of Zimbabweans).
It is an internal struggle not rooted in the desire to effect real change to redeem the country’s economic misfortunes and rescue Zimbabwe from a political dilemma it has been immersed into for close to two decades now. This is a sorry scenario based on the need to entrench a “Mugabeism” and “Graceism” political doctrine.
These doctrines have nothing to deliver on the economic front. They are adopted by greedy opportunists in Zanu PF, who rather than telling Mugabe in the face that he is no longer fit to rule, they mislead him to think that with his leadership, everything will be restored to a stasis. I doubt if anyone in the ruling party can respond to the question, “What unfinished business does Mugabe have at 92 and after 36 years of power grip?” Do they mean he still needs more time to run down the economy?
Surrounded by doctors and professors who pretend to be wise, but are in actual fact, made docile by stealing and looting, resultantly behaving like George Orwell’s Animal Farm Pigs, Mugabe will remain the source of power struggles as Zanu PF politicians fight to siphon the little left in Zimbabwe using his name.
Their love for Mugabe is premised on the idea that it has become too easy to ignite confusion in the ruling party as the process of looting gathers momentum. Without discord in the ruling party, Mugabe cannot survive.
Because dictatorship also ruins what makes others thrive and thrives on what ruins others, the risk of arrest after shipping out of Zanu PF after illegally amassing wealth is high. That makes it impossible for senior politicians in the party to dare challenge Mugabe’s endless grip on power, fearing the worst might befall them. Infighting will remain prevalent until Zanu PF politicians are all booted out of power by an opposition force.
Exacerbating the dire situation is the presence of an electorate that has been subjected to oppression and has been left with no option to manoeuvre except to submit to Zanu PF’s whims – whether good or bad. In scorching heat of the sun, especially the rural folk, is forced to chant slogans and sing for Mugabe, a leader who actually is detached from the goings-on in Zimbabwe since he spends more time flying in aeroplanes.
The reason for mobilising disgruntled citizens to attend useless meetings is for the so-called ministers and Members of Parliament to please the First Family.
Working to please a “deity” doesn’t stop the development of ideological fissures. That stampede to praise the master in turn creates more commotion, for it is done without unison and is not premised on a common cause. It is only a survival strategy.
Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed said: “Under the sway of magic and myth, the oppressed (especially peasants), who are submerged in nature, see their suffering, the fruit of exploitation, as the will of God – as if God were the creator of this organised disorder.
This assertion suffices the crises bedevilling Zimbabwe today. The people watch from the sidelines as the factionalism show unfolds, however, to everyone’s detriment. It is one centre of power that is confusing all others just for self-aggrandisement. Nothing is new – everything happens because the dictator’s grip on power is made possible and intact by the same actors who are in the factionalism tragicomedy.
It’s a skewed system in Zanu PF that perpetuates conflict among its politicians and if the struggle to make Mugabe happy remains the modus operandi in the ruling party, there is no hope in sight factionalism will come to an end.
This should on the other hand inform all opposition parties that there is a greater chance of winning elections if they ride on the chaos in Zanu PF.
- Gumisai Nyoni is a political and social commentator. Feeedback: [email protected]