Zanu-PF split imminent as Mujuru confronts Mugabe
In a statement yesterday issued by dismissed Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa, who signed off as the bona fide Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Vice President Joice Mujuru’s allies attacked President Robert Mugabe for allegedly displaying a deep-seated historical failure to correctly handle internal contradictions in the ruling party.
The legal challenge by Mujuru could likely lead up to a split as early as next week.
They also accused Mugabe of failing to live up to the expected standards of being a national non-partisan leader in the lead-up to the December elective congress that endorsed constitutional amendments that went against the party’s founding principles of one-person one-vote.
The Mujuru group berated First Lady Grace Mugabe for reportedly preaching “the gospel of hate in the presence of our very impressionable youths and the traumatised impoverished population”.
Destruction and division
Grace was also accused of leaving a trail of destruction and division in the ruling party in collaboration with her husband.
“Outside Zanu-PF and the country’s constitutions and any moral tenets ... In the build-up to this illegal congress, it became clear that this clique of evil plotters had successfully waylaid Amai Grace Mugabe and Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and started using them as weapons to unleash venomous and uncouth statements against anyone they perceived to be standing for the original Zanu-PF values, ideals and ethos.”
Mutasa said: “As upright cadres of the revolution, we resolutely and patiently waited for the cardinal direction of our elected First Secretary and President of Zanu-PF, but his customary clear and unequivocal stance did not come until this undemocratic congress.”
“In disbelief, Zanu-PF and the whole nation listened to their leader berating his own protégés not only in the party, but in government and the august House of Parliament.
“It will go down in the annals of our Zanu-PF history that for the first time the elected leader alienated himself from the people by this behaviour. Instead of mapping the road for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and major policies uplifting our people, the congress became a farce and degenerated into a praise and worship playhouse,” said Mutasa.
He also said his allies feared that the episode led by a clique of newcomers commonly referred to as amafikizolo had robbed Mugabe of his legacy after a charade of a congress. “We strongly and regrettably bemoan the fact that this clique has robbed President RG Mugabe of his legacy as a unifier, a rational thinker and not only a national leader, but also one who inspired the region and the continent of Africa,” he said.
He denounced the votes of no confidence as a “whirlwind of legislation of mob rule, summary expulsion of loyal members for perceived support of a sitting Vice-President and, as mentioned above, departure from the undisputable tenet of the liberation struggle – one-man one-vote – to imposition of leaders, we now wonder how the nation, region and continent view our once revered President”.
Mutasa declared the congress a nullity and promised to take legal action for remedy.
“We are therefore calling upon all loyal members and constitutionally-elected leaders to remain calm and promote peace as we pursue appropriate legal channels to reclaim the leadership of the party from the jaws of political vultures,” the ex-minister said.
Mutasa said contradictions within Zanu-PF and society as a whole were natural and expected, but these were non-antagonistic and should be resolved through debate, dialogue and negotiation.
He made a rallying call: “We are therefore calling on Zanu-PF cadres to join us in refusing to accept the illegal congress and its outcomes; we call on our Dear Comrades to stand united and remain resolute in their defence of the true values of the liberation struggle towards which we all made contributions which has been hijacked by amafikizolo.”
He alleged that the amafikizolo clique “has introduced a sinister political culture of hatred, corruption, conflict, division, indiscipline, manipulation and recklessness, which was the antithesis of the traditional democratic norms, and characteristic of Zanu-PF”.
The Mujuru faction believes that “if Zanu-PF allows this to go unchallenged, we would be indirectly posing a threat to the National Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe. This approach to constitutionalism by a ruling party can pose a risk to constitutionalism at the national level”.
“We refuse therefore to allow this poisonous weed to blossom within the party for which many gallant sons and daughters have dedicated their entire political lives to and many more died in pursuit of the principle of ‘one-man one-vote’,” Mutasa said.
This article first appeared on Zimbabwe’s NewsDay.