via Don’t be misled by Zanu PF opportunists – NewsDay Zimbabwe 19 November 2014
There is a growing belief that the infighting in Zanu PF is a mortal war between the hawks and the doves.
The argument, increasingly gaining currency, is that Vice-President Joice Mujuru is a moderate; therefore she leads the doves, while Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is a radical and therefore leads the hawks.
The definitions of the word “moderate” and “radical” are interesting here. “Moderate” means someone who understands the importance of business and is amenable to working with anyone who would help promote the growth of business.
“Moderates” will accept Western investment without preconditions and will actually go out of their way to lure countries of the European Union and North America who have shunned doing business with Zimbabwe since the turn of the millennium. They are more capitalist than socialist.
“Radicals are steeped in nationalist socialist dogma. “Radicals” will continue to ape President Robert Mugabe’s pan-Africanist grandstanding, complete with its anti-Western, pro-East policies.
They will pursue Chinese investment to the exclusion of everyone else and therefore will perpetuate the country’s pariah status.
Zimbabweans, generally, the argument goes, are partial towards the West because of their historical ties with former coloniser Britain and are wary of China, the principal Eastern investor in Zimbabwe.
They argue that, because of this, Mujuru would have more popular support than Mnangagwa because of his perceived inclination towards the East.
Zimbabweans are also generally suspicious of the Chinese because of the perception created by cheap goods they have brought into the country and their poor workmanship on infrastructural projects — be they roads, stadia or buildings — they have erected and their relationship with labour.
The almost universal sympathy that Mujuru has garnered during her open persecution is therefore understandable in this context.
But it would seem the situation is nowhere near this. The fighting in Zanu PF is not ideological even in the crudest sense of the word.
It is a simple power-grab in the face of the rapidly fading grip on power of the nonagenarian President of the Republic, Mugabe.
True, Mujuru leads the richer half of the ruling party. Some of the ministers aligned to her are among the richest individuals in the country. She herself is said to have inherited a billion-
dollar empire from her late husband Solomon Mujuru.
She also has bankers and white businesspeople behind her. This necessarily makes her and her followers conservative as they hope to preserve what they have managed to accumulate.
On the other hand, the Mnangagwa camp comprises a few rich people, that include him, while most of his lieutenants are pretenders either left behind in the rat-race of the past three decades or too young to have joined in it and would therefore wish to make up time lost by grabbing the reins of power.
Grace Mugabe’s natural home — because of her huge estate — would therefore have been with Mujuru, but her impulsive rage against the VP is almost like a crime of passion. What is very clear in the fighting, however, is that it has nothing to do with the interests of the common people.
In the imminent post-Mugabe era, the people would still have to fight for their bread. Therefore, people should not be misled by the opportunists who have become the major protagonists in this drama.