Horse trading in ZANU-PF

Source: Horse trading in ZANU-PF | The Financial Gazette August 18, 2016

ALLIES of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa are moving to drive a hard bargain in the ruling party, taking advantage of mounting external pressure against President Robert Mugabe’s government, in a desperate bid to end the onslaught against them, while safeguarding Mnangagwa’s position in ZANU-PF.
Collectively known as Team Lacoste, the Mnangagwa faction has been driven towards the precipice by a rival group trending under the moniker Generation 40 (G40).
Comprising mostly young Turks in ZANU-PF, G40 is bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding President Mugabe in the event that the veteran nationalist disengages from politics.
In the last seven months, Team Lacoste has been severely decimated, losing key members in critical organs of ZANU-PF, including its affiliates.
With G40 signalling its intentions to go for the jugular at the party’s conference in Masvingo later in the year, the Vice President’s allies are threatening to walk away from ZANU-PF to join a resurgent opposition against the party’s 36 year-long rule.
This comes as G40 has virtually camped in Masvingo and the Midlands — key Mnangagwa strongholds — seen as the remaining “active cells” for Team Lacoste.
This week, ZANU-PF insiders claimed that Mnangagwa’s backers were covertly exchanging notes with Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) officials on the possibility of forming a potent pact in the event that they sever ties with ZANU-PF.
Party insiders said this was more of a horse-trading tactic to stop G40 from going for the kill in order to avoid paralysing the party ahead of make-or-break harmonised elections in 2018 in which there is a strong possibility that the ruling party could, for the first time, face a united opposition.
“The threat is a subtle coercion to try and force ZANU-PF not to expel Team Lacoste members. Lacoste seems desperate to remain relevant in the party,” said a party insider.
With the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, appearing to warm up to the idea of uniting with Joice Mujuru’s ZPF, Team Lacoste believes that their rivals in ZANU-PF would be shooting themselves in the foot if they proceed to get rid of them.
“It is quite clear that the Lacoste group has carefully calculated the risks and are only making the threats to join ZPF as a way of holding the party to ransom. It won’t be prudent to keep firing people when we are facing what could be a serious coalition against the party in 2018,” added the ZANU-PF insider.
President Mugabe himself has been pleading with his cadres to end the infighting and unite to heal the wounds inflicted on his party by two years of intense bickering.
In the two years, ZANU-PF has parted with more than 200 top officials, including President Mugabe’s deputy for 10 years, Mujuru, who has since branched out into opposition politics through the ZPF project.
After annihilating Mujuru and her faction on allegations of plotting to unconstitutionally unseat the incumbent, the infighting did not stop.
Swords have now been drawn out against Mnangagwa, who had been tipped to succeed President Mugabe.
Events in the past months point to Mnangagwa fast losing ground, with his influence having been narrowed down to just two of the country’s 10 provinces, namely Masvingo and the Midlands.
 Still, G40 is making inroads into his citadels.
The shrewd politician has completely lost control of two critical wings of the party namely the youth and women’s leagues.
Of late, his other leg, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), has been fractured as part of the collateral damage.
ZNLWVA’s top leadership has been expelled from the party and are having criminal charges preferred against them.
The charges emanate from a hard-hitting communiqué they issued at the end of their meeting last month, disparaging the ZANU-PF leadership.
To make matters worse, the Women’s League is currently agitating for the elevation of one of its members as one of the country’s co-Vice Presidents to restore the women’s quota in the male-dominated Presidium.
The push is seen meant to dislodge Mnangagwa from his position.
The women’s quota provision was annulled from the party constitution in 2014 to specifically get rid of Mujuru, while at the same time accommodating Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa ser-ves at the pleasure of President Mugabe, who is the sole appointing authority in ZANU-PF.
The President recently indicated that he would not be making any changes to the ZANU-PF leadership until the next congress due in 2019.
ZPF spokesman, Jealous Mawarire, said they were open to any alliance.
“As ZPF, one of our hallmarks is inclusivity. This we have emphasised again and again. So everyone, even if it is Mnangagwa, a war veteran or anyone from the smallest organ of the party who is expelled or decides to walk away from ZANU-PF or any other party, they are welcome,” he said.
Mawarire said they were not particularly working with anyone in Mnangagwa’s faction at the moment, but encouraged all disgruntled members to forge an alliance with ZPF.
He, acknowledged, h-owever, that there were some Mnangagwa allies who have been confiding in ZPF officials that they were ready for a pact.
“We are not necessarily working with the Lacoste faction of ZANU-PF as an entity, and neither are we working with G40. We have no such resolution as a party. Some of our members are saying they are being approached by (Team Lacoste) individuals but it would be a blue lie to say that we are formally engaging ZANU-PF members,” said Mawarire.
On her party, Mujuru has herself been talking up the former freedom fighters, urging them to join the growing movement against ZANU-PF.
ZNLWVA spokesman, Douglas Mahiya, declined to comment on the matter saying it was “difficult” for him to speak on the matter.
“I am just at home these days and I cannot talk about that,” he said.

COMMENTS

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    ntaba 6 years ago

    The one thing we count on with Zanu horse trading is that the horses themselves will be stolen horses!