Mugabe using divide-and-rule tactics – Dongo

via Mugabe using divide-and-rule tactics – Dongo – DailyNews Live 3 September 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Outspoken former Member of Parliament Margaret Dongo said yesterday President Robert Mugabe was fanning factionalism in Zanu PF.

The former Zimbabwe Union of Democrats (ZUD) president said the 90-year-old Zanu PF leader was surrounded by “lying cowards.”

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News yesterday, she also dismissed Mugabe’s wife Grace’s political mettle saying she cannot hold a brief previously held by the late First Lady, Sally.

Grace Mugabe was last month handpicked to lead the Women’s League in a move that has deepened divisions in Zanu PF.

“When it comes to politics it is a hot seat; it needs someone who is very experienced,” Dongo said.

“You cannot compare her with Sally, who was a freedom fighter, and stayed in the camps with men suffering the wrath during the war.”

Dongo, who hoped to oppose President Robert Mugabe in the 1996 presidential elections but did not meet the minimum age requirement of 40 years, said there was a faction that was using the First Lady.

“But why use her?  She is an innocent person. Whatever faction is using her it is known by Bob.”

Dongo, who said she happens to be a shareholder in Zanu PF by virtue of being a war veteran, said the discourse that is in Zanu PF was counterproductive.

“Instead of focusing on working for the people, they are fighting,” Dongo said.

“I have seen that things have gone out of control. People are scared of saying the truth. The factionalism in Zanu PF is something of their liking. The person who has created the factions is Gushungo himself,” she said referring to Mugabe’s totem.

Dongo alleged “Gushungo is doing it intentionally because he is using the divide-and-rule method.”

“He is nursing something that will haunt him one day,” she warned. “I am saying he is a member of a faction because when you look at the history of the First Lady, she does not have the credentials to be the Women’s League boss but she was accepted in the party.”

The former MP for Harare East said Mugabe “right now he cannot see the seriousness, vanhu vachaurayana (people will kill each).”

“There are cowards who always turn the goal posts and lie to Gushungo, and yet the ground should be open,” she said. “(Joice) Mujuru and (Emmerson) Mnangagwa are suffering for their openness and yet it is the cowards who created factionalism in Zanu PF.”


  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    While Ms Dongo is right to remind us that Mugabe is and has been using factionalism to divide and rule within his party, there are indeed some interesting new dynamics.

    Before July 2013, the common threat of a vibrant opposition, even if it was divided, served as a brake on the extent factionalism could rear its head. With the ‘enemy’ neutralised by Nikuv, there are, for now at least, no holds barred.

    Secondly, by parachuting in his wife, and to all appearances selectively attacking one faction in public, Mugabe is giving the appearance of either acting in collusion with the one faction, or worse being manipulated by it. Although for now this is inducing proclamations of undying loyalty from both factions, this too is likely to breed resentment from the other faction and further fuel the fire.

    This means there is for sure the potential for Mugabe to lose control of his favourite strategy. The tiger may eventually turn on the rider. As many projected months ago, the silver lining to the cloud of betrayal by the MDCs is that now the machinations and potential for violence by ZANU PF have increasingly been turned from targeting activists for democracy and bystanders to targeting the party itself. This is not without risk to the country but is not, to some of us, an unwelcome development.

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    avenger/revenger 8 years ago

    I wouldn’t want to advertise I WS a whore vet !!!? People just laugh !!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

    Mugabe has been fanning these divisions in his party to his advantage all along but this time he has got it all wrong. The entrance of his wife onto the political scene was ill timed and is therefore creating divisions that for the first time it’s clear to everyone who belongs to which faction.

    The problem is that once Mugabe himself is out of the picture these factions will by then have irreconcilable differences which will inevitably lead to a split. I don’t think he saw this coming.

    To the generality of Zimbabweans I reckon this is a good thing – a weakened and divided Zanu PF can only be a good thing and for this thanks to Grace.

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    Margie we need you in politics where are you?? You were the first to show Mugabe the middle finger when a few realised he was playing with peoples mind consolidating his dictatorship!