Jeffrey Muvundusi and Tendai Kamhungira 23 May 2017
HARARE – Terror-stricken supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s warring
ruling Zanu PF say the former liberation movement’s mindless bloodletting
is fast reaching “a tipping point” – after its followers in Bulawayo
engaged in an unprecedented orgy of intra-party violence at the weekend.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, a shaken senior party official in
Bulawayo said he had never imagined that “comrades would one day fight
each other so viciously over factionalism and succession to this point of
literally wanting to kill each other”.
“I cannot tell you how concerned I’m about what we witnessed on Sunday and
on other occasions before that.
“For a long time, I thought that you guys in the media were exaggerating
the party’s infighting, but it is now clear to me that in fact you have
been underplaying the extent of the divisions, and that some comrades are
prepared to kill to advance their interests,” the traumatised bigwig said.
This comes as authorities say they have arrested a number of people linked
to the Bulawayo mayhem, as Zanu PF’S ugly tribal, factional and succession
wars continue to escalate – with the camp rabidly opposed to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40)
faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the VP’s backers, Team
Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the weekend
bloodletting had apparently been sparked by the current party push to oust
embattled national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere from both his
party and government positions – resulting in those sympathetic to him
allegedly stabbing a Team Lacoste member.
Worryingly for Zanu PF and the country, as Mugabe gets ever more frail due
to old age, and as Zimbabwe approaches the eagerly-anticipated 2018
national elections, Team Lacoste members were breathing fire yesterday –
promising “a mega fight back” against alleged G40 kingpins and Bulawayo
provincial chairperson Dennis Ndlovu and his executive.
At the same time, Zanu PF insiders also said the party’s influential
women’s league was facing a fresh crisis following the expulsion of six
officials from the wing’s Bulawayo executive at the weekend – as the
fallout over ousted bigwigs Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, continues
to haunt the key organ.
Eyewitnesses said Sunday’s Bulawayo chaos occurred after angry youths
stormed the provincial co-ordinating committee meeting (PCC) which was
being held at Davies Hall – whereupon they demanded that Ndlovu and youth
league chairperson, Anna Mokgohloa, recuse themselves on account of their
alleged support for Kasukuwere.
But the defiant Ndlovu told the Daily News yesterday that he was still
chairperson of the province – accusing Team Lacoste of causing Sunday’s
“They are saying I must not step foot at Davies Hall . . . They are just
drunk mafia gangs pushing dirty politics, but as an executive we will not
be intimidated and we will not be pushed out through dubious means.
“It’s politics and it will soon pass . . . Sometimes people kill each
other over such power struggles, but we are glad it has not come to that
“What we have noticed though is that these are the very same people who
are given money and beer to come and cause chaos. It’s terrible,” Ndlovu
One of the alleged Team Lacoste members, Magura Charumbira – who was
stabbed during Sunday’s bloody clashes – told the Daily News that they
were “preparing for a mega fight-back” that would drive Ndlovu and his
allies out of the province’s party executive.
“I know they stabbed me and beat me up using sjamboks, but these
Kasukuwere thugs should be warned that the war is far from over.
“They think they are done with me, but let Dennis Ndlovu and his cabal be
warned that I will call a big meeting at Davies Hall this week, where we
will seal his fate and that of his cabal once and for all,” Charumbira
said from his hospital bed.
Zanu PF’s deadly infighting has escalated over the past few months, and
ever since Kasukuwere was put on notice by the ruling party’s 10 provinces
– weeks after Sandi Moyo and Mahoka were forced to resign from their
women’s league positions.
Mahoka, who is famed for having publicly dressed down Mnangagwa in front
of Mugabe last year, was the women’s league’s treasurer, while Sandi Moyo
was First Lady Grace Mugabe’s deputy.
Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo
meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations
against him had completed its work.
Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
rivals are “systematically working for his demise” – in the same manner
former Vice President Joice Mujuru was chased out of the warring former
liberation movement in 2014.
Political analysts also warned yesterday that the Bulawayo bloodletting
was likely “to mark the beginning of more violent clashes” among Zanu PF’s
“It is becoming more and more significant until the mother of all issues,
which is Mugabe’s succession, is brought to finality, and we are likely to
see more of these fights.
“It (violence) only represents the escalation of the internal squabbles
which have gone a gear up. I don’t think the fights have reached a
crescendo yet, but the struggles are going to take a more violent turn as
opposed to the propaganda that we see in State media,” University of
Zimbabwe politics expert Eldred Masunungure said.
Another political analyst, Dewa Mavhinga, also warned that Sunday’s
horrific violence was likely to see more clashes in future, as Zanu PF was
used to “resorting to violence as a tool of expressing itself in sticky
“In the past, Zanu PF violence predominantly targeted opponents outside
the party. But as the end-game approaches, the machinery of violence
appears to have been turned inwards, to target factional opponents inside.
“With a highly partisan and extremely politicised leadership of the
police, it will also be difficult for the police to stamp out this
lawlessness in Zanu PF and maintain law and order.
“Things are falling apart, and the primary source of the violence and
tensions is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession. That is the
elephant in the room,” Mavhinga told the Daily News.
Other observers have also previously said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu
PF’s succession riddle is fuelling the party’s deadly infighting.
The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that
the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own