via Mujuru ignores Mnangagwa, S K Moyo – DailyNews Live 8 December 2014 by Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – In an ominous sign that the ugly infighting devouring President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party may be far from being resolved, Vice President Joice Mujuru completely cold-shouldered the party’s bigwigs when she made a surprise visit to Stodart Hall in Mbare yesterday to pay her last respects to the late Lloyd Kotsho Dube.
Dube was later buried at the National Heroes Acre at a function presided over by Mugabe and which Mujuru did not attend.
After pitching up at Stodart Hall without warning early in the morning and ahead of Mugabe and his wife Grace’s scheduled arrival at the traditional body-viewing place for heroes before being interred at the national shrine, Mujuru went straight to the bereaved family to pay her condolences.
She neither greeted nor acknowledged gathered senior government and party officials in the hall, and left as quickly as she had come — leaving them looking decidedly stunned and uneasy.
Among the dignitaries in the hall were Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Senior minister Simon Khaya Moyo, who all had stood up to acknowledge her when she entered the venue, as demanded by protocol, as she is still a senior government official despite the fact that she has lost her party position.
A senior government official described yesterday’s episode as “ominous and unprecedented”.
“I’ve never seen Mai Mujuru looking and behaving that angrily in the four decades that I’ve known her.
“It is quite clear that she is very hurt and feeling terribly betrayed by the party’s leadership and other fellow comrades. Otherwise how else can one interpret her out of character behaviour today (yesterday),” he said.
Meanwhile, some analysts say Mugabe has effectively personalised Zanu PF, following his tightening of his grip on the ruling party, including butchering its constitution to further consolidate his power, and appointing his wife as women’s league boss.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, the analysts said Zanu PF would, as a result, never be the same again, even though some of them didn’t envisage the party splitting in the immediate future.
They said the party was unlikely to split soon as it represented a safe and easy haven for all of its cadres who had never done anything else in life except live off its tyranny, and thus would prefer to fight from within the party for a living.
“Its (Zanu PF’s) 6th Congress has revealed clearly that the Zanu PF institution over the years has been personalised and personified by President Mugabe.
“Although Mugabe managed to ensure he stays at the helm of the party by stopping Mujuru’s ascendancy, the big succession question remains unresolved with indications that many in Zanu PF would not readily endorse a Mugabe dynasty,” Dewa Mavhinga said.
Respected University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Eldred Masunungure, said Zanu PF had already split technically, although he did not see the possibility of Mujuru forming her own party or joining any other political party.
“Already there is a split between the two, and to see two political parties emerging it’s possible but improbable. It’s unlikely,” he said.
He said splitting from an established party was the surest way that would lead one to political oblivion.
“It would be imprudent,” he said.
“However, it (Zanu PF) has been re-configured. There has been factional cleansing. Clearly, it’s a new Zanu PF,” he said.
He said by leaving Zanu PF, Mujuru would destroy whichever empire she built, adding that the threats of her arrest would not materialise.
Another political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said the country’s most vicious political fights were now between Zanu PF cadres, adding that it would be difficult for Mujuru to leave the party.
“I don’t think it will happen because of the conflation between the party and the State and the well-oiled politics of patronage in Zanu PF, of which Vice President Mujuru and her allies including those that remain in Zanu PF or those that have been beneficiaries of both Mujuru and Mugabe’s faction have benefitted from,” he said.
Ruhanya said most Zanu PF top guns had benefitted from the parcelling of State resources which included farms and other properties like houses.
“Basically their world is courtesy of the State, so if Mai Mujuru decides to part ways with Zanu PF, then she must be prepared to lose all her economic assets like farms and investments in mines,” he said.
Ruhanya said Mujuru had not known any other job besides government, and this had all been courtesy of Mugabe.
“This is not to say that it’s only Mujuru who is in this situation of benefitting from the State, but virtually everyone including Mugabe himself, his wife, the security chiefs, Mnangagwa and his cabal, members of the central committee and politburo and their associates,” he said.
“The question to Mujuru and her allies is, are they prepared to lose their economic interests to join the rank and file of the poverty-stricken ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe?
“The answer has to be no. I don’t think Mujuru will put up a fight against Mugabe. She is young. There will be a political Lazarus in Mujuru, just like there was a political Lazarus in Mnangagwa after 2004,” he added.
Commenting on the strength of the party after the current shenanigans, Ruhanya said: “The party will be shaken, weakened and you know when Zanu PF is weakened, it turns violent.
“Zanu PF would have been weakened further if the opposition in Zimbabwe was organised and strong, but the fact of the matter is that the opposition is a political cadaver”.
He said threats to arrest Mujuru would only be effected if she attempted to fight back or became rebellious.
Another analyst, who commented on condition of anonymity told the Daily News that a split was not feasible.
“The cost of leaving the party far outweighs the benefit of starting another political outfit, he said.
All this happens as Mugabe continues to play Russian roulette around the urgent question of his potential Zanu PF successor, stunning his party’s congress delegates on Saturday by postponing to later this week the naming of the much-anticipated new politburo team and members of the party’s all-powerful presidium.
The wily nonagenarian, who has systematically suppressed all potential successors since Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980, said he needed more time to go through the list of new central committee members from which he would choose the party’s politburo and his colleagues in the presidium — the two vice presidents, national chairperson and secretary for administration.
Mugabe also underlined his continued appetite for the leadership of the party and the country by declaring boldly that he would be around for “as long as I am still sane”, with good memory, willpower and strength.