PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has allegedly manipulated Zanu PF’s warring factions by playing them against each other after he appointed Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and secretary for legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa to draft the appeals’ procedure to facilitate reviewing cases of members suspended and expelled by rival G40 faction led by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Source: Zanu PF appeals committee: Mugabe pacifies factions – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 30, 2016
Most of the aggrieved party members belonged to Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste faction who were booted out of the party on allegations of fanning factionalism.
The suspended members had claimed that they were unlikely to get a fair hearing from an appeals panel led by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, an alleged G40 functionary.
“There is now hope with Cde Mnangagwa and Cde Chinamasa tasked to draft the procedure and guidelines to be followed by the appeal’s committee. It would be difficult for pre-determined decisions to be made as verdicts will have to be in tandem with the set guidelines,” a committee member sympathetic to the Mnangagwa camp said.
“We were told that when the guidelines are ready, then the appeal process will commence looking at each case varying it with the guidelines set. Then a report should be presented to the politburo and subsequently the central committee for approval.”
But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo professed ignorance over the matter referring all questions to Chinamasa.
“All legal matters are handled by the secretary for legal affairs (Chinamasa) so you can talk to him. I don’t know when the committee will start their work as you may be aware, I am not one of them,” Moyo said.
Yesterday, Chinamasa was unreachable for comment as he was said to be attending African Development Bank meetings in Zambia.
However, political analyst, Alexander Rusero, opined that Mugabe was playing up the two factions so as to keep his authority unchallenged.
“You have to understand that Mugabe is a Machiavellian politician and this could be one of his tricks to ensure no factions have power over the other. It is a given fact that Mnangagwa is one of the best legal brains in Zanu PF and his involvement there, could be to help close all loopholes that would arise,” Rusero said.
“But knowing Zanu PF as it is, this is mostly likely to balance the power dynamics in the party where the other faction is thrust with the duty to hear the appeal cases using guidelines set by the other faction. Obviously, the losing faction and in this case, the ED (Mnangagwa) team will ensure that the process is to their favour, while the other will fight to justify why they had earlier on suspended most of these party members.”
Another analyst, Ibbo Mandaza, said Mugabe was trying to pacify a number of party activists who felt aggrieved by the suspensions.
“They (Mnangagwa and Chinamasa) are there because they are lawyers and Mugabe wants to follow the law. He wants to show the aggrieved members that there is fairness in the party,” Mandaza said. Initially, the expulsions targeted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s backers, but later turned onto Mnangagwa’s allies.