via Zanu PF rules out party split – DailyNews Live 18 September 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has ruled out the possibility of the party splitting as a result of the current factional strife.
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was responding to assertions by Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, who raised the spectre of a palace coup when he said the escalating factional fights in the ruling party could result in fissures that could split Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 elections.
Gumbo, a veteran nationalist, said predicting a palace coup or a split in Zanu PF was a mere fallacy.
“I do not think that the party will split or experience a coup,” he told the Daily News.
“I think that is far-fetched. In Zanu PF we have a very strong ideological position that unites us.” The 51-year-old party has been plagued by factional fights that have weakened it as a political force.
Zhuwao had warned that factional conflict and strife in his party could escalate to levels that could cause fissures in the organisation and that, in turn, could cause ruptures.
He said this would lead to the party failing to operate effectively and putting it in danger of breaking up.
“In 2008, factionalism within Zanu PF led to the emergence of Simba Makoni as one of the presidential contestants,” Zhuwao said.
A former Zanu PF politburo member, Simba Makoni garnered eight percent of the vote in the March 2008 presidential election soon after walking out of Zanu PF.
He later formed his Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party which entered an electoral pact with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC ahead of last year’s election.
“As could be seen from the emergence of the Mavambo group, factional operations are usually conducted in secret and within minimal public scrutiny. This cloak of secrecy unfortunately leads to widespread incidences of unethical behaviour,” said Zhuwao.
Although Zanu PF is currently split along two political camps, one reportedly led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice minister Emerson Mnangagwa, Gumbo said everyone was united by history and political persuasion.
“Anyone who decides to walk away from Zanu PF or engage in a palace coup would have sacrificed himself to the dogs,” Gumbo said.
“The issue at the present moment is to get ourselves in order, and as a party we do not foresee anything like that.”
Amid growing concerns from opposition parties that Zanu PF was failing to deal with pressing economic challenges and was instead focusing on internal power struggles, Gumbo said it was time that the ruling party placed emphasis on extricating the country from the jaws of poverty.
“We need to focus on economic revival and we should not be distracted by imagined coups,” he said.
“Apart from (the) wrangles within political parties, Zimbabwe is largely peaceful.”