State media laments ZANU PF infighting ahead of conference

via State media laments ZANU PF infighting ahead of conference | SW Radio Africa  by Tichaona Sibanda December 12, 2013 

The state media has uncharacteristically lamented the state of affairs in ZANU PF, blaming the ruling party’s failure to fulfill its election promises on factionalism and the deeply divisive succession debate.

In its lead story on Thursday the government mouthpiece the Herald said it was imperative that the party deals with the issue of factionalism and succession politics that have diverted it from implementing the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

The party opens its annual conference Friday in Chinhoyi, the capital of Mashonaland West province. But bickering and infighting have lately engulfed the party, with two distinct factions led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, involved in a bitter turf war to replace President Robert Mugabe should he ever step down, or when he dies.

While the media is urging the party to use the conference to patch up the cracks within the ruling party, analysts said they do not see that happening as the differences between the two camps have become so entrenched.

The infighting is threatening the hold the party has in many wards, districts and provinces, just as it further weakens internal cohesion ahead of the next year’s elective congress, at which Mugabe’s successor is expected to emerge.

Many party loyalists are openly confessing that ZANU PF has never witnessed such deep grievances and hardening of discontent among its top echelon as the party is currently witnessing.

The fear among many of the party’s supporters is that previous internal quarrels had never graduated to the open warfare that is now evident.

Political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri told SW Radio Africa the conference will end up being nothing more than a talk show, where both factions would want to raise their grievances.

‘The factional fighting and the desire by the other faction to discuss unfinished business from the provincial election results will inevitably scuttle any attempts to engage in robust debate on the state of the economy.

‘In all honesty, ZANU PF is not part of the future, a progressive future for Zimbabwe, their best days are behind them, the future belongs to others and this is evidenced by their failure to up the economy and improve the people’s lives,’ Mutandiri said.