via Charamba contradicts First Family – DailyNews Live 12 October 2015
HARARE – While President Robert Mugabe and wife Grace have admitted that Zanu PF is rocked by factionalism, his spokesperson George Charamba is singing his own bizarre tune contradicting the 91-year-old strongman’s views on the state of the ruling party.
In an interview with the State media at the weekend, Charamba suggested that like in every political party, the only issue emanating from the corridors of the former liberation struggle are a clash of personalities and contestation of posts rather than factionalism.
Curiously, his statements come only a few days after the First Lady Grace Mugabe savaged Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s allies during her visit to Manicaland on Thursday, threatening to have them banished from the post-congress Zanu PF for allegedly fanning factionalism.
“There are no factions in Zanu PF post December,” Charamba said in the interview with a State weekly.
“There are only personality clashes, there are perception differences, there are abrasive ambitions for posts. There is a difference. If you are competing abrasively to hold a post in Zanu PF, under President Robert Mugabe you therefore cannot pass for a faction because you are expressing an ambition to occupy a post so that from within it, you can serve Zanu PF and President Mugabe better.”
Zanu PF was last year forced to admit that there is factionalism in the ruling party and purged a faction that was led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The Mujuru faction then was locked in a battle for supremacy against the Mnangagwa camp, which is now on the ropes and stands accused of being worse than the deposed Vice President.
Unsurprisingly, the post-December congress Zanu PF has also met similar seizures with Grace said to be at the heart of the anarchy that is disembowelling the party.
However, Charamba yesterday came to the defence of the 50-year-old party, saying she had no need to fight for power as she was already the centre of power in Zanu PF by virtue of being the president’s wife.
“This is the wish. It is not reality. That’s why you discover that the alleged factions have moved from the echelons of the vice president up to the echelons of the First Family….You already have the power; you already have the post by virtue of being the wife of the president. You are in the crown, you are the crown. Then you organise against it. Does that make sense to you?” the information secretary said.
In an attempt to give an academic analysis of the wars bedevilling the former liberation struggle movement, Charamba blamed the private media for fanning factionalism.
“The private press is trying to force the succession discussion and there is no better way than to create a sense of guilt. They must the find the accused. And Mnangangwa becomes the accused. Mphoko becomes the accused. The wife of the president becomes the accused and all of them are allegedly focusing beyond the president,” Charamba said.
As much as he tried to deny factionalism, Charamba went further to threaten the private press, as his boss, Mugabe did at the opening of third session of the 8th Parliament luncheon.
“There is no constitution that priviledges political players and if you are in the media and you choose to leave the media desk to become an extension of the publicity department of a political party we treat you as a politician. And please, don’t cry wolf. Don’t feel unfairly treated when the hammer descends on you because wada mabrickbats yet you are staying in a glass house,” charged Charamba.
But Mugabe has admitted that factions are festering in Zanu PF.
Upon his arrival from the United States of America two weeks ago, Mugabe said there were individuals who were coaxing support from intelligence officers in order to climb the political ladder. “We want to thank the police and Central Intelligence officers for the work they are doing in ensuring peace in the country … (as) we will always have weevils in our midst.
“Many people come to you saying you must back so and so for this or that post. Why must you back that person? Zanu PF has laws and we support the party and the leadership that you chose, not individuals who want to impose themselves on you and causing confusion in the party,” Mugabe said.
Meanwhile, Grace has threatened to blow the whistle on party officials who lead factions.
“Factionalism yakuda kudzoka but tinoti pasi nayo (factionalism is back in Zanu PF and we say to hell with it). Do not lie to us about what you are capable of. We know you all and what you are capable of. Just ask yourself why God continues giving a 91-year-old (Mugabe) the strength to lead the country.
“Acting as president … does not mean one is an heir apparent. This is what destroyed Mai Mujuru.
“Do not be caught offside. Tamba nevamwe zvakanaka (interact well with each other),” she thundered at her Manicaland rally last Thursday.