via Give wily Mugabe his Zanu PF dues – DailyNews Live 27 October 2014
HARARE – So much has gone wrong inside President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party over the past few months, with the injudicious recent utterances of his termagant wife, Grace, adding fuel to the fire.
In fact, so fouled have relations become inside Zanu PF that even respected veterans of the party, such as Cephas Msipa, have expressed genuine concern that the party of liberation could split violently if the crisis is not managed carefully.
Enter Mugabe into the picture: on one hand the genesis of the crisis, but also paradoxically the glue that is keeping the party together on the other.
While it is true to say that the party is not out of the woods yet, by any stretch of the imagination, Mugabe has demonstrated over the past few days why he has remained at the head of the party for as long as he has done.
Where many expected him, in his old age, to be under the complete command of his young and overbearing wife, and to therefore dive into the internecine Zanu PF wars feet first as the quarrelsome Grace has been demanding, Mugabe has opted for effective circumspection and quiet diplomacy to douse the party’s raging fires.
For a start, he very wisely refrained from commenting in public on his wife’s reckless utterances on Vice President Joice Mujuru and, crucially, did not make an inflammatory statements or moves when he came back from his religious Rome sojourn, as demanded by Grace and her Zanu PF faction — that is made up of a mixture of party hardliners, chancers and outright nutters.
And when the politburo met on Friday amid this tense atmosphere, the wily fox cunningly kicked the ball into touch — to further cool tempers.
This he did by postponing any discussions on the emotive Mujuru allegations, under the guise that outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri would need time to compile her report on Grace’s controversial “Meet the People” rallies at which she slated the embattled, but popular VP.
It has now also since transpired that Mugabe also wisely met Mujuru twice last week — after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting and before Friday’s tense politburo gathering, where the two longtime comrades apparently had promising, if not fruitful, discussions on managing the crisis and their political differences.
Well-placed sources told our sister publication, the Daily News on Sunday, that Mugabe did not appear to agree with his wife, particularly Grace’s public shellacking of Mujuru during these conversations.
This has given the under fire VP cause for optimism and also allowed the nonagenarian to manage the situation.
Our hope is that this truce holds, as a violent break-up of Zanu PF is not good for anyone.