Zanu PF conference starts amid tensions

via Zanu PF conference starts amid tensions 12/12/2013 by Fanuel Jongwe NewZimbabwe

ZANU PF opens its annual conference on Thursday with the twin spectres of the moribund economy and infighting over veteran President Robert Mugabe’s succession casting long shadows.

The three-day conference is Zanu PF’s last before its elective congress next year and comes against the backdrop of renewed clashes among contenders to succeed Mugabe, who at 89 is Africa’s oldest head of state.

“The conference is an opportunity to heal the rift between the main factions in the party and to craft a post-election message,” said Rushweat Mukundu, a political analyst with the Zimbabwe Democratic Institute.

“There is a lot of despondency and uncertainty over the economy. Zanu PF is confronted with a huge challenge on the economic front. They will make resolutions on these issues but we should not expect anything major in terms of policy.”

Divisions over Mugabe’s succession cost Zanu PF the 2008 election when it lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980 and Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential elections to opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

Political analyst Takura Zhangazha said internal party politics were likely to dominate the conference agenda at the expense of burning national issues.

But a Zanu PF party official said Mugabe’s succession was not on the agenda.

“Those who are talking about the president’s succession are misguided. This will not be discussed,” said Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.

“The president has just won an election and according to the new constitution he can stand for another term.”

Zhangazha suggests it is “least likely” that Zanu PF “will be able to transcend their internal factional fighting and address key national issues”.

“Evidence of this is the electioneering stunts where we have seen party policy contradicting national policy.”

He says the party will seek to “manage” the factionalism and present a face of a strong and united movement.

“They will try to paper over the cracks and rest in the luxury that they don’t have serious opposition at the moment.

“But their major challenge is the economy. They have to deliver on their election promises,” Zhangazha said.

Zanu PF won disputed general elections in July on promises of jobs, the re-opening of companies that folded as the economy went into a downturn and to repair damaged road and rail networks.

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University of Zimbabwe political scientist Shakespeare Hamauswa, says Zanu PF is under pressure and will use the conference to announce policies that seek to win back a populace disillusioned by the party’s failure to deliver on its promises over the years.

The venue is in Mugabe’s hometown of Chinhoyi which was also the scene of the first battle that marked the beginning of the liberation war that led to independence in 1980.

Five months after winning the election, the government appears out of sorts with the economy continuing on a slide and 700 companies having pulled down their shutters from January to August. An estimated 300 people are laid off every month according to the main trade union federation.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa deferred presenting the annual budget amid reports that state coffers were dry and could scarcely cover government programmes. The official line was that the delay was to allow wide consultation on the budget.

The party is also riven by factionalism, with Vice-President Joyce Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa seen as the main contenders to succeed Mugabe – who however is serving a first five-year term under a new constitution and has not ruled out running again when he will be 94.

Last month, Zanu PF held provincial elections which were seen as a battle between the two factions and were marred by allegations of vote-rigging and arguments that sometimes ended in fisticuffs.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • comment-avatar
    nyati 8 years ago

    The internal knowledge of wat happened on the 31st of July is cause for death for even those that took part in the proces. Saka chimusangano ichi chine vachati “ehiii tinozvireva pasi rose rikazviziva” ndosaka vese vachingoti ngafirepo nokuti they do not have the courage to face himvl even asingachagoni chero kugara pasi ega!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    passenger 23 8 years ago

    why is Dead mass so scared of the successio issue.To him discussions over the issue means Mugabe is going tommorow but thats not the issue.Why not have the issue tabled whilst he in charge.Look at South Africa.Mozambique,Botswana iwe Mutasa

  • comment-avatar
    Liberator 8 years ago

    How can Zimbabwe be expected to be led and helped by someone like Mugabe. Munhu akugara akapfekedzwa ma nappy seka svawa. Munhu anobatwa ruoko kuenda kuchimbuzi sekamwana.I really fell sorry for our beloved Zimbabwe. What did we do as Zimbabweans to deserve such a curse. Please God help us.

    • comment-avatar
      furedi 8 years ago

      That problem started in 1980 people just could not see the horns above the mans ears.

  • comment-avatar
    Phibion 8 years ago

    Conference should resolve to appoint Morgan as First VP, and Biti as Finance minister. The country is sliding backwards vanhu vamwari lets stop the slide now