- Published on 01 October 2014
- Written by dailynews
That the centre cannot hold in Zanu PF is no longer a matter of conjecture — if events of the past few months in President Robert Mugabe's party are anything to go by.
Now it is abundantly clear even to Zanu PF fanatics and apparatchiks alike that all right-thinking Zimbabweans must be very concerned by both the escalating level and brutal tone of factionalism within the party.
This is so because Mugabe's Zanu PF is not just our country's long-misruling party, but also the political formation that informs policy and whose leader has previously boasted of "degrees in violence" — such that its supporters have often gone on to act savagely on these threats, as happened in 2008 and after their president lost hands down to Morgan Tsvangirai in that year's disputed presidential plebiscite.
Add to this frightening history the fact that Mugabe, the only leader that our country has known since April 1980 is a mature 90-year-old, it becomes easy to appreciate why what is happening within Zanu PF should concern all Zimbabweans irrespective of their political inclinations.
To recap a point that we have made on a number of occasions, factionalism is a phenomenon that is currently associated with virtually all political parties in Zimbabwe. But it is the extent and the implications of Zanu PF's internal strife for the country that demands that the nation pays particular attention to the thuggish goings-on in the party.
And with due respect to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), their challenges look like a Sunday picnic in the tranquil Harare Gardens compared to the anarchy devouring Zanu PF, because there is so much more to fight for in the ruling party.
In addition to running this country with their trademark and heartless iron fist, Zanu PF leaders, unlike those in the MDC, have unfettered access to State resources, as well as to the military, our partisan police and the country's dreaded intelligence services.
And as has been repeatedly recorded by history, chefs in the ruling party have no hesitation in abusing their incumbency and access to instruments of power whenever their power base is threatened be it from within or without the party.
This is why all right-thinking Zimbabweans must be very concerned by the worsening and vicious plays for power within the party.
Things are so bad that some political observers are once again genuinely worried that we will soon witness ordered hits and murders, as well as a complete breakdown in government service.
Zimbabweans have over the past few months got a glimpse of what maybe in store for the nation as the nasty factionalism within the party has increasingly boiled over into open war, amidst stunning allegations and counter-allegations of corruption, vote-rigging and even spying within the party and the government.
The latest to fire a deadly salvo at his colleagues is maverick Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa, who has stunningly accused Cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere of being "gay gangsters" who are allegedly holding the party to ransom.
Then add to this frightening cocktail the disturbing news that Patrick Zhuwao's wife Beauty on Monday assaulted Mliswa and threatened, according to lapdog State media, to "do more harm to him" than just clobbering him.
Earlier on — and according to the same faithful and lickspittle State media — Beauty had allegedly thrown a bottle of water at the beleaguered Mliswa.
This is frightening, ominous stuff which portends worse things to come. Indeed, Mliswa better be aware if Zanu PF's behaviour in the past is anything to go by.
Surely, all these internecine wars can only end badly for the players involved, their party and Zimbabwe as a whole.
But why are these internal Zanu PF wars worsening and getting out of hand altogether? And where is Mugabe in all this?
It is near impossible to give any definitive answer to this question without bringing Mugabe into the equation — particularly given that the health of our 90-year-old leader continues to be a subject of much public speculation.
To this extent, Zimbabweans are well within their rights to continue to read in between the lines and surmise that perhaps Gushungo is not as fit as is sometimes claimed, a scenario that is driving the current murderous scramble for power and resources.
As an aside too, it is reasonable to also surmise that the leadership argy-bargy that has bedevilled the MDC probably derives from the factionalism and instability within Zanu PF.
Some elements within Tsvangirai's party probably sensed a while ago the ruling party's nervousness around Mugabe's continued tenure as the country's leader, and therefore began to gird themselves for what they ostensibly thought would be an easier tilt at power in a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, a situation that may have engineered the failed putsch inside the MDC.
Finally, and for the benefit of some of Zanu PF's followers who are so prone to believing silly party spin, Zanu PF's as well as Zimbabwe's myriad political and economic problems have nothing to do with the Americans, or alleged sanctions imposed on us by the USA.
They have everything to do with the legendary misrule of the ruling party's corrupt, inept and tyrannical leaders. It's as simple as that.
But given the events of the past few weeks in Zimbabwe could the end now be nigh for Mugabe and Zanu PF?
Time will tell.