By Malvern Mkudu
As the fighting in the ruling party rages on confusion has set in.Last week Children of war veterans issued a statement to the media and
called for the removal of Saviour Kasukuwere as Political Commissar while Professor Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao were called to order.
The Herald then came out and chastised the children of the war veterans for their attacks on these ministers.
To underscore their point the war veterans called for another press conference in Harare and urged President Mugabe to investigate the land scandals that have rocked the urban areas.
It is common knowledge that most of the land barons that would be targeted by this investigation are perceived to belong to the G-40
We are now witnessing full blown contradictions within the ruling party. As the diverse groups in the party fight for political space the contest is threatening to get nasty.
The silence of Mugabe has not helped matters .He has been quoted in the past saying neither Mujuru nor Mnangagwa were is
automatic and that the next leader would come from the people.Perhaps this explains why he has let the skirmishes continue.
This means that either Mugabe intends to die in power and then let his party choose his successor or he will step down and allow his party to choose a successor.
Until he indicates when he will leave power we must expect the fights to continue as his advanced age inevitably means that those eyeing his post will speculate.The Mnangagwa faction has found favour with war veterans and the old guard of the ruling party who want the legacy of the liberation struggle to continue.
This group are routing for a perpetuation of the current set up. They are firmly behind Mugabe’s leadership but they are pushing for Mugabe to be replaced by a cadre who has liberation credentials and who will safeguard their interests.
This group comprises of securocrats and long time serving members who feel an entitlement to the party. It also has hardliners who cannot be pushed over easily.
The second group represented by the likes of Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere represent the youth who are pushing for change within the ruling party. This group is using First lady Grace Mugabe to push for this change. It is not clear whether this group has lofty power ambitions of its own or they are just negotiating for space in the party when President Mugabe leaves.Whatever their ambitions are , they have rattled the old guard who are now fighting back.
Although this group has the ear of Mugabe as it comprises mainly of family members , relatives and mainly Zezurus from Mashonaland West it is viewed with suspicion by the rest of the party.
This group is viewed as money hungry and intent on using the party to amass wealth.It has been hammered as fronting interests of the White Rhodesians and hostile western countries.Most of the members of this faction are viewed as ‘Mafikizolos’.
The idea of this discourse is to frame G-40 as an enemy that requires urgent extermination. This is meant to draw the ire of Mugabe and spur him into action but so far Mugabe has remained quiet.
The second discourse is to frame G-40 as a bunch of corrupt, ambitious and undisciplined party members. This is why the party is now seeking to have people like Phillip Chiyangwa investigated.
By framing G-40 as corrupt , the party’s old guard are pushing President Mugabe into a corner. If he chooses to go with G-40 he risks
being labelled as not being decisive against corrupt party members and his leadership will be blamed for the corruption that has destroyed the country.
It would appear President Mugabe is already suspicious of people like Professor Moyo after he chastised him for trying to destroy the party from within but nothing in politics must be taken on face value or left to chance.
As it appears now President Mugabe is stuck between pleasing his wife or sticking with his comrades. Pleasing his wife will mean
surrendering the party to G-40. Surrendering the party to G-40 may mean rebellion against his leadership.
Whether his comrades will stand by and watch him do this is yet to be seen but the first signs are that he will meet fierce opposition if he yields to the demands of his wife. There are those who feel the legacy of the liberation struggle must continue.
The old guard will fight about what they see as a betrayal of the ideals they went to war for and secondly against what they see as an attempt to keep the party under ‘Zezuru’ hegemony. They will also fight against the ‘personalisation’ of the party as seen by the meteoric rise of Grace Mugabe.
On the other hand G-40 are fighting what they see as the marginalization of the youth voice over their lack of liberation credentials. They want more recognition and bigger piece of the national cake.