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Monday, 21 November 2011

ZANU PF Congress.....day of reckoning?

By Blessing Vava

Hanging on....ZANU PF's Leader Robert Mugabe
It’s now barely two weeks before the watershed ZANU PF conference which has been turned into a congress obviously to address certain issues that have been troubling the ‘revolutionary’ party. Of great note is the succession debate that has almost torn ZANU PF into pieces as they seem numb and clueless on who is going to take over from Mugabe. In recent years we have been getting media reports about the factionalism and infighting within ZANU PF, which the party has been dismissing with contempt. But as events have been unfolding it is now a reality that ZANUPF is now in limbo with two main opposing factions all fighting to succeed Mugabe.

We all know that usually, congresses award organisations or parties with an opportunity to elect new leaders and adoption of new policies. But this has not been the case in ZANU PF since independence as Mugabe has never been challenged at any congress to date. And as we approach this December congress nothing much should be expected in solving ZANU PF’s complicated succession debate. It is unlikely that Mugabe is going to step down instead he will use the December meeting as a time for retribution mainly to those opposing him as revealed by the wikileaks.  The December congress will also endorse Mugabe as their  presidential candidate.
Eyeing presidency...Emmerson Mnangagwa

The revelations in the wikileaks  implicating some of his top officials angered Mugabe and its no longer a secret that they want him to go.   In this regard the president   no longer trusts anyone close to him even his beloved wife Grace who according to the cables had discussions about his weaknesses with the Governor of the Reserve Bank Gideon Gono.

However, he still has some bootlickers who have not been tainted by the wilkileaks. These are individuals like Simon Khaya Moyo, Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Webster Shamu to mention just a few. Some of these individuals have been amplifying their voices in praise singing the octogenarian leader maybe to play it safe ahead of congress. They even called for stiffer punishments to the alleged offenders. Mugabe is one man who does not easily forgive. There are many who foolishly think that Mugabe is isolated, wounded and that his days are numbered. Never think that all those implicated in the wikileaks will all get the same punishment. The answer is NO. Obviously the weak ones, in Mugabe’s eyes are going to face the guillotine and some will be left.
President Mugabe is like cremora...Webster Shamu
ZANU PF  National Commissar
The wikileaks weakened the Mujuru faction  the most  and the Mnangagwa’s side is pushing Mugabe to act decisively on those implicated.  Statements by Jonathan Moyo can reveal their position already.

What happened in Tsholotsho is a typical example of how Mugabe is likely going to deal with the wikigate scandal. In the Tsholotsho meeting  some senior ZANU PF officials were planning to topple the presidium but luck ran out when their botched plan was exposed before execution. When  their plan was revealed, not all of them faced the music. For some reasons known to Mugabe himself,  Patrick Chinamasa and Mnangwagwa were forgiven despite their direct or indirect role in that plot. The other provincial chairpersons were suspended and some of them are now in the political wilderness.

Brains behind Tsholotsho...Jonathan Moyo
Mugabe like  many  dictators, uses the divide and rule politics and that’s the exact way he is going to approach the Wikigate saga. Hence it is foolhardy, naive and parochial  to assume that ZANU PF is going to split  soon simply  because some senior ZANU PF  politicians indicated that there are tired of Mugabe. Consequently Mugabe is now fighting for his own survival, what he wants now is to secure a victory in next year’s elections if they are ever going to be held that time. His deteriorating  health is another factor that has been giving him sleepless nights.  Seemingly his greatest drawback might be the constitution making process that has been dragging for long and he would have wanted it to be completed as early as yesterday.

However it might not be a big issue as he might force the election even before a new constitution with ease. The June 27 election are an example and he is prepared for another GNU. But seemingly ZANU PF desperately wants an early election and then work out the transition challenges using the provisions on succession which in amendment number 18.  For many Zimbabweans the issue of elections is a  scary subject and they prefer having them in 2013 or later because without meaningful reforms i.e media, security and electoral will lead to a compromised poll. For that reason participating in that election will directly or indirectly mark a total capitulation to the forces of coercion and violence.