Mugabe Challenged To Rein In Feuding Followers

By Professor Matodzi

Harare, February 19, 2016 – A local civic group, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC), has urged President Robert Mugabe to stamp his authority and stop current clashes among Zanu PF factions insisting this has negative effects on the national economy.

“Zanu PF has apparently failed to deliver on its 2013 election promises and it is an insult to the generality of Zimbabweans for the ruling party to focus on petty political fights while the majority wallow in poverty,” said the group in a statement on Thursday.

Zanu PF is currently involved in endless factional wars involving Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the so-called Generation 40, which comprises younger party politicians rooting for the First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband, who turns 92 in two days time.

Grace has in the recent past been holding her meet-the-people provincial rallies where she has persistently accused party rivals of plotting to remove President Mugabe from a job he has vigorously protected for the past 35 years.

However, while party rivals have taken the abuses seemingly quiet, her Mazowe rally last week seemed to have sparked more party tensions.

Soon after the rally, where she ranted angrily at unnamed party rivals for attempting to dethrone President Mugabe, a group of war veterans led by Manicaland Provincial Affairs Ministers quickly convened a meeting during which they passed a vote of no confidence against a war veterans executive led by cabinet minister Chris Mutsvangwa.

This was followed by more suspensions of provincial chairpersons linked to Mnangagwa, inflaming an already volatile situation within the beleaguered party.

The potentially destructive nature of the party’s factional wars was witnessed on Thursday when police violently broke a planned war veterans meeting which had been convened by Mutsvangwa at the City Sports Centre.

But CIZC on Thursday urged President Mugabe to show leadership by taking control of a situation that threatens to plunge the entire country into total chaos as well as scaring away potential investors in a country battling to reverse years of economic ruin.

“CIZC implores President Mugabe to reign in his underlings to ensure the ruling party focuses on reviving the national economy as well as implementing measures that instil confidence among potential investors,” said the group.

“Furthermore, CIZC would like to remind President Mugabe that failure to instil a sense of order within his party will not only impact negatively on the national economy and peoples’ livelihoods but also on civil and political rights as evidenced by the victimisation of ordinary citizens being accused of working in cahoots with perceived opponents of the Zanu PF leader.”

The group further said it was concerned that Zanu PF politicians who are supposed to be inventing solutions to the country’s economic woes were in fact deploying all their energies on factional fights.

The country faces a devastating drought that has left nearly three million locals in urgent need of food assistance, massive joblessness which has further been worsened by the continued closure of companies.