By Prince Tongogara
The Zanu (PF) December 2014 congress earthquake that toppled vice-president Joice Mujuru and secretary of administration Didymus Mutasa among many others may be over but the aftershocks are beginning as the victors hasten to consolidate their newly found power.
The new fight to consolidate power is very subtle as victors now want to fashion party structures to their liking in the hope to totally annihilate the Mujuru faction from districts up to national level.
It was a given fact that in the run-up to the congress the party had been split into two main factions led by Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa as they contested for the right to succeed the ageing and ailing President Robert Mugabe.
It is also important to note that there has also been a third faction – G40 – represented by well-connected and ambitious young turkeys in the party like Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao.
The G40 is a group that is waiting in the wings to take over power at the appropriate moment when the old guard is gone. Their cause may be half done after most of the old guards were purged at the just ended congress leaving them to cherry pick the plumb politburo and cabinet posts.
Mnangagwa to date has been the greatest beneficiary of the political earthquake as he emerged the second in command and potential Mugabe successor. Not only did he become the vice-president but also national party co-chairperson and Justice minister thereby making him the second most powerful politician in the land today both in theory and practice.
The other beneficiaries were Ignatius Chombo, long touted as a dark horse in the succession stakes, who came out as the secretary of administration and Kasukuwere a surprise package for the powerful position of secretary for commissariat.
However, the new power brokers in Zanu (PF) have remained wary and cognisant of the fact that the Mujuru camp controlled just more than the provincial chairpersons and a few central committee members but nearly all of the party structures from districts.
Just before the congress 9 provincial chairpersons were booted out in choreographed votes of no confidence except Richard Moyo of Matabeleland North.
It is this realisation that has fueled the need for an urgent restructuring of the party structures especially in Mashonaland provinces that were seen as the bedrock of Mujuru support. These are Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Harare.
Newly appointed minister of State for Mashonaland East Province Joel Biggie Matiza last week revealed that the party has to restructure all its structures to weed out perceived enemies, Mujuru allies, starting at district level.
To that end, Kasukuwere is starting nationwide provincial tours to meet structures and discuss on the impending restructuring exercise. It is no secret that the expected changes are meant to consolidate the victors’ newly found power and at the same time wipe out the residues of Mujuru influence in the party.
It remains to be seen how the victors who are already splitting into factions will regroup and agree on the contentious restructuring. The G40 group now is represented by the G4 of Kasukuwere, Zhuwao, Jonathan Moyo and Oppah Muchinguri, Mnangagwa and ambitious and scared Grace in the other corners.
For now the seismic shifts are taking place and a few more scalps will be claimed as the victors move to consolidate their power and position to take over from Mugabe when he retires or leave office by other natural means between now and the next congress in 2019. Unfortunately the scenario makes 2015 a potentially wasted year as no one in Zanu (PF) will be working on service delivery as they try to consolidate power – in the low intensity intra-party rivalry.