Mugabe has returned his top-dog position as Zanu PF leader for over 40 years and he has kept Zanu PF, by hook and by crook, in power for all the 36 years since independence because he is the grand master of subtlety and cloak-and-dagga political intrigue. He has had an amazingly long and successful inning; still there are signs that after years of weaving a complex and intricate spider’s web he is a spider caught in its own web!
In 2014 Mugabe, through his wife (he has always had others do his dirty work for him), turned on the then VP Joice Mujuru accusing her of being lazy, incompetent, corrupt, of factionalism and plotting to assassinate him. Mujuru is lazy, incompetent and corrupt; he knew all this back in 2004 when he promoted her to be VP. Indeed he was always surrounded himself with the most corrupt and incompetent men and women he could get because they posed the least threat to his ambition to remain top-dog for live.
As for factionalism and assassination charges, that was pure political nonsense to fool the politically naïve and gullible. Zanu PF was going to hold an elective congress in December 2014 and Mai Mujuru, who was vying for the VP position, had garnered the support of 8 out of 10 provinces; her main challenger for the post, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had the remaining 2 provinces. Mugabe; who had always managed to deny the party members a meaningful say in the running of the party by denying them the chance to elect party leaders, he had always appointed them instead; feared an elected Mujuru would dilute his own powers and so decided to stop the elections going ahead. Accusing her of factionalism was nonsense because there is nothing wrong with one seeking the support of others in upcoming elections.
As for the plot to assassinate Mugabe; each time the tyrant felt his hold on power was under real threat, the opponent was accused of plotting to stage a coup or assassination. The treason charges were then used to justify the ruthless crashing of opponent. Once the threat is neutralized the treason charges would be frizzle out; the same has happened with the Mujuru case.
But as soon as the task of “baby dumping”, as Mugabe’s wife called the purge of Mujuru et al; Mugabe went after Mnangagwa, he was now the new threat to his scheme to remain life president and pass on the presidency to his wife, Grace. Mnangagwa, just like Mujuru in 2014, was too accused of factionalism.
Last Wednesday President Mugabe condemned factionalism when he addressed a group of Zanu PF Women’s League members and repeated the same message during the politburo meeting. The ruthless purge of Mai Mujuru and her supporters in 2014 was supposed to cure the party of factionalism, so where has the new faction come from again?
“In 2014 we went around denouncing factionalism but what we did not know was that we were empowering the other (Mnangagwa faction). So, we are saying to the other faction; stop it!” Grace told her audience at her latest “Meet the People” rally; answering the question of the genesis of the new faction.
“Do not take us for fools. They will not take over from Mugabe. I will rather put him in a wheelbarrow to work because we have realised that those we thought were being groomed as leaders are sell-outs. We no longer have confidence in them,” Grace charged.
Mnangagwa and his supporters constituted the new threat to Mugabe’s plan to remain in office until death and then hand over power to his wife Grace. So Mugabe called off the factional war on Wednesday and two days later his wife declares war on the “sell-outs”; proof there is no intention of ending the war but intensifying it instead.
In short, Mugabe’s call for an end of the factional wars tearing Zanu PF is just variation of his political giving with one hand and making a big song and dance about it whilst stealing even more with the other hand; waving the olive branch in one hand with the concealed assassin’s dagga in the other.
“Mugabe anorova imbwa akaviga mupini!” as one would say in Shona.
"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time," said Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest leaders. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, Mugabe has fooled all the people for a good long “some of the time”, 36 years to be exact, and now he has ran out of time; he cannot fool anyone any more.
The G40 faction Mugabe created to wrestle power from Mnangagwa has failed to impress.
The G40 faction has no credible leader; Grace Mugabe lost credibility soon after she bust on the political stage in 2014 when she started making her wild allegation against Joice Mujuru. The nation knows that she is after power and her shrill “sell-outs” cries are fooling no one..
“People nicknamed me Mazowe crush, you think I’m stupid, I do not know what Mazowe crush means?” admitted Grace on Friday.
”Amai vanoda kutererwa; mukasateerera amai vanotswinya!” she continued, chiding the crowd for not paying attention to her wittering. (Mother wants you to listen; if you do not listen she will sulk!) The restless crowd continued to ignore her.
The people have been attending these rallies for the free hand outs at the end of the day. Grace distributed 531 tonnes of maize, 100 tonnes of rice, Tractors, Internet equipment etc., etc. at the end of the rally.
If Zimbabwe’s next elections are free, fair and credible; which is looking increasingly unlikely given the incompetent opposition failed to get any GPA reforms implemented during the GNU and are doing the same again post the 2013 rigged elections; none of the Zanu PF factions, including Mujuru’s People First Movement, would win them.
Elections with no reforms will give the Zanu PF faction in power a clear advantage; still by purging the Mujuru faction, rigging the elections will not be easy. If the G40 was to purge the Mangagwa faction too, it is doubtful if the faction will be able to pull this off alone!
Zanu PF’s dog-eat-dog factional fighting now pitting the Mnangagwa faction against Grace’s G40 faction is going to continue with the latter doing all the barking but too weak to deliver the killer bite. Mugabe cannot call-off his Chihuahua G40 pack now; it is too late for a tactical withdrawal. As long as Mugabe is alive the Mnangagwa faction cannot fight back G40 faction. So Zanu PF is imploding and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop it, not even the grand master of political intrigue, Robert Gabriel Mugabe himself!