ZIMBABWE – Harare – Zimbabwe’s ruling party leader, President Robert Mugabe, 91, has publicly admitted that his Zanu-PF is riddled with factional wars that he claims could shred it into pieces.
Speaking to party politburo members ahead of the party’s policy conference starting on Thursday in Victoria Falls, the nonagenarian warned that the infighting had a potential of splitting the party.
Mugabe has in the past been reportedly critical of reports on the clashes within his party, saying these were just the fantasies of the private media.
NewsDay quoted the long-time leader openly admitting that the party had shortcomings, further slamming individuals whom he said wanted to advance their personal goals using the party.
“We have a problem at the moment that threatens to split the party,” he said.
“The central committee should meet to deal with problems that have to do with organisation, administration, elections and recruitment of new members, but alas, the problem is now to do with personalities, people wanting to advance themselves within the party, wanting this position and that position.”
The Independent early last month reported that the Zanu-PF factions were mainly driven by personalities rather than ideological or policy differences.
“The factions have been driven at various points by the struggle to succeed Mugabe who has ruled the country since Independence from Britain in 1980, and in recent times the two main rivals have been Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his predecessor Joice Mujuru,” the report stated.
However, after the exit of Mujuru from the ruling party, a new group known as the generation 40 has merged, thus, sparking another tense factional rivalry as former allies become enemies, the report further claimed.
Reports indicate the generation 40 group is backing president Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as the next deputy president, thus, position her to eventually succeed the ailing president.
The party wanted one of Mugabe’s deputies to be a woman in line with the party’s constitution regarding gender parity in government.