ZIMBABWE – As factional fighting reaches highest levels in Manicaland some irate Zanu PF members in Mutare have blamed President Robert Mugabe for sanctioning the entry of his wife, Grace, into party politics, alleging that she has created deep factionalism that has destroyed the party within.
The party members who are believed to be aligned to Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa have also criticized Mugabe for failing to rein in on Grace, claiming that she has failed to respect “party elders”.
It is alleged that some irate party members last Sunday after the stormy Provincial Coordination Committee meeting held in Mutare met secretly and expressed concern that Grace’s elevation had not been good for the country, as it promoted a culture of hatred in the party.
Grace’s election to the post of the party’s women’s league boss at the Zanu (PF) congress in December last year has seen her taking her place in the ruling party’s echelons of power.
“With her recent political rhetoric, she is increasingly in an acrimonious race to coerce nominations to be President Mugabe’s successor. She is moving too fast and we will not allow that,” said a party official who attended the secret meeting.
The party members also accused Grace of giving credit to Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao by describing them as the vanguard of the ruling Zanu PF, arguing that the two were actually the ones engineering sharp divisions in the party.
Kasukuwere and Zhuwao are believed to be in the G40, a group of ZanuPF Young Turks who are said to be backing Grace and are opposed toMnangagwa in succeeding Mugabe.
The party members said Grace’s political knowledge were very low in as far as the G40 is concerned.
“She is very unpopular and those who are using her know that too, but she has become very ambitious. Her permanent anger when attacking us suspecting us of aligning to Mnangagwa reveals that she knows she is going nowhere,” said the party member.
They described Grace’s backers as people who were intent on destroying the party from within.
“If Grace has her way and that of her backers, namely to overtake Mnangagwa in the presidency, that will certainly split Zanu PF,” said a party official.
“We cannot hide it anymore. Enough is enough we are heading for nowhere. I think she is the one who is influencing President Mugabe to make some decisions which will be tantamount not only to the party but the country as a whole,” said the official.
“If people continue being dissatisfied with what is happening, it is possible to have a split. I think the President (Mugabe) has the key to all these issues. We do not want factionalism and if it continues we don’t know what will become of the party,” added the official.
Meanwhile, some war veterans in Manicaland have said they have been ignored for avery long time and now the G40 was now being taken as the vanguard of the party.
“This is painful indeed. We have suffered enough. We are saying enough is enough. They (Zanu PF) have failed to recognize us and now they are only considering these young politicians more important than us,” said a war veteran.
The war veterans have accused Joseph Chinotimba of boot licking Grace.
“We do not allow Chinotimba to tell us what to do. We do not want newcomers to hijack the country that we fought for. We are not selling out, but, it’s them who are selling out,” he said.
The war veterans warned the G40 for enlisting the services of Grace to remove genuine war veterans from power.