Zimbabwe

Zanu-PF fissures have reached 'dangerous' levels – ex-minister

2015-09-29 15:07
Tendai Biti. (File, AFP)

Tendai Biti. (File, AFP)

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Harare – Zimbabwe’s former minister of finance, Tendai Biti, has reportedly warned that the southern African country could be headed for chaos if the ruling Zanu-PF party does not resolve its factional and succession battles.

According to the Daily News, Biti, who is also the leader of the newly launched People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said the fissures currently rocking Zanu-PF had reached "dangerous" levels that could plunge the country into civil unrest and consequently lead to an illegal government.

This comes as succession battles within President Robert Mugabe's party continue to widen as individuals position themselves to succeed the 91-year-old veteran leader.

News Day reported earlier this year that several officials were being touted as Mugabe’s successors, among them the two vice presidents - Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, secretary for commissariat Saviour Kasukuwere, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo, secretary for administration Ignatious Chombo and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga.

Root cause of factionalism

Many had expected factionalism in Zanu-PF to be extinguished following the expulsion of former vice president Joice Mujuru from the party.

Mujuru was kicked out of the ruling party last year, together with several other senior party officials, following allegations of plotting against Mugabe.

The expulsions, however, failed to address the root cause of factionalism — the unresolved succession conundrum, according to a report by the Zimbabwe Independent.

"As long as Mugabe is alive, those factions will be able to hide behind him as the sole unifying element. But once he is gone, which could be anytime, disaster looms because these factions — as was demonstrated during the war against Joice Mujuru — are not capable of dialogue and they use violence and de-legitimation as an instrument of political arbitration," Biti was quoted as saying.

Biti said various factions in Zanu-PF were not aimed at national building as they were all hungry for power.

"I think that there is an itch in Zanu-PF. There is an itch which needs scratching. There are various individuals, various factions and various characters that are dying to be on each other’s throat; not for the purposes of national development, not for the purposes of national reconstruction but for the purposes of power and power alone," he was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  tendai biti  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  phelekezela mphoko  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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