Are we heading for another ZANU-Something?


While media reports say former Vice-President Joice Mujuru is under pressure to form a new political party before March, one of his alleged main backers, Didymus Mutasa, insists that he and his unnamed colleagues still belong to ZANU-PF.

The current ZANU-PF which has Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as deputy presidents, he says, is not the real ZANU-PF. The real ZANU-PF is the pre-congress ZANU-PF. He cannot, therefore, be expelled from the current ZANU-PF because he never belonged to it.

Mutasa has appealed to the South African Development Community and the African Union to nullify the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front congress of December and signed the letter as the party’s secretary for administration.

Ironically, Mutasa, according to the Daily News, still recognises President Robert Mugabe as the leader of the party, which essentially means that Mugabe is leading two factions of the same party and presided over a “criminal congress”.

Mutasa’s argument implies that there are now two ZANU-PFs, something reminiscent of the Movement for Democratic Change in 2005. But unlike the MDC, which disagreed with the party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, Mutasa seems to be disagreeing with Mugabe’s lieutenants whom he calls mafikizolos.

When the MDC finally split in 2006, both factions retained the name MDC, one becoming MDC-T and the other MDC- M after its leader Arthur Mutambara. But in the 2008 elections, Mutambara’s faction registered as the MDC, but lost dismally winning only 10 of the 210 seats against Tsvangirai’s 100.

When Job Sikhala decided to form his own faction, he called it MDC-99. The same applied to Tendai Biti and his group. When they left the MDC, they called their faction MDC Renewal Team.

Throughout, there has been one constant. Each one has left and stuck to the name MDC but Tsvangirai has remained with the people.

When Mugabe took over the leadership of ZANU, the founding president Ndabaningi Sithole claimed he still led the original ZANU. In the 1980 independence elections he was, however, forced to register his party as ZANU-Ndonga. It failed to win a single seat.

When former secretary-general Edgar Tekere left, he formed a party with a new name- the Zimbabwe Unity Movement. The same applied to Simba Makoni. He named his party Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn.

With Mutasa and his colleagues insisting they still belong to ZANU-PF- which is true because they have not been expelled from the party except for Rugare Gumbo and Jabulani Sibanda- the question is, are the two going to fight for the name and end up having ZANU-PF and ZANU-Something else?

This could be a bruising battle just like the lead up to the congress. A lot of people argued that the congress would not be held. It was held. Mugabe was endorsed as the party leader and appointed his team. But that leadership is being questioned. The sooner these squabbles are resolved the better. The country is burning. People don’t eat politics.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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