President Robert Mugabe has been at the helm of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front for 40 years now and according to the United States embassy he has maintained his control over the party through patronage and fear.
The embassy said a decade ago that although the economy was shrinking and the benefits had been reduced “there is still enough in the trough to produce loyalty”.
More important was the fear engendered by Mugabe that his departure could result in internecine party struggle jeopardizing the relative stability of Zimbabwe and the ill-gotten gains of party members; and that anyone challenging him will be marginalized.
One of Mugabe’s staunchest supporters, Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo, who was outside the party for four years, admitted that it was cold outside ZANU-PF.
Mugabe’s other former ally Didymus Mutasa seems to be saying the same thing claiming that he is now desperate only three years after being fired from the party.
Mutasa, however, now denies he ever sought o rejoin ZANU-PF and has reportedly endorsed Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
A study by Brian Raftopoulos soon after the 2013 elections which Mugabe won resoundingly, however, showed that Mugabe was not stronger than ZANU-PF as is often stated.
Tsvangirai, on the other hand, was stronger than the MDC.
Raftopoulos’ argument was based on the fact that Mugabe has never won more votes than his legislators even when he won a staggering 62 percent of the vote.
MDC’s legislators had, on the other hand, never won more votes together than Morgan Tsvangirai even in 2008 when they beat ZANU-PF and won 100 of the 210 parliamentary seats.
Below are the first 320 Wikileaks cables on Mugabe- 306 more to go.
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