The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, which has been rocked by infighting since its 2014 congress, is fumigating itself to get rid of elements bent on weakening it ahead of the 2018 elections, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking at the funeral of deputy provincial chairman Kizito Chivamba who died last week, Mnangagwa, who is reported to be one of the major beneficiaries of the current purge, was quoted by the State-controlled Sunday Mail as saying: “Cde Chivamba has gone at a time when the party is internally fumigating itself from elements bent on weakening and destabilising it ahead of the 2018 elections. It is in this spirit that I call upon all those he has left behind to remain united as we gear ourselves towards victory in the 2018 elections.
“Cde Chivamba was like Job of the Bible. He was accused of a lot of things when he was in the party, which led to his suspension. However, the truth later prevailed and he was cleared. This is because the truth is like light — it prevails over darkness.”
The purge started in the run-up to the 2014 congress at which most people thought ZANU-PF would anoint President Robert Mugabe’s successor with the emergency of two factions one called weevils and the other- to get rid of weevils- being called gamatox.
The weevils, however, prevailed with the appointment of Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as Vice-Presidents and Joice Mujuru, Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, among others, being kicked out.
But there was another split within the new set-up with the emergency of G40, comprising the Young Turks who were allegedly behind First Lady Grace Mugabe and Lacoste allegedly behind Mnangagwa.
G40 initially appeared to be winning the battle but it has since been beaten hands down by Lacoste which seems to have the backing of the powerful war veterans.
G40 kingpin Saviour Kasukuwere is now under siege with all the 10 party provinces voting that he should be kicked out of the party.
There, however, is still no clear successor for Mugabe who will be contesting the presidential elections next year though his health seems to be failing.
There are now strong sentiments from within the party that Mugabe should give way to Mnangagwa as his successor.
Kasukuwere has even claimed that calls for him to go are actually calls for Mugabe to go.