THE spectre of factionalism that ultimately resulted in the fall of former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017 has returned to hound his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabolivenews has learnt.
Sources within Zanu PF the ethnic tensions between largely Zezuru and Karanga leaders with the party could explode into the public domain with the possibility Mnangagwa might be impeached.
The latest round of factionalism in the ruling party reportedly pit Mnangagwa against his supposedly ailing second in command Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who is currently in China where he is receiving treatment.
Chiwenga is according to sources now out of danger although his doctors have advised him to quit politics.
“There is a vicious fight going on. Confidence in Mnangagwa is at an all-time low. His policies have alienated Zanu PF from the people and senior leaders in the party are angry with him.
“They are arguing that they have no answers to the current economic and social problems the people are grappling with,” one source said.
Another source said the removal of former Zanu PF national commissar Engelbert Rugeje and the re-introduction of the controversial District Coordinating Committees are closely linked to the fresh fissures in the party.
“The President (Mnangagwa) has lost control of the party. He is accused of favouring his Karanga clan-mates in important appointments and his lieutenants openly claim ‘its our time to eat’. That is not sitting well with a lot of people especially from the three Mashonaland provinces, Matabeleland North and parts of Manicaland who are coalescing around Chiwenga,” Zimbolivenews.com heard.
“The Karanga faction is left with Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland South because (Vice President) Kembo Mohadi as well as Harare that they are battling to save.”
The DCCs it has been heard are Mnangagwa’s plan to re-capture the party structures beginning with Harare.
“Rugeje was identified as central to the plot that is why he was replaced by a Midlands boy, Victor Matemadanda. Christopher Mutsvangwa (former Mnangagwa advisor) is another Zezuru faction leader who is angry with Mnangagwa for denying him the chance to make money through a new pipeline.
“Actually Mutsvangwa’s plan was to create a fuel hub in the country to supply landlocked countries in the north especially Zambia and the DRC. This was blocked and he is now brooding at home,” insiders said.
The Zezuru faction in Zanu PF has also reportedly roped in the structures left by Mugabe’s G40 faction whose other leaders include former party national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwawo and former First Lady Grace.
However Grace has reportedly been asked to lie low following Mugabe’s death in early September. The other senior G40 leader Jonathan Moyo is reportedly holed up in Kenya and has no chance of returning to the country anytime soon.
Efforts are reportedly underway to “clean-up” Kasukuwere and this according to highly placed sources includes making sure all cases against him are thrown out.
“There are senior people in government as well as the judiciary who are involved in the scheme. It explains where there have been court rulings in Kasukuwere’s favour. The idea is to clean him up so he can return home. Zhuwawo has no pending cases and that one can literally walk back into the country.
“Chiwenga has been briefed and his lieutenants have told him he made a mistake in handing over power to Mnangagwa after the coup. Now he seems to have bought into the idea including bringing in Kasukuwere and Zhuwawo,” said a government source privy to the plot.
The planned impeachment if it materialises as is envisaged will likely be closely linked to Chiwenga’s return to allow him to take over rather than have Mohadi take over. Chiwenga has reportedly barred his wife Mary from seeing over suspicion she has been leaking confidential information to Mnangagwa.
“There is growing dissatisfaction in the army in particular and the idea of Mnangagwa being removed would not anger them.”
Mnangagwa who has projected himself as a reformist took power following the coup two years ago masterminded by Chiwenga then Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces. His reform agenda has however left Zimbabweans on edge.
Public hospital doctors have been on strike for over a month, teachers are set to abandon examination invigilation all of them over salaries eroded by the re-introduction of the local currency in June. Nurses reportedly indicated they will be withdrawing their labour next week as the situation continues to deteriorate.
The local unit has lost its value from 1: 2.5 to the US dollar at inception to just under 1:20 a situation that has driven millions in abject poverty.
However the World Bank has supported Mnangagwa’s reforms and the Zanu PF leader has pleaded for “more time to resuscitate a dead economy.”