Zanu-PF: Unite or perish

Sarah Mahoka

Sarah Mahoka

Reason Wafawarova on Thursday

The Women’s League used to be the bastion of dignity, and respect, but now you have an unknown woman standing up to deride senior leaders in front of a multitude of followers.

Last week was eventful for ZANU-PF, starting with the comical show at the party headquarters where one Sarah Mahoka sought to challenge the party’s First Secretary as well as Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

She did not get a response, neither did she get any reprimand from the organisers of the event for her off protocol move. Rather, she got a smile and some nodding from Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who looked amused by the Hurungwe woman’s theatrics.

Mahoka went on to dare Vice President Mnangagwa to declare whether or not he had aspirations to become the President of Zimbabwe, expressing happiness that the other Vice President had already indicated that he did not have such ambitions.

Like President Mugabe, Vice President Mnangagwa maintained his cool and ignored Mahoka, who went on to utter one or two disguised insults in the direction of the VP.

The setting for all this was supposedly an appreciation rally in celebration of President’s sterling performance as the AU 2015 Chairman, as organised by the Women’s League in collaboration with the Commissariat Department.

But how do you celebrate your leader’s heroism by picking a fight with his long-serving lieutenant right in front of a rally of supporters without undermining the authority of the same leader?

Mahoka had a list of up to six questions for President Mugabe and his deputy Mnangagwa, and the questions had absolutely nothing to do with celebrating President Mugabe’s achievements at the AU.

There is no evidence Mahoka has an idea what the AU is, or does.

What we know for a fact is that here was a politician in charge of the Women’s League’s finances addressing the party in regards to the politics of succession. Only the commissar knows how the finance secretary in the league became the point person for political affairs at a platform pitting the entire Politburo, and hopefully an answer will be provided.

ZANU-PF is known to run on the “gwara remusangano” philosophy, or party protocol. This is the unity and cohesion that defines the identity of the party. But not anymore, not with the current disjointed outfit.

Now you have war veterans that can threaten to evict a member of the Politburo with little regard for the authority behind such a member’s appointment. You have youths that disregard the dignity and honour of the liberation legacy by deciding to go physical against war veterans who brought about the independence the youths seem to recklessly take for granted. And you have Politburo members that as excitable as to engage in puerile social media games in total disregard for the party’s policy and procedure diktats.

The Women’s League used to be the bastion of dignity, and respect, but now you have an unknown woman standing up to deride senior leaders in front of a multitude of followers.

Jonathan Moyo

Jonathan Moyo

We do not know what happened in the Politburo meeting after the ranting show fronted by the Hurungwe woman ended, except snippets given to us through Twitter by Professor Jonathan Moyo, a man who cannot keep anything inside his mind or heart.

What we know for a fact is that the Politburo meeting did not help unite the party after the Hurungwe woman derided the leadership in the name of celebrating the achievements of the President at the AU.

If anything, the aftermath of the Politburo came with the announcement of a rally in Chiweshe, attended in a suspicious pattern when one looks at the composition of the top leaders in attendance.

The rally did not exactly preach unity, as one would have expected. It gave a platform for unhelpful tribal utterances, divisive rhetoric, threats, excitable jingoism, and warnings to those reportedly angling to usurp the President’s powers.

Well, it is hard to hail a strategy of addressing national security matters through political rallies or the media. People using this strategy must just stop.

Matters of treason, treachery, mutiny and so on are high security matters best left to specialist security personnel.

In an interview granted to the BBC by Jonathan Moyo after the 2014 ZANU-PF Congress, the Tsholotsho MP told his interviewer that criminal allegations raised at political rallies are “just political banter”.

This would not be worrisome if Moyo was not actively involved in the planning and strategising that has given us these political banter gatherings.

Moyo does not have a very impressive history of loyalty to ZANU-PF. He reportedly deserted the war effort during the armed struggle, became a chief critic of ZANU-PF governance after independence, left the country to work with America’s Ford Foundation for a decade, charmed the party as its policy admirer in the 1999 constitution-making process, and vigorously defended the party’s policies between 2000 and 2004.

He then mistook the strength of his portfolio for his own, that way creating numerous enemies in the top leadership. He got kicked out of the party in 2005, resorted back to become the critic-in- chief of President Robert Mugabe and his party.

He then went into an unholy alliance with Tsvangirai’s MDC in 2008, won the Tsholotsho seat unchallenged by the opposition in the general election the same year, beating his ZANU-PF contestant.

Moyo then applied for readmission into ZANU-PF in October 2009. He was readmitted, after which he wrote in 2011 about the need for what he called “Generation 40” to take over ZANU-PF.

He helped in drafting the 2013 ZANU-PF election manifesto, got appointed Information Minister after the subsequent election victory. He brought in his own preferred staff in the public media, and was heavily criticised for that. Dogged by the highly criticised appointments, and also by the ill fate of his IMPI project, he eventually got reshuffled to the Higher Education Ministry.

He has gone on a warpath with war veterans, and has relentlessly attacked Vice President Mnangagwa on social media.

Now Moyo’s critics accuse him of fulfilling what he once suggested; that the best way to destroy ZANU-PF is to do it “from within”. He argues that he said “to reform”, not to destroy. But who reforms an institution from outside anyway? Did a whole professor need such tautology?

Moyo has allies in the political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Youth Minister Patrick Zhuwao, and it seems the three are united by a shared distaste for VP Mnangagwa’s political career. It is not clear if the motivation for the distaste is a shared one, but what is clear is that the triumvirate has caused disunity in the revolutionary party.

The role of the Commissariat in any revolution is to mobilise and to unite the people. When the commissariat converts itself into a purging tool for a section of party membership the party cannot grow any stronger.

We had the laughable purging of a virtually unknown woman whose crime was said to be the chanting of an anti-G40 slogan. The pettiness of the matter was a serious indication of the deterioration in the revolutionary party, and unless President Mugabe intervenes immediately, the party is likely to degenerate like UNIP and KANU in Zambia and Kenya respectively.

We are told there are two factions branding themselves with regalia other than the official party outfit, and the two groups have had the audacity to don their rival labels openly at party functions.

If young people in ZANU-PF believe antagonising the veterans is the way to take the party into the future then there is a problem.

No one has the ability to relegate the power of history. President Mugabe comes from history, ZANU-PF comes from history, the revolution is rooted in history, and the future of ZANU-PF will only be shaped by its history – not by the short history of young people, some of whom now believe they can take over the party at the expense of its institutional memory.

That will not be allowed to happen, and this is for the simple reason that it plays so well into the regime change agenda – itself the grand destruction plan from the country’s known detractors.

We know who wants President Mugabe to die and go with the ZANU-PF ideology. We know who benefits most from the ultimate demise of ZANU-PF. We know who has lost most through the revolutionary ideology that shapes ZANU-PF policy.

Those who think the war veterans have diminished and can be discarded as a yesteryear force must reconsider this misguided view.

I come from the National Youth Service background, and I know that there are tens of thousands of youths out there who have embraced the ideology that shapes the thinking of our war veterans of today – the thinking that defines Zimbabwe’s national interest, its founding values and its principles. These young people can read a reactionary from a hundred miles.

Ideologically ZANU-PF has passed on the baton to the youth fairly well, and it is dangerous for anyone out there to imagine they can wake up with a reactionary leadership steering ZANU-PF away from its own foundations.

From where I stand the vanguard of the party will have to unite against the emerging reactionary forces, or the party will perish. Gladly the unity stands.

Anyone who wishes to set President Robert Mugabe against war veterans does not have love for the man. President Mugabe is defined in revolutionary terms; he is a product of the war of liberation.

He cannot be separated from himself, from his own identity, and from the people who make up the party he leads.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!

 REASON WAFAWAROVA is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.

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  • Dr Bush

    This is a very weak article. Reason has basically lost it. This article title is about unity yet the content is entirely divisive mumbojumbo. Get a grip. Zero credibility

  • Dube

    The misguided youths need to be taught that “history is a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography” Dr John Henrik Clarke. Its folly to think that they can ignore their history and pick a fight with members of their own party. Its crazy!. It’s not a question of numbers but ideology. They must seek council before they embarrass themselves. They must seek to unite the party under one centre of Power.

  • Shosholoza

    We need to discard the sexist, mysogynistic tendencies and habits in modern Zimbabwe. Our women are equal to us men and should be regarded in that manner. Zimbabwean men in the likes of Morgan Tsvangirai, Themba Mliswa, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Victor Matemadanda, Wafawarova and all other male chauvinists must wake up and start taking serious lessons on the indispensability of women in our society. Our women are angry and disgusted by our wayward , irresponsible behaviour. True, they are now speaking out and speak out they will unless we reform our attitudes. A man bedding a thousand women, regardless of his liberation credentials has no morals and should not be President of modern Zimbabwe. Our women will not let that happen and we will stand by them and fight for an equitable, morally balanced leadership and society.

  • Ngomalungundu.

    Reason is reasoning in a convoluted manner. He needs to be back home and understand the real casus belli! ZANU PF needs to manage well generational transition ,not to poo poo the young cadres.

  • masvukupete


    Is this a reporting story or an analysis. It seems the article cannot make its mind up of exactly what it wants to be. kikikikikiki

  • wesley

    Unite, yes. But what is the unifying idea? If we were honest, we would say that the unifying force has been not an ideology or a vision of how a nation should be but a man. His an extraordinary man in many ways, but he failed to do the one essential task: to put the country on a sound economic footing. He will leave chaos and division along with a basket-case economy. Are there any who can provide a functional plan for the economic reforms we need and around whom the party can unite?

  • Tonderai Chambwe

    this is the main reason why Zimbabwe’s economy is i n shambles because those in authority now think they cannot be questioned and they are always right , anyone who questions them is considered a sellout and a “vote of no confidence is passed” on the person g. we should get rid of this mentality because this country is a democracy and its okay to question those in leadership and its okay for one to have leadership ambitions and those who lead should know that that if yu get a post it is not yours forever . we need change in country ( when i say change i do not mean the MDC)

  • Tinotya

    For once i am in sympathy with Reason. We have had our run-ins but I’m glad that the brother has written a story with a decided stand. and considering that these are very uncertain times, I laud him.

    Because seriously what does Jonathan Moyo stand for ideologically speaking? Philosophically speaking? What direction are we taking with those kinds of characters in front?

    And in large measure, I blame the intellectuals within the party, including you Reason. Come on guys, the role of intellectuals is to speak truth to power! but what have you been doing up to now? falling over each other to praise rubbish! Outdoing each other in coining laudatory superlatives for unsustainable political maneuverings by the President!

    Kasukuwere is no intellectual, not by an stretch of the imagination. Zhuawo is no intellectual, not by any stretch of the imagination. Jonathan Moyo …well …he is a different kettle of fish. He is an intellectual. But that is nothing special because Zimbabwe has so many intellectually gifted people. Jonathan Moyo is different because he is brave-gutsy- and daring. He has nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing. Kasukuwere and Zhuawo are in awe of JM. Grace by extension is in awe of JM.

    But it would have been ok if we knew what the bloody hell JM stood for. For your own information, I’m a neutral in these Zanu fights but i am a patriot. There are some of you guys in the inside (who got the opportunity to make yourself heard) who look at themselves as super patriots. Some idiots who think that having a diverging opinion to RM or ZPF is some kind of treason! And it is exactly this kind of thinking that has led us to this kind of situation.

    There is limit that external deification of the president can mask internal sloth. The economy, actively being bled by chefs and virtually on autopilot, can only be resilient up to so much.

    Where the bloody hell were the intellectuals? You allowed yourselves to be cuckolded or bought or intimidated or exiled or didn’t bother any more as long as zvenyu zvichiita.

    Thanks Reason my brother. i know how difficult it is to go contrary to the prevailing wind, but a man has to try. After all there are mirrors!

    I think you (and those of your ilk) just have to keep plugging away. Every drop counts. Change is inevitable, and welcome, but we don’t want to regress. And for God’s sake beware of Albion’s hand in our affairs! Some of these guys not so long ago were guests in the scandalous offices of mighty Uncle Sam. What they were talking about is anybody’s guess, but reading the current skirmishes in the body politic, I am having an uneasy feeling!

    Stay well in Sydney.

  • Sabhuku

    it is homeland or death! Reason please throw in Sydney into the mix

  • Ganda

    Reason one thing you don’t knw is you are biased on one side ;remember a coin have two side and you have chosen yours already if your intention was unity wise you were not supposed to take much of your time writing against the professor. 2 . The leadership of zanu pf is to condemn for this confusion they were supposed to pass the stick to the next leader longtime ago ,so the young generation is tired of one and the same things and no development taking place ,once a proud of Africa now a mess ,sorry

  • franko

    This does not sound like reason writing. Anyone reading will see this is campaign material for someone else. As Zimbabweans we are used to too much secrets that are dangerous in themselves. i salute Mahoka for showing us another angle. Our leaders need to be taken to task. If we do that more often the corruption will die. Nyaya yokungoti comrade, comrade zvunhu zvisingafambi yayraya nyika. Kana pane vamwe vanenge vachicheka comformity vasingatyi kutaura zvinounza stability neaccuntability.

  • Shosholoza

    Hanzi hatitongwe nevakadzi! Akakubara ndiani? Ndati ini varume vemuZimbabwe makakotsira-munoda munhu akaita saMai Mugabe-Pamberi neWomen’s League. Matadza varume kutonga saka regai madzimai edu agadzirise mahumbwe enyu.

    • General Sun-Tzu

      Hooo nhai, ndakunzwa manje…

  • chacha

    Reason,i dont understand your resoning,is this not the same way Joice was fired from the party and humiliated and yu guys were busy cheering,saka chazochinja chii,nekuti ndiLacoste here

  • wesley

    so the handling of Mujuru’s expulsion was a “wrong”?

  • wenjere

    Reason sure gives a sense of the absolute panic at the heart of the dying ZanuPF.
    He is trying to be the voice of distorted kleptocratic reason as usual but ends up being the voice that gives it all away. He is the barometer of the death within..

  • loonex

    Good to see Reason in another costly legal mess – as if he has not lost the lot with the Ambassador in Australia. Patrick Zhuwao will be lucky to get a cent. Reason did say he would be stopping his column but now he may not eve have a choice. Things sure do fall apart when morality collapses.

  • wenjere

    If he is bankrupted in Zimbabwe as well as Australia – it is going to get tricky for the plagiarist.

    • succuba

      He probably will never set foot in Zimbabwe again for fear of arrest, the plagiarist is in a corner now.

      • Anna Pertwidden

        Thats what you get for being a flip flopping fool… you end up having all sides hate you and extremely out of pocket. Aaaah such a shame. Not!