THE virulent attack by Women’s League secretary for finance Sarah Mahoka, who is also the Hurungwe East legislator, against Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday is the clearest sign yet of the discord within Zanu PF and that the former liberation movement is slowly but surely crumbling.
Mahoka not only attacked but also demeaned Mnangagwa at a gathering outside the party’s headquarters before the much- hyped politburo meeting in the presence of President Robert Mugabe.
“Please, VP Mnangagwa, can you reprimand your people?” she thundered. “They are terrorising us. You cannot sit there like a duck and say nothing. We did not gather here to fight, but to support the President and we support the leadership he chose.”
She did not only ridicule Mnangagwa, but also added a veiled death threat for good measure.
“But if you let these things go unchecked, you my brother Shumba-Chikara (Mnangagwa’s totem), munofira mumba (you will die in your house). Munofa nechekuchera (You will become a victim of your own machinations),” she said ominously.
That these words can be uttered against the second secretary of the party and vice-president of a nation in full view of thousands of supporters and under the media spotlight shows that the party has gone off the rails in what is open season in the ruling party. Indeed, it is now dog-eat-dog as Zanu PF’s endgame nears.
It also shows that despite being heralded as the best thing that has happened to Zanu PF since sliced bread, Mugabe is losing grip on the party. The blame can be laid squarely on him for this disorder in the party that could have serious implications for the country’s stability.
Mugabe allowed the expulsion of his former deputy Joice Mujuru and those associated with her in the party without following disciplinary procedures as laid down by the party’s constitution.
This has led to a litany of suspensions countrywide since the expulsion of Mujuru and other senior party officials. Mugabe watched as Mujuru was denigrated by youths and junior members of the party.
Given that anyone in the party can be suspended by a coterie of party officials without the right of defending themselves, speaks to serious lack of discipline in the ruling party. This is what has culminated in the ridiculing of Mnangagwa in public.
Not only did Mahoka mock Mnangagwa, she also challenged Mugabe in public by asking if he sent his spokesperson George Charamba to “run his mouth”.
But to Zimbabweans’ surprise instead of publicly reprimanding Mahoka for attacking his deputy, Mugabe acknowledged the Women’s League executive member’s claims, saying “we heard what Mahoka said. She talked about a lot of things, mixing things but we heard her.”
As the factional fights become more public and dirtier, Wednesday’s drama is as bad as it gets, it only illustrates that Mugabe has completely lost control. On February 21, Mugabe turns 92 and there is no doubt that he will continue to lose grip on the party with the escalation of infighting.
Mugabe on Wednesday scoffed that MDCT leader Morgan Tsvangirai was holding just a piece of the opposition party due to numerous splits. This could be a typical case of the pot calling the kettle black as Mugabe is now the captain of a fragmented ship that could soon sink into oblivion.