GOVERNMENT’S hotly-contested currency reform initiative has opened a new political front in the ruling party’s power struggle.
Official sources said Zanu PF factions battling for the heart and soul of the party had escalated their power tussle on the new front line.
The political infighting is between the two traditional rival camps widely seen as led by retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru on the one hand and Emmerson Mnangagwa on the other.
The factions are struggling to secure President Robert Mugabe’s job ahead of the expiry of his term of office in 19 months’ time.
Mugabe recently told his party that rival candidates were consulting traditional healers on how to become president.
Remarks by Mugabe this week and statements by central bank governor Gideon Gono, State Security minister Didymus Mutasa and a number of government officials of late reveal the currency issue has become the latest political battleground.
Mugabe on Monday cautioned those opposed to the currency reform, urging: “Let us give support to the currency reform measures recently announced by monetary authorities and shun the compulsive tendency to cheat and engage in despicable underhand dealings.”
The Mujuru camp is said to be seething with anger at Gono over the new currency and has vowed to fight him to the end.
This opened the new front in the Zanu PF power struggle. The wrangling on the latest theatre of political war has raised the stakes and set the stage for a photo-finish in the Mugabe succession race.
Zanu PF camps are also fighting on several other fronts.
Gono and Murerwa, linked to rival Zanu PF camps, are already fighting over other policy issues. President Robert Mugabe has so far backed Gono, now seen as positioning himself to become state president.
Mugabe has accused unidentified people of “unbridled greed, corruption and self-aggrandisement”.
“These economic saboteurs and enemies of our economic turnaround strategies should take heed that we are determined to fight the scourge of corruption,” he said.
Mugabe has said there are people who want to kill Gono.
On August 4 Gono remarked in Bulawayo that he would not be intimidated by people brandishing liberation war credentials. This was seen as targeted at the Mujuru camp.