Divisions rock Zanu PF, MDC

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THE main political parties that recently signed a power-sharing agreement have been rocked by internal divisions over the deal.

 

Sources said the deal has become a poisoned chalice for Zanu PF and the two MDC factions led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. It is said the three parties are now reeling from internal squabbles fuelled by the power-sharing agreement.

Zanu PF is understood to be experiencing divisions on at least three levels. Sources said President Mugabe’s key ally Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was on the periphery of the negotiations, is not happy with the agreement because he expected to secure one of the initial three posts of deputy prime minister. Before the final agreement was signed there was a proposal to have three deputy prime ministers from each of the negotiating parties but this was later reduced to two.

Sources said Mnangagwa now wants to take charge of security portfolios to compensate for his loss. It is said he wants to be in charge of either the Ministry of Defence or Home Affairs, while overseeing the department of state security, now under Mugabe’s office.

Mnangagwa’s followers who campaigned for Mugabe, particularly during the presidential election run-off, are also said to be disgruntled because they are unlikely to get government posts in view of the limited positions Mugabe has on offer for them after the agreement with the MDC.

The Zanu PF faction led by retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru is also said to be angry that his members were likely to be purged from government structures for not campaigning and in fact opposing Mugabe’s continued leadership under the guise of the deal.

Mugabe has already fired warning shots across the bows of the Mujuru faction by dropping one of its bigwigs, Ray Kaukonde, as Mashonaland East provincial governor.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru is said to be also unhappy because the imminent arrival of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister has overshadowed her and co-vice-president Joseph Msika.

The deal says executive power would now be shared between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and cabinet, leaving Mujuru and Msika out of the loop.

Sources said Msika and his former PF Zapu colleagues are also restless over the agreement which they think undermines the 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu PF and the now defunct opposition that was led by Joshua Nkomo.

Msika and a number of PF Zapu bigwigs across the nation are said to have met recently in Bulawayo to review the agreement and resolved that there was need to petition Mugabe on the issue. If he did not respond positively, former Zapu cadres would regroup and re-launch the party.       

Veteran nationalist Dumiso Dabengwa, a former Zapu luminary and its intelligence supremo, quit Zanu in February, saying he could no longer work with Mugabe and his party. Another senior Zanu PF official linked to the Mujuru faction, Simba Makoni, resigned from the party in February and challenged Mugabe in the March presidential poll.

Sources said there was also a group of dissatisfied Zanu PF members which included ministers, deputy ministers and governors who would lose their positions to MDC members.

The MDC led by Tsvangirai is also divided over the deal. It is said the party was fractured since the signing of the deal because the negotiators were not happy that their leader signed the deal without their consultation. Tsvangirai signed the deal without going back to his team to hold consultations on the final agreement. As a result the party now finds itself having to address issues that should have been dealt with before the signing. Tsvangirai confirmed this to journalists yesterday without being asked the question.

“There is still an outstanding issue of omissions made in the signed agreement at the signing ceremony on the 15th of September that had been agreed and initialled by all parties when we signed the original agreement on the 11th of September 2008,” he said.

Sources said the MDC negotiators were unhappy that Tsvangirai rushed to sign, leading to errors in substantive issues and now the need to revisit the agreement. Apart from this, sources also said Tsvangirai’s “kitchen cabinet”, an informal group of loyalists who make backroom decisions widely blamed for splitting the party in 2005, was now pushing for the finalisation of the distribution of ministries and securing their positions so that they could jump onto Mugabe’s gravy train.A source said the senior MDC officials and “kitchen cabinet” members were “scrambling with indecent haste” for posts to access the “S-Class Mercedes Benzes, free fuel and other benefits”.

“As we speak Tsvangirai’s main ‘kitchen cabinet’ officials have been given keys to the whole west wing of Munhumutapa Building and they have been there to see the offices.”

“They are shopping around for cars, furniture, curtains, computers and other office equipment. They are stampeding for their new positions and benefits. Having seen the Speaker of Parliament in his brand new S350 Mercedes Benz, they can’t wait for their own cars.”

This group is now pushing for a quick resolution of the deadlock and this has brought them into conflict with the mediators who are demanding a “fair and honest deal”.

By Dumisani Muleya
 

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