DEMONSTRATIONS against Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere this week by Zanu PF provinces at a time the country’s economic crisis is deepening is yet another damning indictment of the ruling party’s misplaced priorities.
Candid Comment,Faith Zaba
This comes hard on the heels of countrywide demonstrations by the Women’s League against two of its members, Eunice Sandi-Moyo and Sarah Mahoka.
Since Zanu PF won a two-thirds majority in the 2013 harmonised elections, amid allegations of vote rigging, the moribund party has been engulfed in succession fires that have seen party supporters staging nationwide demonstrations against bigwigs. This has led to the suspensions and expulsions of senior government officials, including former vice-president Joice Mujuru, several cabinet ministers and top civil servants.
The intra-party battles are being waged at the expense of bread and butter issues government was mandated to address.
The bitter factional and succession contests between supporters of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and a group of young Turks, referred to as Generation 40 (G40) that had coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe, is now playing out in all spheres of government. The war of attrition has become dirtier and uglier in recent years, involving deceit, lies and skullduggery. The demonstrations, suspensions, expulsions and vulgar attacks by Grace against her foes in the party may provide entertainment and fill column inches in newspapers, but cannot resolve Zimbabwe’s multi-faceted predicament.
As Zanu PF’s energies are expended in finger-pointing, accusations and expulsions, the rate of unemployment, which according to the International Labour Organisation stands at 95%, continues to escalate due to endless company closures and retrenchments.
At least 260 companies closed shop last year. Nearly 9 000 workers were retrenched in 2015 and 2016. These grim statistics are a far cry from the 2,2 million jobs promised by Zanu PF in 2013. The proliferation of vendors in the country’s cities, including graduates, speaks to a reprehensible neglect of government’s mandate.
That the internal fights continue to dominate Zanu PF’s agenda, as the cash shortages worsen, even after the introduction of the bond notes into circulation, with no solution in sight, is gross dereliction of duty.
It is perplexing that Zanu PF opportunists are embroiled in such internal fights given the catastrophic state of health institutions in a country characterised by drug
shortages, suspension of surgeries and strikes by health workers over deplorable conditions of services, thus putting lives of millions at risk.
If anything, President Robert Mugabe, who has been showing signs of increasing frailty, must start listening to the ever-growing chorus that he should deal with his party’s succession issue.
What Mugabe and Zanu PF seem to forget is that political bickering at the expense of economic resuscitation could derail the ruling party ahead of next year’s polls.