LIBERATION movements such as Zanu-PF, the African National Congress of South Africa, Swapo of Namibia, MPLA of Angola and Frelimo of Mozambique often go through episodes of internal turmoil where there are tussles for power but more often than not, they emerge unscathed — in fact quite strong and united from these ructions.
In these monolithic organisations, an individual is never bigger than the collective hence their enduring longevity and staying power which has seen them straddle over the geopolitics of the Sadc region for so long. It has been the neocolonialists’ project to dilute the influence of these revolutionary parties by sponsoring internal rebellions and splits but that has come to grief due to the strong values and principles that are steeped in the struggle for self-determination.
Their connection to the masses was honed during that era and remains unshakeable to this day — explaining their continued hold on power. Since independence, the ruling Zanu-PF party has experienced many upheavals and threats to its rule but has managed to overcome them due to its people-centred policies and the fact that it has remained true to its founding values.
Zimbabweans must have been excited this week following the sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa by President Mugabe with opponents of the vanguard party prophesying all manner of doomsday theories for Zanu-PF. The excitement in the near-comatose opposition ranks was palpable with pseudo-analysts and experts predicting either a Zanu-PF split, internal rebellion or implosion following the announcement of the dismissal of the former VP by the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, on Monday.
Social media also went into overdrive, with fake messages, half-truths and outright lies being peddled on various platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. But like it has done before when faced with a threat from external forces, the party has come out strongly to show its solidarity with its leader and in the process confounded the prophets of doom who saw the sacking of former VP Mnangagwa as an opportunity to sow seeds of division and separate President Mugabe from the people.
Zanu-PF structures across the country have since Monday been coming out in strong support of the stance taken by the President with a solidarity march being held in Harare yesterday culminating in an address by Cde Mugabe, the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe and other senior party officials at the Zanu-PF headquarters.
Elsewhere in the provinces, the message has been the same — the party stands with the President and unequivocally supports the decision he took to relieve the former VP of his duties. The booing of the First Lady at the Bulawayo Interface Rally on Saturday clearly showed that indiscipline had reached unacceptable levels within the party and it was time to remove the cancer that was slowly gnawing away at the soul of Zanu-PF.
Yesterday, Zanu-PF structures said they had resolved to stand by the First Lady in the wake of vilification by some elements aligned to deposed former VP Mnangagwa.
Party provincial chairpersons, women and youth leagues, war veterans, provincial affairs ministers said they would continue to support the First Family and would not stand idle as elements aligned to former VP Mnangagwa undermined her.
Provincial chairpersons said they had already come up with a list of people who were working with deposed VP Mnangagwa with recommendations that disciplinary measures be taken against them.
Speaking at the rally held at Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare aimed at showing solidarity with the First Lady, Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said all provinces were disappointed by what happened in Bulawayo.
“All the provinces were disturbed by what happened in Bulawayo. Your Excellency, we did not know that you have a Vice President who is also a border jumper,” said Cde Kasukuwere responding to reports that former VP Mnangagwa tried to skip the border into neighbouring Mozambique on Tuesday.
On her part, the First Lady, who has been endorsed by all party structures to occupy the post of Vice President, assured the nation that she would help President Mugabe towards economic prosperity. “He, (President Mugabe) is also my President. I love my President. I respect my President. I will help him to make this country prosper,” said Amai Mugabe to a wild applause from the floor.
Now that the people have spoken, we expect the party to close ranks and continue with its preparations for the Special Congress slated for December.
We also urge party cadres to exercise the highest level of discipline and desist from violence during the process of reorganising their structures. Just like it did after the expulsion of former VP Dr Joice Mujuru in 2014, Zanu-PF will emerge stronger and more united from the latest episode.