‘Mujuru ouster no answer to factionalism’

A possible elevation of First Lady Grace Mugabe or Oppah Muchinguri as the new vice-President at the forthcoming Zanu PF congress will not decimate a faction linked to VP Joice Mujuru, nor resolve the deep-seated fights in the ruling party, analysts have warned.


Mujuru a few months ago appeared to have all but cleared most of the hurdles on her way to an eventual succession of President Robert Mugabe.

Her faction trounced the rival faction linked to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa during last year’s provincial elections and its members dominated the powerful Zanu PF policy-making body, the politburo.

But the entrance of First Lady in the political arena has seen Mujuru’s star waning and she is no longer the unchallenged most senior woman leader in the country.

Mujuru, who denies leading any faction, has increasingly come under pressure and her group appears to be in disarray with some of the key members increasingly under attack or on the defensive.

These include the likes of Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who was on Friday challenged in his own stronghold in Mutare by youths bussed from Harare who allegedly booed and denounced him.

Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman, Temba Mliswa, a strong backer of Mujuru was last week “suspended” in a vote of no confidence following weeks of clashes among the provincial executive members. The ruling party’s chairman in Harare, Amos Midzi has also been on the defensive after reports that his provincial executive was opposed to Grace’s political rise as Zanu PF women’s league boss.

Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono was blocked from becoming a senator in Manicaland after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ruled that he was not registered in the province. The faction linked to Mnangagwa, which Information minister Jonathan Moyo was associated with, has also been given an edge through unrestrained access to the State media, which of late has been in overdrive in its coverage of Grace’s whirlwind tour.

President Mugabe slammed members of the Mujuru faction in the wake of the Zanu PF women’s and youth conferences held in August where they were accused of vote-buying and failure to organise the two events.

But the First Lady’s appearance in the political arena, reportedly engineered by the shrewd Mnangagwa, seems to have thrown the most spanners into Mujuru’s works.

Mujuru herself is coming under veiled attacks from Grace in her speeches.

But analysts said while Mujuru appeared to be on the back foot as Grace was the lady of the moment, it was unlikely that the VP’s grouping would be completely decimated.

They said there were chances that Mujuru’s faction would bounce back after the party’s December elective congress.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure told The Standard yesterday that it was too early to dismiss Mujuru as the battle had just begun.

He said the fact that President Mugabe had not publicly laid out the stature of his preferred candidate meant the two factions would keep contending for the party’s leadership in a fierce tug-of-war.

Although the Mujuru faction did not have access to the media, unlike the Mnangagwa camp, they were not going to take the blows lying down, he said, and suggested that they were likely to spring a surprise at congress.

Masunungure said chances were high that the congress was not going to resolve the deep-running factionalism and only Mugabe had the key to unlock the political logjam.

“I don’t think that these are just pre-congress dynamics. The elevation of Mnangagwa, Oppah Muchinguri or the First Lady to the position of Vice-President will not resolve the issue. It will actually deepen the conflicts,” he said.

“It is wishful thinking to say the Mujuru faction will be decimated because the President himself has not made it clear and not named publicly whom he wants to succeed him. People have not been given the chance to freely elect in good faith the candidate they want to succeed him.”

Masunungure said while President Mugabe may not necessarily pinpoint whom he wants to take over from him, he could set out the profile of the ideal candidate.

He said since the Women’s Assembly had already nominated Mugabe as their preferred candidate, it was up to him to withdraw from the race.

Political commentator Godwin Phiri however said the Mujuru faction was in a tight spot as the First Lady has increasingly emerged as the “kingmaker” in the succession politics and whoever desired to be in contention for the throne had to be in her good graces.

“The Mujuru faction will have to engage the First Lady but I don’t see that happening,” he said. “With the way things are happening now, the camp that is on the road is the Muchinguri (Mnangagwa) camp. It is clear that the First Lady is in charge now.”

Grace, however, has publicly announced her ambition to occupy a higher office following her nomination to lead the Zanu PF Women’s league.

She said she had been learning the ropes in President Mugabe’s shadow for many years.

“You would see me quiet, a young girl, what did you think I was doing? I was learning… I am seeing a higher post. If you are not serious, women will take over the party,” she told party supporters during her tour.

It is clear that she is being sponsored by outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri and some senior officials linked to the Mnangagwa faction.

The First Lady has been increasingly flexing her muscle, tearing into politicians believed to be aligned to the Mujuru faction.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza however said the dynamics playing out in Zanu PF were much broader and deeper than just factional fights, but the Mnangagwa faction would face an uphill struggle in trying to upstage her.

“Things are much more complex and dynamic, and I don’t see it in terms of factions,” he said. “By virtue of her position as Vice-President, Mujuru has a constitutional advantage, so how do you stop her?”

21 Responses to ‘Mujuru ouster no answer to factionalism’

  1. Mhofu Chaiyo October 12, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    The problem we have in Zimbabwe is we no longer ”sector specialist” journalists. Everything is approached from a generic view. I absolutely agree with Dr Ibbo Mandaza that things are much more complex and dynamic, and should not be seen it in terms of factions. The very existence of a formidable ZANU (PF) is at stake. Jonathan Moyo is applying academic politics to prop up the Mnangagwa faction – the very reason why ZANU nearly collapsed right from the start. In terms of political philosophy of most ZANU (PF) stakeholders, noone without liberation war credentials cannot be elevated to the presidium – how does the Mnangagwa faction undo this principle, if they decide to back Dr Grace for vice-presidency against Dr Mujuru? Ethnicity and post-independence history also play a big role in the succession battle – Zezurus in general are not comfortable with Karanga leadership. Ndebele’s hate Zezurus because of Mugabe’s rule, but bring in Gukurahundi – the Ndebeles would rather be with the Zezurus than with Karangas under Mnangagwa. President Mugabe may be old, but he is bound to view Mnangagwa’s support for Dr. Grace with suspicion. We are yet to see the real fight!

  2. nyembi October 12, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Iye ngwena ambori panhamba ani muhierachy yemusangano. Why does he want to leap frog those ahead of him and who is giving him those powers, I wonder. I can now clearly understand why Mujuru may have been eliminated or taken out of scene. His widow is now being openly abused by power hungry maggots.

    • Observer October 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Ivo Mai Mujuru vakabva from Secretary for Education (inhamba ani?) to Vice President wani?
      In 2004 she got the job inspite of the fact that Mnangagwa had been nominated by 7 out of 10 provinces.Vese vari kushandiswa.

    • Robzam October 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      What number was Mai Mujuru when she became Vice President? If the truth be told, Mnangagwa apart from Mugabe is the only other remaining member who was present when Zanu Pf was formed. What more seniority is required than that.

  3. Magetsi Aenda October 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm #


  4. danger mubaiwa October 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    The only faction l know is the Grace Mugabe, Oppah Muchinguri and Emmerson Munangagwa faction. Please let Mai Mujuru have her peace. Makonewa kuita turnaround the economy makutsvaka a cheap smoke screen. Mazimbwa evanhu. Kwakupisira murume wemunhu mumba ikozvino motorera vana vaMujuru mapurazi akatengwa nemari nababa vavo. After that you want to displace 1000 familes from their farms.

  5. Chochori October 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    “With the way things are happening now,the camp that is on the road is the Muchinguri camp”????????Psuedo analyst,do you even know what you are saying?

  6. Dambudzo October 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    These analyst don’t understand
    the politics of Zanu. Mugabe is the one causing all these problems. Mnangagwa
    is being used. Mugabe is going to die in power and Grace will take over. Unfortunately non of his kids are 40 years yet. This factionalism is Mugabe creation. Mai Mujuru and Mnangagwa they get along very well. Everybody wants Mugabe to go and he knows it

  7. Gracelands October 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    President Mugabe is really smart. Slowly, very slowly, Zimbabwe is becoming a kingdom, Gracelands or Gushungoland. He is playing all and sundry so that we eat each other while he grooms his land grabbing wife to take over and eventually , ultimately, Robert Junior takes over. For these schemes to succeed, it is necessary to have perennial name calling, confusion etc.

    As for Muchinguri we no your history. You know how and why Tongogara died and the result. No one to challenge Mugabe and for 34 years we have been in utter confusion. Only three man dared speak: Edgar Tekere, Eddison Zvobgo and General Mujuru. The rest of us are spineless coawards.

  8. MR TRUE October 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    hey this is now the kingdomship don’t think dat presidential is still existing pakadaro

  9. Gushas October 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    Sir Wicknell varipi

  10. Billy Pule October 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I think all of us Zimbabweans are to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. We hero worshiped Mugabe when he was still prime minister then and the guy could do no wrong! Meanwhile, he was quietly consolidating his power base by militarising most state institutions and by the time we woke up, we had unwittingly allowed the constitution to be amended giving the man absolute power through an Executive presidency(did someone mention Zvobgo?) Look at us now, tava kupiwa amai vema 13 and 17%, vaya vema degree ekupiwa through the back door! My question to sekuru is, chitototo ndiani zvino between Tsvangirai( chematama) nevadzimai venyu? Did you ever hear anything constructive in her speeches?

    • Moses October 19, 2014 at 9:25 am #

      Fairly or dubiously acquired degrees makes no difference to people with bushes embedded in their heads. This is characteristic of Zim politicians. Nyika yakapondwa navo ivo vemadegree which were acquired fair,fair.

  11. kwa mutare October 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m looking fo a small or pick up car rent to buy $200/week

    Call 0772 239 258 or 0220 2010435 home

  12. Rodney Moya October 16, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    very soon zimbabwe shall be called gushungoand

  13. Endtime Issues October 16, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    the God of heaven is very aware of everything. if u believe in him why worry.

  14. John October 17, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Found a great place to watch new zim videos. zimspark.com

  15. Lt Gen October 19, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Oppah,Mnangarwa are murderes for Tongo and Mandevere resp.How many pple perished after the death of amai chaivo..Sally?A lot because of Grace.ana Makamba varipi and why?We want My Mjuru to take over mhani.Musatimanikidze.

  16. Mbwa October 19, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Those who are rich and benefiting from corruption need to protect their wealth have been following Gire every where.They are in one faction.Varomb are on the other faction.

  17. torido October 19, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    The real issue is that Zimbabweans are not fools and the really situation will come out in the next few days b4 the congress.

  18. Moses October 19, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Mujuru do not like to see Zim cleaned of corruption. So she must go.Better still when she is booted out by fellow corrupt party members. All those of you commiserating with her stand to gain by her continued existence as VP. Pasi navo vano suporter corruption to hide their even worse corrupt deeds.

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