SW Radio Africa (London)

25 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Turmoil in Zanu-PF Over 'Coup' Pronouncements

Photo: DanieVDM
Military artillery: A Denel G6-45 155 mm howitzer.

Civil war has broken out in the former ruling ZANU PF over interviews given by senior party figures saying that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will not be allowed to take over power should he win next year's presidential elections.

Recent statements by party heavyweights Patrick Chinamasa and Rugare Gumbo, that the army will stage a coup in the event of an MDC-T victory, have sharply exposed the deep splits within the party.

Not only was Chinamasa summoned to party headquarters to explain himself, but party apologist Tafataona Mahoso described him as a traitor working in cahoots with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and the two MDC parties, to sabotage the forthcoming elections.

Chinamasa and Gumbo's utterances this month, during interviews with the BBC and South Africa's ETV respectively, have provided an insight into what analysts believe are clear signs that ZANU PF is not confident of retaining power in the next election.

US based political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba said the statements attributed to Chinamasa and Gumbo will prove to be counterproductive within and outside the country.

'What we are witnessing is an endgame to ZANU PF's revolutionary project. All good things come to an end and what Robert Mugabe and the other nationalists started decades ago is unfortunately coming to an end.

'They liberated the country and forgot about the people they set free. While people from ZANU PF have amassed wealth, the general population of Zimbabwe has remained poor and unemployed,' Shumba said.

Shumba added that after 32 years in power ZANU PF had run short of ideas:

'Fixing the economy and dealing with the high unemployment rate is one of the few possible game changers left for ZANU PF, but otherwise in a free and fair election they face punishment from voters for the way they've ruined the country in 30 years,' Shumba.

To make things worse Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for administration, on Wednesday described party supporters as 'mad' for daring to demonstrate against the leadership.

In trying to contain the situation Mutasa inflamed matters by insinuating the party activists were 'mad people for demonstrating against nothing. In fact they are offending us and we are going to deal with them,' Mutasa said.

The party supporters had gathered at the provincial headquarters in Harare along Fourth Street, to stage a demonstration against the demolition of houses in Epworth that belonged mainly to ZANU PF members.

ZANU PF called in the anti-riot police to deal with the mutinous supporters, according to a report in Newsday. The paper said on Thursday the move by police to set camp at ZANU PF offices was prompted by violent scenes that erupted on Tuesday when supporters of bitter provincial leaders Amos Midzi and Hubert Nyanhongo descended on the premises, demanding that party leaders explain why houses were demolished in Epworth.

Over 200 families have been left homeless after police, acting on the instructions of the State-controlled company Sunway City, razed homes to the ground in Epworth on the outskirts of Harare.

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