HARARE – As Zanu PF’s deadly tribal, factional and succession wars reach alarming levels, there are growing fears that the country, particularly government business, will soon grind to a halt if the mindless bloodletting continues unabated.
This comes as President Robert Mugabe’s stone-broke government once again missed its revenue targets in 2016, on the back of company closures, continuing job losses and the consequent ever falling tax base.
Analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the country was now “definitely on auto pilot” as Zanu PF’s two major factions escalated their succession wars.
“We have no government. The economy is on auto pilot and we are on our own. While they fight, service delivery is affected, and their mandate as government is negated as they concentrate on fighting.
“This is what happens when leaders lose their vision and run a country blindly. Zanu PF has no succession plan and we are paying a high price for it,” said political analyst Maxwell Saungweme.
The ruling party is split in the middle as a faction of young Turks, going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), fiercely opposes Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
On the other hand, the Midlands godfather’s backers, known as Team Lacoste, have been throwing the kitchen sink at the G40, resulting in a toxic political environment in the troubled country.
The two factions have even recently quarrelled over a coffee mug of all things, after Mnangagwa was pictured holding a mug inscribed with the words “I am The Boss” during the festive season.
At the weekend, vocal Cabinet minister and alleged G40 kingpin, Jonathan Moyo, savaged Mnangagwa severely, characterising the VP as evil and vowing never to support his mooted presidential aspirations.
Political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo said just as the grass suffered when two elephants fought, it was the masses that were bearing the brunt of Zanu PF’s ugly ructions.
“Our leaders only care about their own positions in government and not about who slept without eating or who does not have a job … power is number one on their priority list and they do not care about anything else.
“They pay lip service to corruption and other ills affecting our society. They expend all their energy on petty factional fights, and on who must take over from Mugabe while the country is suffering.
“The real issue is that for them politics is a way of amassing ill-gotten wealth and no matter how rich they become, they still yearn for more.
“We are as good as without a government. These people have overstayed their welcome and must now leave office. As they say, politicians like diapers must be regularly changed for the same reason,” Hlatywayo told the Daily News.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said the future would continue to look very bleak under a Zanu PF government.
“The situation doesn’t bode well for ordinary Zimbabweans. As long as Zanu PF, in whatever shape and or form, remains in power, then Zimbabwe is doomed. It’s as simple as that.
“Zanu PF is fundamentally and incorrigibly beyond redemption. It’s totally damaged goods. That’s the cold, hard fact,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
“As opposition political parties, we should be acutely aware of the fact that Zanu PF is inherently evil, violent and corrupt, no matter which faction you are dealing with.
“The only viable and sustainable solution is a complete, thorough and total dismantling and annihilation of the Zanu PF regime. That’s the bottom line,” he added.
Economic experts have also previously told the Daily News that contrary to the government’s propaganda, Zimbabwe’s economy was “definitely dying”, as manifested by ongoing liquidity challenges, company closures and job losses.
The experts also laid the blame for this undesirable state of affairs squarely at the door of Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF — while also lamenting the fact that the nonagenarian appeared “completely clueless” about finding solutions to the problems.
Economists also say Zimbabwe cannot afford a further contraction of the economy in 2017 as the country is already grappling with high unemployment, estimated at up to 95 percent — which has forced many, including university graduates, to resort to street vending for a living.