Political analysts believe some Zanu PF hardliners were publicly crying foul over sanctions while privately cheering them as a useful tool to remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
The analysts said the fact that many Zanu PF stalwarts wanted President Mugabe to leave office, as exposed by the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, would also mean they supported the sanctions, given that one of the intended goals of the restrictive measures was to remove the President from the hot seat.
Political analyst Wellington Gadzikwa said most Zanu PF officials were not sincere about the positions they took in public, including the sanctions issue.
“If we are to look at WikiLeaks revelations, we find that most people in the party are not sincere about what they say. On the sanctions issue, you will realise that they were designed to make sure (President) Mugabe goes and this is exactly the same desire of most people in Zanu PF,” said Gadzikwa.
“They stand to benefit if he goes, so it’s obvious that they were supporting the anti-sanctions campaign by day, but supporting the sanctions by night.”
He said the WikiLeaks had been very disruptive to Zanu PF and would weaken the anti-sanctions drive.
Media lecturer and political analyst Alexander Rusero said for most Zanu PF officials, sanctions had become part of their survival strategy although very few believed in their effect.
“Sanctions have been the survival mantra of Zanu PF, which is now just a political shell. It’s rhetoric, actually the land reform programme has been replaced by sanctions as the main Zanu PF rhetoric,” said Rusero.
“It’s a high-sounding nothing and WikiLeaks has exposed that there are people in the party who preach a certain gospel during the day and yet they worship another god by night, who is totally opposed to the gospel that they preach.”
However, another political analyst, Charles Mangongera, believes most elements in Zanu PF genuinely want sanctions to go, although they are opposed to President Mugabe’s continued stay in power.
He said other than Jonathan Moyo, former government spin doctor and politburo member who has since confessed speaking to the Americans during the time he was an independent Member of Parliament, most Zanu PF officials expressed their desire for sanctions to be removed although they made it clear that President Mugabe had become a burden to the nation.
“Sanctions are hurting them at a personal level. They have affected their businesses and remember this is a captive elite using State power to advance their economic interests,” he said.