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Mugabe admits divisions

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President Robert Mugabe yesterday admitted that Zanu PF was rocked by deep-seated divisions and urged politicians across the political divide to shun violence.

Report by Wonai Masvingise/ Feluna Nleya

Mugabe, who was speaking at the burial of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, said although the late historian was involved in the fight for supremacy in Masvingo province with former Masvingo governor Dzikamai Mavhaire, he always strove to unite the province.

Zanu PF is reportedly split into two main factions, one led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other by Vice-President Joice Mujuru. Mudenge reportedly belonged to the Mnangagwa faction.

“In the party in Masvingo, you go to Masvingo, what is the leadership there? The top leadership? Mudenge, Hungwe – sometimes, of course, (Mudenge) used to be involved in factionalism.

It’s all over the country and not Masvingo alone,” Mugabe said.He, however, said party supporters must allow divergent political views so as to avoid fanning violence during the next general elections next year.

He made reference to party factions which in the 2008 presidential election voted against him in the “anything but Mugabe” campaign.

“Allow them (supporters) to have a preference. Even in a family a father will have a favourite, but he will remember that they are all his children. Let us recognise those virtues that make us more united than divided. We’ll be going for elections soon, let people vote the way they want to vote. If they want to throw the vote in the dam, it’s their choice,” Mugabe said.

“I want MDC to recognise that Zanu PF is there, and we should also recognise that MDC is there. If we don’t recognise each other, there is no tolerance and that’s how violence starts. We have silent (Zanu PF) ministers even now, who do not want to speak about their country. We don’t want to force them to talk about politics.”

All the three main political parties in the inclusive government – Zanu PF and the two MDCs  – attended Mudenge’s burial. Mudenge died suddenly last Thursday at Great Zimbabwe Hotel in Masvingo where he had gone for a meeting with academics.

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