OUTSPOKEN Norton MP (Zanu PF) and Foreign Affairs deputy minister Christopher Mutsvangwa could go unpunished over his recent scathing attacks on senior party leaders, political analysts have said.
OBEY MANAYITI/SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Mutsvangwa recently stirred a hornet’s nest after dressing down Vice-President Joice Mujuru and party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa describing them as political novices, whose liberation war credentials were questionable.
Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly lead ruling party factions jostling to succeed President Robert Mugabe at the forthcoming December elective congress. Both have denied have denied harbouring presidential ambitions.
But Mutasa and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo hit back and threatened to drag Mutsvangwa to a disciplinary hearing over his remarks.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure yesterday, however, said Mutsvangwa was likely to get away unscathed because he was not the only party offender.
“Anyone and everyone in the party seems to be saying something that is worth disciplining and if they are to discipline Mutsvangwa, then they may as well have a hearing every day,” Masunungure said.
“There is need for the party leaders to re-instill discipline because there appears to be laxity. The current trend has a negative impact on the future of the (ruling) party.”
Masunungure said Mutsvangwa’s attacks were a significant factor in the party’s succession matrix and a manifestation of the deep-seated factional fights that have permeated the ruling party structures.
“We are not talking about an inconsequential member of the party, but a Member of Parliament and a deputy minister. What he said had direct impact on certain individuals’ images,” he said.
“That was the intention to make sure that the images and profiles of those people are tarnished in light of the succession battle.”
Another political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said it was difficult to predict what form of action the party would take against Mutsvangwa.
“It is difficult to know. We are all stagnated. I am curious to know what they will do with him. It is a mere reflection of the factionalism in the party, not that it will influence anything,” he said.
Mutsvangwa has been linked to the Mnangagwa faction and his recent statements appear to have given the side a favourable position.
This came after reports that Mugabe had summoned the faction leaders, including Cabinet ministers and politburo members, after the chaotic youth elections where he lashed out at them for, among other issues, vote buying.
At the weekend the ruling party’s 10 provinces were reportedly divided on how to handle the Mutsvangwa issue with Manicaland, Masvingo and the Matabeleland provincial structures reportedly baying for his blood.