ZANU PF politburo member and President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, has revealed that all officials linked to the formation of the opposition Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party would be flushed out at the ruling party’s elective congress next month.
Zhuwao made the remarks on Tuesday at the launch of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (Crisis) book titled Protracted Road to Transition: Dissecting the Succession Conundrum, which maps three possible scenarios to Mugabe’s succession whether by retirement or natural causes.
He said the congress would be used to realign and restructure the party in manner that weeds out all those perceived to be linked to the Mavambo project, formed in 2008 by former Zanu PF politburo member Simba Makoni, to challenge Mugabe.
“The process of realignment is not succession, but will enable the party to deliver on its mandate given by the electorate in 2013. This process of corrective realignment is to do away with our friends who remained in Mavambo and we will make sure they are gone at the congress,” Zhuwao said.
At the launch of Mavambo, Makoni claimed that some senior Zanu PF members would jump ship to his formation. However, on the eve of the June 2008 polls, only Makonde MP Kindness Paradza and Kudzai Mbudziwere were the notable Zanu PF figures who crossed the floor to join Mavambo.
Both Paradza and Mbudzi have since rejoined Zanu PF.
Zhuwao becomes the second Zanu PF official close to Mugabe who has spoken about Mavambo as having a connection with the rumbling succession debate in Zanu PF.
First Lady Grace Mugabe was the first to make accusations when she claimed at her Marondera rally last month that Mavambo and the MDC were formed in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s house.
Zhuwao said the Mavambo factor nearly cost Zanu PF power in the 2005 and 2008 general elections.
“In 2005, Zanu PF had a constitutional majority, but lost it in 36 months to a minority because of the factionalism. We made a mistake of not addressing the matter at that particular time, but we did not forget that there were elements that had betrayed Zanu PF,” Zhuwao said.
Meanwhile, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesman Mfundo Mlilo said the country should discuss succession in Zanu PF as it was crucial to the state of the nation especially when the country had a weak opposition.
“We have to discuss the succession issue and it’s unfortunate that it will take between 10 to 15 years from now before the opposition becomes a serious factor in the country’s body politic,” Mlilo said.