THE increasing number of Zanu PF politburo and Cabinet members purged on allegations of sympathising with axed former Vice-President Joice Mujuru confirms that the ex-Mt Darwin West MP was in total control of the ruling party’s key structures, analysts have said.
BY MOSES MATENGA
This followed Zanu PF’s suspension from the party of at least 141 top party officials at national and provincial level for reportedly being aligned to the Mujuru camp.
These included nine out of the 10 party provincial chairpersons, Cabinet ministers occupying some influential government positions and others holding key party posts namely secretary for administration (Didymus Mutasa), secretary for commissariat (Webster Shamu) and spokesperson (Rugare Gumbo).
Academic Ibbo Mandaza said the continued purge of Mujuru allies was clear indication of how her camp was popular within the Zanu PF structures.
“It’s a revelation of the extent to which Mujuru and her group were so entrenched throughout the country,” Mandaza said.
“It exposes also the shallow sense of those who have remained in the side. If her constituency is so large as revealed and by what we see, what is the constituency of the other side?”
Mandaza questioned the wisdom of firing people and letting them maintain their Parliamentary seats, suggesting that it was out of fear to face Mujuru loyalists in by-elections as that would humiliate Zanu PF.
He added: “It exposes the nature of the last election and leaves questions like, ‘why are you firing and leaving them to retain their seats in Parliament?’ It’s clear the Weevils can’t afford by-elections willy-nilly. There are problems in these by-elections apart from costs.”
Analyst Earnest Mudzengi also said: “The suspensions that are ongoing do not augur well for the popularity of the party. The resort to suspensions points to the denting of the popularity and contribute further to the lack of popularity.
“It is the people within the structures that are being suspended and they command support and probably they can go with their support base.”
Some senior party members who were recently suspended, but allowed to keep their parliamentary seats urged Mugabe to intervene and lift the ban to save the ruling party from humiliation at the next election in 2018.
Commenting on different social media platforms following the latest purge on pro-Mujuru functionaries, several people said their suspensions confirmed that she had a huge following all over the country.