CHAOS that erupted in the Zanu PF district co-ordinating committee (DCC) polls over the weekend could be an apt reflection of how factionalism is deep-rooted in the ruling party.
From burning of ballot boxes in some districts, altercation in others and rigging claims in many, this has been how Zanu PF DCC elections have been carved.
The elections were supposed to end over the weekend but were still going on in some districts by last night while hundreds claimed they were turned away for one reason or the other.
To swallow that these are the men and women we expect to reform and chart the way to national democratic polls is just bitter and raising expectations for free and fair polls with them running the show is budgeting for a huge disappointment.
What is clear is that factionalism is very much alive in Zanu PF and the fight for the control of the DCCs is a means to ultimate control of the party hence the factions see this as their hope.
In all the chaos, one can be pardoned to believe the late former President Robert Mugabe’s June 2012 announcement banning the DCCs could have been prophetic and a wise move.
Mugabe announced to his central committee to disband the DCCs as they had become the centre of factional fights, that time involving then Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa who now is the President.
Clearly, if Mugabe was right to disband the divisive DCCs, then Mnangagwa may have been wrong in bringing them back.
The prevailing chaos shows that Zanu PF cannot run its own internal elections and the party has failed to unite since the November 2017 coup that ousted Mugabe.
Factionalism has refused to die and it is evident in the fights bedevilling the DCC polls.
We hear the name-dropping of Mnangagwa by those in his camp vowing to block a rival camp said to be led by his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and that the fight is centred on that.
In typical leopard wanting to eat its cubs’ manner, rivals have been labelled G40 to disqualify them and even diehard supporters have been rudely excluded on that basis.
This will further divide the party along factional lines and is likely to worsen as bigwigs fight for the control of the former liberation movement ahead of 2023 general elections and beyond. It’s going to be tough in Zanu PF as the fight is real and it may not end well.
No doubt, it will end in tears for some in Zanu PF and for the country in 2023 when this chaos extends to the harmonised elections.