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Is Mugabe losing control?

Opinion & Analysis
The disclosures will no doubt leave Mugabe, who turned 92 on Sunday, with egg on his face. This shows that Mugabe is no longer in control of Zanu PF

In yesterday’s issue of NewsDay, we reported that security ministers — Ignatius Chombo (Home Affairs) and Sydney Sekeramayi (Defence) — were reportedly advised of the aborted meeting by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) members in Harare last Thursday.

NewsDay Comment

Regrettably, the meeting was violently put down by the police, on whose instruction no one knows.

Yet, when President Robert Mugabe addressed the nation, he claimed Chombo and Sekeramayi had indicated to him that they had no clue of the meeting. He added State Intelligence minister Kembo Mohadi was also clueless.

President Robert Mugabe on edge etched President Robert Mugabe

But the ZNLWVA are adamant they met Chombo and Sekeramayi minus Mohadi ahead of the meeting, which was to discuss their membership’s welfare.

The disclosures will no doubt leave Mugabe, who turned 92 on Sunday, with egg on his face. This shows that Mugabe is no longer in control of Zanu PF, especially if the recent fracas is anything to go by.

The most worrying trend is that if the President cannot effectively deal with the fissures threatening to rip Zanu PF apart, how will he succeed in resolving the myriad of challenges confronting Zimbabwe as a whole? If Chombo and Sekeramayi knew about the war veterans’ meeting, why did they withhold the critical information from their principal? Was their decision to withhold such information from the President informed by their understanding of the Zanu PF power matrix or the lack of invincibility of the sole centre of power?

The fact that the war veterans have vowed to stick with War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, even after Mugabe’s public rebuke, is yet another testimony that the centre can no longer hold.

At his prime, before advanced age and ill-health set in, no one would have defied Mugabe in that manner. His word was law.

In what was supposed to be a “State of Zanu PF Address” on Friday night, Mugabe admitted he was in the dark about the war vets’ gathering.

It appears there are more people and not just Mutsvangwa bringing the name of Zanu PF into disrepute. The Zanu PF chaos clearly stems from Mugabe’s failure to know when to leave, which is why Zimbabwe is in an economic morass. Evidently, Mugabe no longer has firm control of Zanu PF affairs because he would have been alerted to such critical developments that have national significance.

It is disastrous that all the upheavals in the party emanated from First Lady Grace Mugabe’s whirlwind entry into politics and regrettably she has virtually stepped on everyone’s toes.

To say the party is in a mess is an understatement, but the sooner the issues are resolved, the better.

Sadly, at the moment we do not see that happening, as Mugabe has been firmly eclipsed. The most tragic thing about it all is that this may have far-reaching negative impacts not only on Zanu PF, but the nation as well.

It is also tragic that all the focus and attention has been drawn away from government business, as the power games are played out by egocentric politicians, who appear to be hungry for power as an end in itself.

Little thought now goes on how to resolve the socio-economic maladies that have rendered the majority of the population paupers. Zanu PF needs to wake up and do the right things. It’s never too late to do something right.