Broken love

Sinqobile Tessa
GROWING APART: President Emmerson Mnangagwa and VP Chiwenga

Factional issues and fights within the ruling Zanu PF are always interesting to follow.

A few years back, the ruling party was divided into two factions. Eventually one the factions was heavily defeated leading to the ouster of the late former President, Robert Mugabe.

Fast forward to recent times and we are yet again seeing a more divided Zanu PF than a united one, with most people pointing out that someone might be having very hard times in office.

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Talks of a fallout between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy, Lt General Constantino Chiwenga are nothing new. However, it’s newsworthy when events that suggest a rift between the two unfold.

Last week, an anti-sanctions gala was held in Harare to call for the removal of sanctions imposed on the country by the United States and Europe.

The ruling party is always quick to blame sanctions for our failing economy while the West says it is corruption and looting of the country’s resources that is causing most of Zimbabwe’s problems.

One wonders if there was really a need to hold a gala for anti-sanctions if not for the reason to just spend money which they claim not to have when it comes to critical issues.

Anyway back to factional fights with the ruling party. Barely 24 hours after the anti-sanctions call and gala, war veterans took to the streets protesting against their low pension earnings, which is roughly equivalent to P1, 000 a month.

The demo by the former freedom fighters was, however, quickly thwarted with some of them being arrested and detained by the police.

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Their bone of contention was that some people (in government) are living large while they are suffering and struggling to make ends meet despite the sacrifices they seemingly made for the country.

For them, the issue is not about sanctions but government’s failure to manage the economy.

War veterans are no ordinary lot in Zimbabwe’s political space and their actions speak volumes about what is happening at the top.

These people don’t just decide to take to the streets, they are told what to do and what to say by some high offices and the wide view is that their principal, at least for now, is the VP.

Apparently, Chiwenga and the army in general are fed up with Mnangagwa’s failure to turn around the country’s economy and for failing to end corruption.

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When they (the army) helped the President ascend to the high seat, they apparently thought he would be a better man, a better leader who would turn things around. Instead he is proving to be yet another disappointment which they allegedly cannot wait to get rid of.

We will thus be watching closely as events unfold but as they say, it will end in tears – or worse still it might end in another coup!

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