Mujuru & Mnangagwa factions jostle over election dates

emmerson_mnangagwa2Conflicting signals emanating from senior ZANU PF officials on when the next national elections are going to be held are said to reflect the serious infighting and jostling for influence within the party. (Pictured: Emerson Mnangagwa)

SW Radio Africa understands the faction led by Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa, composed mainly of the so-called hardliners, is pushing for an early election while the perceived moderates in the Solomon Mujuru faction prefer polls next year or in 2013.

Last week ZANU PF Chief negotiator in the SADC talks on Zimbabwe, Patrick Chinamasa, said; It is my own opinion that it is not possible to hold elections this year. We need to start talking about elections next year or 2013 assuming that the referendum is completed in September as we have been advised by COPAC.

This week ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo contradicted Chinamasa saying; The party position is very clear. I dont know how many times I should repeat this. Elections are on this year and reforms are not fundamental if people want elections. The Mutare congress last year made it clear that elections will be held this year. The politburo also made it clear and the President also made it clear.

Asked to clarify why he was contradicting Chinamasa, Gumbo said; Those are his (Chinamasas) statements as an individual negotiator and that does not reflect the position of the party. The MDC-T is afraid of elections saying there will be violence but its clear it is the most violent party in the country.

Not to be outdone was ZANU PF strategist Jonathan Moyo, who penned a bitter article claiming; It is now clear in the national interest that the next harmonised general election must be held this year in 2011, failure of which it should be held in 2016 and not at any other time in between. He described Chinamasas statement on the election dates as untenable.

Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya told SW Radio Africa; There are two competing camps in ZANU PF. One camp which belongs to Mnangagwa, whose mouthpiece is Jonathan Moyo and partly Rugare Gumbo, and the other group which is the Mujuru faction. The views by Chinamasa are shared by the Mujuru faction.

Ruhanya said the Mnangagwa faction, has deployed people in the name of soldiers, CIOs and the youth militia in the rural areas to do the campaigning for ZANU PF. So that group is finding it difficult to sustain politically and economically the deployment of these soldiers that they have put in the communities since last year.

Other analysts have made the argument that the Mujuru faction is made up of what is loosely described as moderates, who are more business-oriented and willing to give and take in negotiations with the two MDC formations, as long as they can continue to plunder the country in the name of greed.

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