HARARE – There is more political fallout from the power struggles within Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF.
The party has announced the expulsion of seven senior party figures and the suspension of another 13 all believed to be linked to sacked Vice President Joice Mujuru. This brings to 12 the number of senior party members who have been sacked over the last six months.
Mujuru lost her top party and government post following party claims she was trying to oust long time ruler, President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, replaced Mujuru as vice-president with Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardliner in the regime.
There are few surprises at the names of those who have been expelled from the party.
Over the last six months they had been sacked from government or demoted in the party ranks following claims they wanted Mugabe out.
Among the group are former Women’s Affairs ministers, a former Energy minister as well as Provincial leaders.
The party’s Politburo upheld recommendations from a disciplinary committee, presented on Thursday. The expulsions do not come as not good news for the people on the streets…
The latest move is meant to give stability to a party ravaged by internal struggles to replace the aging leader. Some believe this will create instability.
Political analyst Takura Zhangazha says: “There shall have to be by-elections and that does not stabilise the national economy, with all the electioneering, they are focusing on contestation, rather than leadership… you have the problem of perpetually voting country which does not focus on issues of social development.”
The expulsions do not come as not good news for the people on the streets either, as they feel forgotten amidst the power struggles.
As the ruling party cleans house, there are promises of more suspensions.
The disciplinary committee is expected to present to the politburo its recommendations for the remaining four provinces next week.
Once seen as a favourite to step into President Robert Mugabe’s shoes, Mujuru has come under regular attack since last year—notably from First Lady Grace Mugabe who accused her of corruption and plotting to overthrow her husband.
“Seven members have been expelled and 13 have been suspended. The decision was made last night following a meeting of the politburo,” ZANU-PF party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo told AFP.
Among those expelled were former higher education minister Olivia Muchena, former energy minister Dzikamayi Mavhaire and provincial governors Ray Kaukonde and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.
“Those suspended will not hold any party position for a period of two or five years beginning from January 2015,” Khaya Moyo said.
“They remain card-carrying party members including MPs.”
The latest expulsions came after Didymus Mutasa, one-time speaker of parliament and close ally of Mugabe, met a similar fate in February.
Mutasa was accused along with Mujuru of plotting to oust Mugabe, 91.
Mugabe, who came to power in 1980, replaced Mujuru as vice-president with Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardliner in the regime.
Mujuru has denied all the charges against her and vowed to fight her expulsion from ZANU-PF.