ZANU PF seems to have been rattled by a somewhat unexpected move by former secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, to take the party head-on, as it seems not unsure how to handle what it sees as rebellion.
Zanu PF was widely expected to expel Mutasa on Wednesday after a recommendation of Manicaland, but unexpectedly baulked at the idea and instead set up a committee to deal with him.
Mutasa has sought the intervention of Sadc in Zanu PF affairs, describing the party’s December congress as unconstitutional.
Zanu PF has in the past been quick to thwart any rebellion in its ranks, but it seems Mutasa has caught it flat-footed.
Political commentators said Mutasa’s decision to take Zanu PF head-on over the legality of the congress has left the liberation movement shaken.
“Mugabe and Zanu PF have always been threatened by those with liberation war credentials and Mutasa is a real threat to the current status,” South Africa-based media scholar and researcher, Trust Matsilele, said.
“I am not so sure if the (vice-president) Emmerson Mnangagwa faction thought of anything beyond the congress.
“The agenda was to unseat Joice Mujuru and events unfolding are a surprise to Zanu PF, its constituency and citizens at large and that is why we are seeing a lot of knee-jerk reactions from those who thought they had now acquired absolute power.”
Political analyst, Takura Zhangazha, was of the opinion that the manner of last year’s purge would have lasting ramifications for the ruling party.
“The sacking of a sitting vice-president and previously powerful officeholders is what has rattled Zanu PF,” he said.
“Mutasa’s response, particularly with its legal undertones is to be expected.
“It means that Zanu PF will have to reverse a decision to retain ousted party leaders as ordinary members and expel a number of those implicated in the faction.
“That will also mean that there will be court challenges to the party name and expulsions.
“Furthermore that also implies potentially a situation in which there will be two factions claiming the party name Zanu PF on ballot papers by 2018, a situation not dissimilar to what happened with the MDC in 2008.”
Political commentator, Blessing Vava, argued otherwise, saying Mutasa did not have the muscle to sustain a battle against Zanu PF.
“Mutasa is aggrieved with the way he and his team were humiliated after decades of enjoying the luxuries of the State and power, but, he is fighting a lost battle,” he said.
“I also think he is making the same mistake as the likes of Simba Makoni, who thought they had incredible support in the Zanu PF structures, only to realise that no one followed their project because once you are out of that system that’s the end.
“Considering Mutasa’s age, I do not see him having that muscle to sustain this battle and very soon, if not already, he has been isolated.”
A committee comprising Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, First Lady Grace Mugabe, political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and the party’s security secretary Kembo Mohadi, has been set up to deal with Mutasa.