“ZANU PF: A Hollow Shell of Structures – The Reign of Emmerson Mnangagwa”
By Felix Vamagwara | The ZANU PF party, once a symbol of liberation and a purportedly structured political organization, has faced allegations of becoming a one-man show under the leadership of Emmerson Mnangagwa. This article seeks to analyze the claim that ZANU PF’s apparent structures, including the politburo board, central committee, and provincial layers, are merely superficial facades, and that the party is primarily governed by one individual, Mnangagwa. We will examine the historical context of Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power, the erosion of the party’s institutional foundations, and the concentration of power within one family.
I. The Coup that Violated Constitutional Principles:
In November 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed the presidency of ZANU PF through a violent coup, violating every facet of the party’s constitution. This act set a dangerous precedent for the party’s future, as it showcased that the party’s structures were unable to prevent the forceful takeover by one man. The removal of the long-serving President Robert Mugabe, albeit controversial, laid bare the party’s inability to maintain its constitutional principles.
II. The Unconstitutional Removal of Phelekezela Mphoko:
Following the removal of Mugabe, Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko was also unconstitutionally ousted. This episode revealed the fragility of ZANU PF’s purported structures and their inability to protect party members from power grabs orchestrated by the Mnangagwa faction.
III. The Unprecedented Rise of Auxilliah Mnangagwa:
Another alarming development is the elevation of Auxilliah Mnangagwa, the first lady and wife of Emmerson Mnangagwa, to a position of significant power within the party. This raises questions about nepotism and dynastic politics. If ZANU PF genuinely had effective structures, such an unprecedented power move within the party should have been challenged, further highlighting the erosion of internal checks and balances.
IV. Mnangagwa’s Unchecked Power:
The 2018 and 2023 elections in Zimbabwe have faced allegations of rigging and electoral manipulation. If ZANU PF’s structures were functional, one would expect that these irregularities would have been prevented, or at the very least, challenged within the party. The fact that Mnangagwa’s children have been appointed to cabinet positions further illustrates the extent of his control over the party.
In light of these events and developments, it becomes increasingly evident that ZANU PF’s so-called structures are merely a facade. The party’s inability to resist the takeover by Emmerson Mnangagwa, its internal violations of constitutional principles, and the unchecked concentration of power in one family have exposed the true nature of its organization. ZANU PF appears to be less about a collective decision-making body and more about one individual’s control. The lack of effective opposition from within the party against these violations further underscores the idea that ZANU PF has become a one-man organization.