Disgruntled former Zanu PF officials and supporters have lambasted President Robert Mugabe, accusing him of abandoning the principles of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and turning the party into a family dynasty.
Scores of supporters and officials, who left the party in different circumstances with the majority being forced to leave for failing to toe the party line, say they will never go back to the ruling party because Mr. Mugabe has almost turned it into a private property as he no longer entertains any internal opposition.
They also claim that Mr. Mugabe has surrounded himself with friends and relatives, who are now running the party like some personal property. They say close associates are misleading the 92 year-old Zimbabwean leader, who has been in power since the country attained independence from British rule in 1980.
Some of the disgruntled former Zanu PF members claim that they feel short-changed by the nonagenarian leader, who now wants to be hero-worshipped.
Retired Colonel Kudzai Mbudzi, who is the party’s former Masvingo provincial commissar, claims that many party officials and supporters are now leaving the ruling party in large numbers as they feel that they have been abandoned by the Zanu PF leadership.
“Zanu PF has short-changed the broad spectrum of the Zimbabwean people especially political-economic issues. The party had enjoyed the people’s support since the liberation struggle but now the prevarication of Zanu PF led by Mugabe … We did not know that the now reactionary Zanu PF was all about individual aggrandizement, it’s no longer anything to do with the revolution, and we feel greatly short-changed from the broadly expected objectives of the liberation struggle.”
His colleagues also claim that Zanu PF is no longer adhering to the principles set during its formation. They argue that the party has been turned into a family business following the coming in of the First Lady Grace Mugabe into politics.
Cecilia Gono of Gutu district, the home of the late Vice President Simon Vengesai Muzenda, says the first family is no longer accepting divergent views as it is now victimizing dissenting voices.
“The reason why we left the party is because it is no longer adhering to the standards set during the liberation war. The standards are now first family-based and if you have divergent views you are deemed an enemy of the family and you get victimised just like what leaders like Mavhaire, Bhasikiti and several others were treated.”
The former ruling party members say the recent purges of those who express views that are deemed negative to the status quo have actually turned Zanu PF into a monstrous party.
They claim that the principles of democracy like freedom of expression and association are no longer respected by Mr. Mugabe and his party as his close associates are descending heavily on all those suspected of crossing his path.
Some youths are also claiming that the ruling party is now ill-treating them after they were used for perpetrating violence against opposition party supporters.
Some claim that they have not even been given a piece of land following the controversial land reforms adopted by the ruling party in 2000.
Peter Zano, is among such people, who claims that they were promised heaven on earth by party officials when they joined Zanu PF. However, he claims that most of them never benefited anything from the ruling party.
“Zanu Intially we were promised a lot of things, everything. They said they will give us jobs, land but we never got anything. If you look at the land reform program it did not benefit us the youths, they took all the sugarcane farms and we didn’t get anything except those young people with strong links.
"The top brass only benefited in all empowerment program, we could not continue with such a party where the elite only benefit at the expense of the masses, that is not democracy.”