Zimbabwe’s interim opposition leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly party says the escalating tensions in the ruling Zanu-PF party and fears of a potential split is a blessing for Zimbabweans as a united and strong Zanu-PF stifles political and economic reforms in the country.
In an exclusive interview with VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, Madhuku said the turmoil in the ruling Zanu-PF party is a divine intervention.
“I think what is happening in Zanu-PF although it affects everyone is very, very positive in the sense that, that party must be destroyed, it must destroy itself. If they are going to press the self-destruction button let it be … it is somewhat Gods’ answer to the problems we are facing.”
On one side of the Zanu-PF party’s friction is a faction that is supporting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations — referred to as Team Lacoste — and on the other, the party’s ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40) backed by the First Lady and Women's League boss, Grace Mugabe.
Madhuku said a united Zanu-PF is blocking the much-needed economic, political and electoral reforms.
The constitutional law professor said Zimbabweans are suffering owing to President Mugabe’s misrule. “It is quite common cause that the country is in a very, very bad shape, in the sense of the growing levels of poverty.”
Zimbabwe’s economy has been in freefall since a government of national unity between ruling Zanu PF and the opposition groups of the Movement for Democratic Change expired in 2013. The economic crisis that has seen unemployment levels nearing 90% has been exacerbated by a growing food crisis.
Mnangagwa says Harare will require US$1.6 billion to combat hunger amid the country’s most severe drought in two decades that’s already left nearly three million people food insecure. The vice president is also the chairperson of the cabinet Food Security and Nutrition Committee.
Of that amount, $717 million is needed to buy grain, with another $200 million for school feeding programs and almost $140 million to support livestock farmers.
President Mugabe has declared the food crisis a national disaster - but his critics say the declaration of a food emergency came late and is putting many Zimbabweans at risk.
Madhuku ruled out forming an opposition alliance with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who has announced that she has registered an opposition political party after being expelled from Zanu-PF early last year.
“We have no interest in working with Mrs. Mujuru and her party. That is a Zanu-PF group and these are people who have been in government for the past 35 years. They only left government when they were fired by their colleagues. We now know how they govern.”
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe are evenly divided on working with Mrs. Mujuru, Mugabe’s deputy for a decade.