Factionalism In Zanu-PF Again As War Veterans, Team Lacoste Decry Military's Influence
Barely two months after the G40 Faction was soundly defeated and expelled from Zanu-PF following the military takeover of government, factionalism is reported to have returned to rock the party. The new divisions are reportedly between the civilian members of the original Team Lacoste together with members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) who are not happy with the influence and power that the military now has in Zanu-PF. According to the Daily News, the ruling Zanu-PF party is now divided into Team Lacoste and Cosleg.
Cosleg is a combination of Comiex Congo and Osleg – the commercial arm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces whose full name is Operation Sovereign Legitimacy. Former generals who now hold top political positions include General (Retired) Constantino Chiwenga, Air Chief Marshal (Retired) Perrance Shiri, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Sibusiso Moyo and Lieutenant-General (Retired) Engelbert Rugeje. Chiwenga is the Vice President as well as defacto Minister of Defence, Shiri the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement while Moyo was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. General Rugeje, on the other hand, was named the Zanu-PF Secretary for the Commissariat. Air Vice Marshal (Retired) Henry Muchena and former director (internal) of the Central Intelligence Organisation Sydney Nyanungo now hold top positions at the party’s headquarters in Harare.
War veterans who for a long time were the ones at the frontline of resisting former president Robert Mugabe and calling for Mnangagwa’s elevation feel that they are now being sidelined in favour of the military. ZNLWVA chairperson for Mashonaland Central, Sam Parirenyatwa, told the Daily News,
There is a strong feeling among war veterans that their contributions in removing Mugabe were not rewarded. Yes, we are being sidelined. Those who were benefiting under the Mugabe regime are the same people who are benefiting now.
Right now, there are efforts to engage government. In fact, there are calls for a war veterans’ indaba so that we reflect (on these developments). We did not get into party structures. For instance, in Mashonaland Central, all the positions were given to bystanders. We also lost the commissariat post to the military.
However, Victor Matemadanda, ZNLWVA secretary-general, who is now the deputy minister of War Veterans denied the assertion saying the military should be represented as well. Said Matemadanda:
It is total discrimination to say the military should not have a role. We cannot discriminate people on the basis of their previous stations in life. The people who are discriminating against a certain group are being unfair, they cannot say a soldier should not get a job; it is wrong — even in other countries, they get the jobs.
More: Daily News