The ZANU-PF party has had numerous factional fights before and after Zimbabwean independence. The ZANU-PF party's formation in 1963 was as a result of a factional fight in the Joshua Nkomo led ZAPU party that saw Ndabaningi Sithole, Henry Hamadziripi, Mukudzei Midzi, Herbert Chitepo, Edgar Tekere , Leopold Takawira and Robert Mugabe leaving ZAPU to form the ZANU-PF party.


Zimbabwe from the onset of independence has been driven by the politics of factionalism and splitting. The struggle for power was belived to be one of the major drivers leading to the creation of factions within the ZANU PF

Pre independence Factionalism


There were two splits within ZANU prior to independence, first was with Nathan Shamuyarira and others leaving to join FROLIZI in 1973 after his bid for party leadership was defeated by Chitepo, after Chitepo's assassination Sithole assumed leadership but the Mgagao Declaration led to the split of Sithole and the group led by Mugabe and Simon Muzenda which wanted violent struggle which Sithole resented and had backing of ZANLA forces.

  • ZANU Mwenje

ZANU split as Ndabaningi Sithole formed the ZANU Ndonga with a minority Ndau people which later was known as (ZANU Mwenje) and left ZANU with Robert Mugabe who had a more militant agenda. Later the ZANU and ZAPU came together in what was called the Patriotic Front in order to get majority rule and after getting majority rule they split again and stood at the 1980 elections separately as Mugabe‟s ZANU PF and Nkomo‟s PF ZAPU, with Mugabe‟s ZANU PF winning the elections and Nkomo‟s ZAPU retaining a stronghold in the provinces of Matabeleland.

  • Nhari Badza rebellion

This was followed by the factional rebel lines led by Nhari in 1974 in the ZANLA forces of ZANU in which Nhari rebelled with Badza against ZANU and its High Command with the justification that he was dissatisfied with the fact that members of ZANU High Command were squandering party funds abroad in luxury those which were meant for the struggle while the others were suffering which led to their assassination.

Post-independence Factionalism

  • Edgar Tekere

Edgar Tekere who was second to Mugabe who left to form the ZUM party,

  • Simba Makoni

In 2008 Simba Makoni left to form the MKD or Mavambo party.

In November 2008 a group of former ZAPU members came out of ZANU - PF and formed ZAPU again. The left because of because of reasons that the former ZAPU members were being left out in the discussions between the two MDC formations and ZANU PF, unhappiness with the sacking of Dumiso Dabengwa from the politburo because he supported Simba Makoni in the 2008 presidential elections, lack of development in the Bulawayo province including the lack of progress on the Matebeleland Zambezi water project, ZAPU cadres not considered for burial at the national heroes acre and the issue of succession. All these factors were reported to have contributed to the creation of the ZAPU again though the members existed as a faction already in ZANU PF making it inevitable to split.

Zimbabwe Union for Democrats (ZUD) party was formed by the dismissed ZANU-PF member Margaret Dongo.

  • Jonathan Moyo

Jonathan Moyo left ZANU-PF after being fingered as the main plotter of the Tsholotsho Declaration.

Robert Mugabe's succession

Gamatox vs Weevils (2014)

Reports of factionalism surfaced within the ZANU PF party which were seen as a bid to succeed Robert Mugabe who was believed to be old and expected to retire. The Factions were reported to be five and ledd by Joyce Mujuru, Emmerson Mnangagwa, The Millitary, The Youths (G40) and the Mugabe faction allegedly dominated by all who were loyal to Robert Mugabe.

The most prominent members in these factional politics were belived to be Emmerson Mnangagwa and Joyce Mujuru who were reported to be fighting in an indirect manner in order to secure positions for leadership for themselves in the presidency in the event that the Mugabe retired or died.

The youth faction in ZANU PF was also reported to be influential with Saviour Kasukuwere behind it, as it was called the Generation 40 (G40) aiming to replace the old politicians in the political system.

The Millitary faction was reported to be led by high army officials who wanted to use their influence of the army in the political process as they were allegedly aware of the army‟s great contribution to attaining power and enforcing loyalty.

Joyce Mujuru was fired from the post of Vice president as the Factionalism in Zanu-PF intensified. Senior party officials notably Joram Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa and other key party long time leaders were dismissed with a vote of no confidence. These dismissed members were alleged to be behind the Mujuru faction with the party remaining with the Mnangagwa faction who was promoted to Vice Presidency.

Team Lacoste Vs G40

From 2014 to 2017 Lacoste, Zanu-PF Faction was involved in a power struggle with the G40 (Zanu-PF Faction).

In the early weeks of November 2017, Mugabe expelled his longtime top ally Emmerson Mnangagwa after waging a series of attacks on him at youth interface rallies held across Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa was expelled on the basis that he was, dishonest, disloyal, deceitful and Unreliable. Mnangagwa was also accused of fanning factionalism and leading the Lacoste Faction which insulted Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe.

Mnangagwa's expulsion led to Operation Restore Legacy which saw Mugabe leaving office and Mnangagwa taking over.

Post Robert Mugabe Factionalism

After Mugabe resigned allegedly under duress reports of factionalism resurfaced. The Lacoste, Zanu-PF Faction was reported to be in a power struggle with 2018 Zanu PF COSLEG Faction. The Lacoste, Zanu-PF Faction was allegedly led by Emmerson Mnangagwa whilst the 2018 Zanu PF COSLEG Faction was led by Constantino Chiwenga.