‘Opposition, media living off Zanu PF’

iol news pic Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe AP Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe inspects the guard of honour during a ceremony in Harare. AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under pressure to resolve the succession issue in Zanu PF, has blamed senior members of his party of fuelling factionalism by taking their issues to private media and opposition political parties, saying anyone with grievances should follow the correct channels.

Addressing hundreds of party supporters at the party headquarters in Harare on Wednesday ahead of the party's politburo meeting, Mugabe said opposition parties were enjoying the infighting in the revolutionary party while journalists were making a living out of negative stories they got through senior party members “undressing each other in public”.

“The opposition and media are living off us because Zanu PF is fighting day and night tearing each other apart, with leaders behaving like children. We spoke about this yesterday after the cabinet meeting and I said we should do away with that,” he said.

“Even (opposition MDC-T leader Morgan) Tsvangirai now says factionalism (in Zanu PF) is derailing the country. People now see as if we are more divided than his party and he is happy with that,” he said.

Mugabe said those not happy with another member of the party should follow the proper channels.

“If someone has a grievance against another member, we have channels in the party; not to go to the opposition because that is not where we resolve our issues, you will be disgracing not only the party but yourself,” he said.

He said the politburo would soon sit to find out why party supporters were not happy with some of their leaders, adding he would look into the allegations that some supporters had been attacked by youths and barred from attending the Wednesday meeting.

“We must sit first before we make decisions, so we want the politburo members to find out why people are complaining about leadership in the party. We are sorry that some people were attacked and stopped from attending this meeting. We don't condone violence in the party and those perpetrators should be punished.”

Mugabe said the politburo would deal with the issues raised by the Women's League and urged party supporters and leaders alike to come together as unity was the foundation of a strong organisation.

The ageing president has a tough task of balancing between two factions, one allegedly led by his wife Grace, dubbed the G40, and another believed to be led by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, his close ally for more than five decades.

African News Agency

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