Centre for language and communication studies, chinhoyi university of technology, zimbabwe

Mungwari Teddy

This article explores the framing of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entry into mainstream politics in 2014. It examines press representation of Grace Mugabe’s nationwide rallies which consequently led to the purge of former Vice President Joice Mujuru from ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). The paper then explores purges of Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi Moyo and Hurungwe East Member of Parliament Sarah Mahoka; as well as National Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere. The article demonstrates that factionalism and succession struggles within the ruling party contribute to the purges of members thereby exacerbating divisions in the political party that has been in power since independence in 1980. The paper argues that while party members’ alleged ambitions into powerful positions and corruption charges against them, presidential succession seems the biggest challenge behind the acrimonious and brutal purges which leaves the national economy bleeding. The first section of the article analysed The Herald, The Sunday Mail, Daily News and The Standard newspapers, that is, state-controlled and privately owned newspapers respectively. In the second section, the state-controlled daily, The Herald and the privately- owned Daily News were used to examine how they framed the purges of ZANU PF ruling party members; as well as intriguing succession dynamics. The two newspapers are the most widely read dailies in Zimbabwe. The article concluded that The Herald, a national public newspaper was used as a mouthpiece of Team Lacoste [a faction within ruling party, pushing for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Mugabe; pitying another faction Generation 40 (G40) which is behind Grace Mugabe] while Daily News somewhat adopted a middle of the road approach. Both newspapers were, however, rather sensational in their reportage.

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