All out war as battle to succeed Chiwenga engulfs Zanu PF

Oppah Muchinguri

THERE is no vacancy in the Presidium and elements covertly jostling for the top positions must stand guided, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister who is also Zanu-PF chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, has said. 

She made the remarks yesterday while addressing the Manicaland War Veterans inter-district conference at Bezel Bridge in Zimunya-Marange.

Muchinguri-Kashiri who is more likely to succeed the ailing Vice President Constantine Chiwenga; according to State media took an aim at her rivals said the era of the old dispensation which was characterised by divisions, slandering of war veterans, senior Government officials and unbridled ambition for the Presidency, was over.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister General Sibusiso Busi Moyo’s recent round trip to the United Kingdom is being perceived within Zanu PF circles as part of his elaborate plan to sell himself as a likeable candidate for replacing the ailing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to the former colonial power.

A senior ZANU PF official from Midlands who spoke to this reporter revealed how the former celebrated coup announcer is plotting to take over the position of Vice President of the party and of the country.

“Cde SB is a very calculative person who is set to becoming the next Vice President of the party and of the country soon.  The recent travel to the United Kingdom is premised on the fact that the current Vice President is not in good books with the British Government and he must be removed. The British seem to have a soft spot for him and they are warming up to having him as the key link between the two countries during the reengagement process that is currently underway.

“You will know very well that Chiwenga was not the initiator of the military intervention but the real brains behind was Cde SB. Chiwenga was more of a political implementer that the real engine behind the whole operation. From what we know in the party is that Cde SB was supposed to become the Vice President but things did not go that way. Fate has a way of doing its ways that is why you are seeing him now taking the gap that is left by Chiwenga. If you have not realized he now is the now the second most powerful man in the party and country and he still enjoys popularity in the army with the Commander PV Sibanda his former Cde in arms at the helm.

“So all that you are seeing at play is the road to the Vice Presidency. ”

Political analysts recently said Moyo and his wife Louis Matanda-Moyo have become the most influential couple in Zimbabwe.

“For 37 years we were in the old dispensation and you know how it ended. Some elements in the old dispensation had captured the State and we were being insulted and slandered. War veterans were mistreated and abused publicly but we united with our security sectors and embarked on Operation Restore Legacy and in the process restored our dignity that had been stolen,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She said history was repeating itself with some elements angling for the Vice Presidency and the Presidency as if the positions were vacant.

“We still have ambitious individuals that are angling for posts in the Presidium. Be warned. It is not that easy. We should lead by example as war veterans and check the direction that the nation is taking,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She called for selflessness. 

“We must not think about ourselves but the majority of Zimbabweans. Some people want the Presidency. There is no vacancy, there is no vacancy, there is no vacancy. Make sure you are playing your role where you are. We do not want divisions,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She said President Mnangagwa was preaching unity all the time.

“The President is saying unity, unity, unity, less politics. Let us build the future of our children. Let us build our country. This is what the President is saying,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

“We do not want people that push us from the way we are being shown by President Mnangagwa. During Operation Restore Legacy, it’s you war veterans that stood strong and also went for the march to restore the legacy we had lost. New dispensation has restored our dignity as war veterans.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri said President Mnangagwa remembers the journey he walked with war veterans and ex-detainees and will not forget them.

Government, she said, was working on ensuring issues to do with the welfare of war veterans and affiliate organisations were addressed.

“You deserve better,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She said the national Constitution recognises the role played by war veterans and dignifies them yet some people were looking down upon them.

Muchinguri-Kashiri said respect for war veterans must start in the party.

“You sacrificed for everybody. Some people forget the past because they are now comfortable. Some even refuse to carry war veterans in party vehicles they now drive. I just want you to understand that small things like that add up to give war veterans dignity. Charity begins at home, in the party,” she said.

Meanwhile, Magwegwe constituency 2018 parliamentary candidate Fortune Mlalazi has written to Magwegwe constituency Member of Parliament Anele Ndebele requesting him to move a motion for the removal of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

In a letter seen by this reporter, Mlalazi said, “I am writing to you as a resident of Magwegwe, Honorable Ndebele, pleading with you to move a motion in the house of Assembly dealing with the fitness of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to hold office.

As a concerned resident and Zimbabwean, I appeal to invoke section 97 which empowers parliament to pass a resolution to remove the Vice if he is physically unfit. It is a matter of public record that the Vice President has become a liability to the country by being absent from duty for over three months. The few times he has been in the country he has shunned any public appearance, a clear sign that he is unwell.”

Mlalazi said he is hopeful that the MP will move the motion in parliament.

Section 97 of the constitution says:

The Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least one-half of their total membership, may resolve that the question whether or not the President or a Vice-President should be removed from office for

a. serious misconduct;

b. failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution;

c. wilful violation of this Constitution; or

d. inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity; should be investigated in terms of this section.

2. Upon the passing of a resolution in terms of subsection (1), the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint a joint committee of the Senate and the National Assembly consisting of nine members reflecting the political composition of Parliament, to investigate the removal from office of the President or Vice-President, as the case may be.

3. If– a. the joint committee appointed in terms of subsection (2) recommends the removal from office of the President or Vice-President; and b. the Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least two-thirds of their total membership, resolve that the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, should be removed from office; the President or Vice-President thereupon ceases to hold office.