EXILED former Cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi has warned that Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda will ensure President Emmerson Mnangagwa gets his wish of a two-thirds majority and his third term in power.
His comments come barely a day after Sengezo Tshabangu wrote to Mudenda notifying him about the withdrawal of 15 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators whom he claimed to lead as interim Secretary General (SG).
Tshabangu’s letter has created chaos within the opposition after Mudenda moved to advise the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of vacancies in those 15 constituencies.
Mzembi, posting on X warned Mudenda will use Tshabangu to recall as many Members of Parliament (MPs) as possible.
“As long as this man Mudenda is a Zanu PF Politburo Member reporting to Mnangagwa and is whipped by his Chief Whip during Zanu PF Caucuses there will be no separation of powers between the Executive and Parliament. He will facilitate anything Zanu PF wants including a two-thirds majority for its Third Term Project,” said Mzembi.
“He will also, through the tortoise on the fence post-Tshabangu, recall CCC MPs at will in batches until the few remaining in Parliament recognise Tshabangu as SG, the agenda being splitting of this party. Already “the please don’t recall me SG ” pleas seem to be in motion from the intelligence at hand.
Mzembi, exiled in South Africa, had been rooting for Mnangagwa’s exit at Zimbabwe’s August polls.
He advised Zimbabweans and the CCC to expect more recalls, questioning what voters themselves would do.
He added: “So the first wave has hit, there will be a second one and so forth … CCC has decided to go to Court, Zanu PF is happy with this response which recognises the Courts after their invalidation when this Party did not contest its dispute of the Presidential Ballot result.
“The legitimacy question is being settled. Bulawayo had a fair chance at the Courts during the Caretaker phase of this administration now they have fully assumed power.
“Beware the ides of Baghdad! A Political or Legal response or both is the Big Q? Can CCC move its Parliamentary and Council Representatives out of their new comfort zones without consequence is the next Big Q? What will be the arguments for and against some painful decisions that clearly need to be considered?
“Is this about CCC only or about the Voter, and What is the Voter saying?”
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has dismissed claims its annual people’s conference penciled for month-end aims, among other things, to endorse what is believed to be attempts by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to secure a third term.
Breaking with tradition, Zanu PF is holding its conference in Gweru from October 28-29 instead of December. Mnangagwa has also ordered fewer delegates of less than 3,000 after over 4,000 attended last year.
Mnangagwa, who muscled his way into power on the back of a 2017 military coup, is in his second and last term allowed by the country’s constitution.
The Zimbabwe incumbent is yet to reveal thoughts about his political future but there are strong sentiments his actions currently could be pointing to a bid to hedge his job while also preparing ground to launch a bid for a third term.
Mnangagwa, who recently secured a second term following disputed polls in August, has kept his old cabinet almost intact while pushing for the expulsion of over a dozen opposition legislators through sponsoring a dodgy recall order by a man who claims to be the CCC interim secretary general.
Any bid for a third term shall be occasioned by a constitutional amendment which requires a two thirds majority vote in parliament.
In the August elections, Zanu PF came short of reaching its two thirds majority and cannot rally any constitutional amendment even if all its MPs vote in the affirmative.
Mnangagwa, considered a political schemer, has also appointed his known loyalists to key positions such as Attorney General, Prosecutor General, National Assembly speaker, and Chief Justice in case his assumed maneuvers run into legal hurdles.
Sources within Zanu PF say Mnangagwa was also keen to use the upcoming conference as a platform to both silence and purge party dissenters.
Zanu PF acting information director Farai Marapira dismissed the claims saying they were based on ignorance of the difference between a conference and a congress.
“The biggest issue is that these are positions coming from people that are ignorant as to the meaning of terms.
“They do not understand when Zanu PF is holding a conference; neither do they know what it means when Zanu PF is holding a congress.
“This is clear that they are not members of Zanu PF because if anyone was a member of Zanu PF, they would know that this year is a conference, people will be meeting.
“There are no elections, there are no changes of any position within the party structure.
“As Zanu PF, we can’t respond to allegations of war within ourselves from people without, simply because people are ignorant of how our party is structured and how our meetings go about.
“This is going to be a conference celebrating our election win and of course rumour mongers will be rumour mongers.
“These rumours should be thrown out with the disgust and disdain that they truly deserve.”