HARARE – The beleaguered Zimbabwean ruling party Zanu-PF has confirmed growing fissures within the party ahead of the December elective congress while warning those using money in their plot to challenge the party leader that they will be dealt with.
Party spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa says Emmerson Mnangagwa is the party’s sole candidate for the 2023 elections while warning any plotters that they will not succeed to topple the strongman.
According to an online publication, some party members say there was an agreement between Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga following the November 2017 military coup that the Zanu leader will serve only one term before handing over power to his deputy who played a crucial role in his rise to power. Mutsvangwa’s political warnings confirm that there is disharmony in the cockpit.
“He (Mnangagwa) is allowed two terms according to the constitution and the ruling party has endorsed him as sole candidate (ahead of the 2023 elections),” Mutsvangwa said.
“Zanu-PF is united behind him and organs of the party have endorsed him. The Women’s League conference is around the corner and will also likely endorse him.”
Mutsvangwa said Mnangagwa deserved a second term as he has managed to win the hearts of investors, particularly during his trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum that the Zanu-PF spokesperson described as “the United Nations of business”.
“Investors want certainty and he had this to offer in Davos,” Mutsvangwa said.
Mutsvangwa accused speculators of working to effect regime change in Zimbabwe, but he immediately warned that their scheming will flop.
“Speculators are thinking they can succeed where the opposition failed, where the trade unions failed. The President has weathered the storm. The economy is good and why only the currency?”
“We are winning that war. We won back our land and every war we have won, now we are left with the currency war,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s loyalists have already sharpened knives against those perceived to be working with Chiwenga, accusing them of plotting to challenge the Zanu-PF leader in the elective December congress.
Chiwenga is accused by Mnangagwa loyalists of working with exiled former political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and other former party stalwarts to dislodge the strongman ahead of the 2023 elections.
Already, party divisions have been shown in the party’s youth league and this weekend’s provincial women’s league elections that have divided the party further as bigwigs line up their preferred choices Mutsvangwa has already insisted that all the organs are rallying behind Mnangagwa despite insiders saying some in the party had launched a whisper campaign calling for an elective congress where the party leader should be challenged.
Kasukuwere is accused of working with Sybeth Musengezi to challenge Mnangagwa’s rise to the helm of Zanu-PF following a coup in 2017 that led to the ouster of the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Musengezi is now under siege after he was arrested last week before he was granted bail for allegedly using a fake home address upon joining Zanu-PF.
He said ever since his release, he has been under the weather and has also been accosted by unknown assailants suspected to be state agents.
“They put me in jail, threatened, intimidated, inhumanely treated and harassed me and those close to me so as to break my spirit and force me into submission but that’s not going to happen,” he said on microblogging site Twitter.
“Mnangagwa has to respect us, this country belongs to us all not him and his associates alone. They wanted my current physical address and as much information they can get on me through the so-called “profiling” so they can put me under surveillance, follow, harass or make a raid on me anytime they want.”
There are fears, which were confirmed by women’s league boss Mabel Chinomona recently during a meeting at party headquarters, that a faction and some individuals were using money to infiltrate structures for their own sinister agendas.
This was in apparent reference to the G40 cabal that some within the ruling party suspect was working with Chiwenga.