Mutsvangwa ratchets up support for Mnangagwa

Christopher Mutsvangwa
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HARARE — Succession is not currently a priority for President Emmerson Mnangagwa or the Zanu-PF party, according to party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa. Addressing journalists, Mutsvangwa emphasized that there are no discussions about replacing Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa recently made a surprising reshuffle within the Zanu-PF party’s Politburo, a move interpreted by some as an attempt to address the contentious succession issue that could challenge the party ahead of the 2028 elections.

“I want to reiterate, the President won an election last August, securing a five-year term. The next election is in 2028. Currently, he is focused on fulfilling the promises of the previous election’s manifesto, which he is doing excellently in many ways,” Mutsvangwa stated.

“These are the issues occupying our President’s time, not compressing the four to five years of his term into a succession issue right now. Succession is not the primary purpose of his election; he was elected to build a mandate of prosperity.”

Speculation has grown that Zanu-PF might be pushing an agenda to amend the Constitution to extend Mnangagwa’s tenure beyond his constitutionally mandated term. Party slogans, songs, and statements have fueled this narrative, especially following the recent Politburo reshuffle. However, Mutsvangwa denied any such plans.

“If the President wants anything, he brings it to the Politburo, the central committee, and eventually to the congress. We have not discussed this issue at that level, so there’s no reason to fan flames of something that is not on the party’s agenda,” Mutsvangwa explained.

The late-night Politburo reshuffle appeared to leave Mutsvangwa untouched despite being at the center of controversy after accusing Zanu-PF colleagues of orchestrating his son’s arrest. Mutsvangwa asserted that he was not under pressure from Mnangagwa or anyone in Zanu-PF, stating he had survived challenges before and would continue to do so.

“Do you see any flames around me? I am not under any fire. I am here, a son of the revolution, and I will always be here,” he declared.

Previously, Mutsvangwa was expelled from the ruling party by the late former President Robert Mugabe but made a comeback and played a crucial role in Mnangagwa’s rise to power in 2017.