ED buckles under pressure. . . announces that Zanu PF will choose new leader

Source: ED buckles under pressure. . . announces that Zanu PF will choose new leader –Newsday Zimbabwe

Mnangagwa yesterday finally broke his silence, announcing that he would not seek a third term in office as Zanu PF factional fights threatened to set the ruling party ablaze.

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has, seemingly, buckled under pressure from intense factional fights over a bid to extend his term in office.

Mnangagwa yesterday finally broke his silence, announcing that he would not seek a third term in office as Zanu PF factional fights threatened to set the ruling party ablaze.



However, sceptics said Mnangagwa’s announcement should be taken with a pinch of salt until he lives up to his word.

Speaking after commissioning the Mutare Teachers’ College fruit juice and water processing plant yesterday, Mnangagwa seemingly dashed his supporters’ enthusiasm, saying the party would choose a new leader at the Zanu PF elective congress in 2027.

“Our Constitution says after every five years, we go to congress. At the congress, we choose our president. Our presidentshould have two five-year terms.

“I have had my first term and it ended. We went to congress and you retained me. So, I am in my last five-year term, which will end soon.



“I will be going to rest and we will go to congress to choose another leader who will follow in my footsteps. My resting days are near,” he said.

His supporters have of late been chanting slogans indicating that he will be in office until 2030, raising concerns that the Zanu PF leader may manipulate the Constitution and defer the 2028 elections for two years.

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The brouhaha was heightened when self-appointed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu virtually handed Zanu PF seats ona silver platter after recalling several legislators from Parliament, leading to by-elections that increased the number of Zanu PF MPs in the lower House.



This was also seen as a move by Mnangagwa to fill Parliament with Zanu PF legislators who would railroad the House to extend his term in office.

Mnangagwa did not make any effort to dispel the rumours recently as he challenged ministers attending the commissioning of a school in Chikomba district, Mashonaland East province, to chant the “ED2030” slogan.

However, political observers said Mnagagwa’s shock announcement should be handled with extreme caution.

Southern Africa programme head at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Pius Pigou yesterday said Mnangagwa’s comments were important and should draw a line under the mutating factional mutterings on this issue, which were resuscitated in some quarters following the 2023 elections.

“The President has now made it clear these are the rules, both, in terms of the party’s constitution and the country’s Constitution.

“But these issues are rarely as straightforward as they might seem. If Mnangagwa has said he has no interest in a third term and the rules say no to that, anyway, then it is over, the issue can be parked.

“But, if he says they will follow the rules and says nothing about his own interests, he may still allow others to motivate for a change of the rules and continue with the choreographed noise like we witnessed last year. It’s highly unlikely the President will articulate his own desires.”

Political analyst Ruben Mbofana said Mnangagwa’s announcement could also point to some serious internal squabbles within Zanu PF, especially after the damning revelations about corruption involving tenderpreneur Wicknell Chivayo.

“That’s a shocker. But a most welcome announcement as it finally shows the respect of the country’s Constitution, which has sadly been missing in our country, especially at the hands of the ruling elite.

“Secondly, this announcement should bring stability to the country, more so to the economy, since the uncertainty surrounding Mnangagwa’s plans about his future and the possible power struggles within the ruling Zanu PF were threatening not only political, but also economic stability,” he said.

Mbofana, however, said there was need to be sure Mnangagwa meant what he said before the nation celebrated.

“We know that the man cannot really be trusted. This may as well be nothing more than an attempt at cooling down temperatures within his own Zanu PF party by giving a false sense of comfort.

“It is now clear that Mnangagwa is not only surrounded by criminals, but has also become a huge liability to Zanu PF. The recent panicked threat by the regime against any potential protesters was quite unsettling,” he said.

“Why this intensified fear of protests when there is really no opposition to talk about? Who really was the Mnangagwa regime afraid of?”

He said there were possibilities that there was an internal uprising or coup d’état brewing within the ranks and Mnangagwa was under pressure to resign.

“It’s quite possible that this unexpected announcement was in an attempt to placate internal dissent or even a promise he made to Chiwenga to avoid a coup,” he said.

Mnangagwa also said there is no need for Zimbabwe to continue relying on the US dollar, adding that the government was propping up the recently introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency.

“[United States President Joe] Biden does not like us, but you love his money, is that good? It is not. So as Zanu PF, we are saying we can’t say let us continue with money from people who dislike us. They might face their own challenges and we will not know what to do,” he said.

“We have our own ZiG, the Zimbabwe Gold, which we are promoting. This is the money we are promoting so that in two years, if fact, two years is far, [we will be using it as the sole currency].

“We will reach a stage where we will say the ZiG is circulating everywhere. The coins are everywhere, there is change everywhere and I will then say that the country is now using the ZiG.”

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was headed for an era where shops would reject the US dollar.

“Those who are getting the US dollar, it will end soon. Those receiving the US dollar, in two months’ time, it will end. They will be getting ZiG.

“That is our money. We are promoting it. We cannot continue saying the people who do not like us, we rush to them for money because we are building our own currency.”