Tendai Kamhungira 22 February 2017
HARARE – Zanu PF’s deadly tribal, factional, and succession wars rose a
notch higher yesterday after the government cracked down on some of Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters, with police arresting former
ruling party youth official Godfrey Tsenengamu over his Harare press
conference on Monday.
Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News said Tsenengamu’s arrest
echoed the harassment of war veterans’ leaders last year, who were rounded
up by police following their withering attack on President Robert Mugabe.
Tsenengamu was nabbed by detectives yesterday, a day after he held a press
conference in the capital where he let rip at Mugabe and powerful wife,
“Following my press conference on Monday at the Media Centre in Harare,
where I constitutionally expressed myself as a citizen, I have just been
picked up by CID Law and Order Harare Central, and I am on my way there in
the company of my lawyer Zivanai Macharaga of Mugiya and Macharaga Legal
“I am told that I am being charged for contravening the Public Order and
Security Act (Posa) by holding the press conference without police
clearance. I am not moved. Zvichapera izvi (this too will pass). Remain
strong and resolute. It’s now or never,” Tsenengamu said.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, his lawyers told the Daily News
last night that Tsenengamu’s charges had been altered from violating
provision of Posa to “Undermining the authority of the president.”
At his Monday media conference, Tsenengamu called for “a mega fightback”
from Mnangagwa and his allies following Mugabe’s birthday interview with
the ZBC in which the nonagenarian appeared to crush the VP’s mooted
presidential ambitions by saying that no one in Zanu PF was worthy of
“It is time we go open about this succession thing because some of us have
since identified our candidate and it’s none other than Emmerson Dambudzo
Mnangagwa. If Mugabe doesn’t like him, that is up to him, but we are
saying we now want him to lead now.
“To comrade Mnangagwa, Chikara, I am sorry you may say we have exposed
you, but that is the game now Shumba (VP’s totem).
“We want you to take over from Gushungo and make sure that you take care
of his family. So, we are going to hit the campaign trail for you as our
presidential candidate next year,” Tsenengamu said.
Political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo said what was unravelling was
indicative of “things falling apart” in Zanu PF.
“The truth of the matter is that president Mugabe is now old and as nature
dictates his powers are gradually diminishing. And the more the
president’s state deteriorates, the more the infighting within Zanu PF
“No wonder why the talk has shifted from wheelbarrow to corpse candidates.
The future cannot now be articulated with certainty. We are in a foggy
zone,” Hlatywayo told the Daily News.
When war veterans served divorce papers on Mugabe last year, police
swooped on their leaders. Until then, the former freedom fighters had been
Mugabe and Zanu PF’s political bulwark.
But that fallout saw them saying pointedly that the nonagenarian’s
continued stay in power was now a stumbling block to the country’s
Mugabe reacted by warning them they would be dealt with severely, in
similar fashion to the punishment that was meted out to delinquent war
veterans who were thrown into dungeons during the country’s liberation
It was after this that the war veterans’ leaders, including
secretary-general Victor Matemadanda and spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, were
arrested and arraigned before the courts where they were later freed.