Discussing President Mugabe’s successor before the end of his term of office is “treasonous,” Zanu-PF national political commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has warned.
He also warned those with ambitions of succeeding President Mugabe before the end of his current term, which runs until 2018 that they were daydreaming because he was given the constitutional mandate to govern the country by the people during 2013 harmonised polls.
Cde Kasukuwere said anyone within the party who attempted to push the succession agenda would meet the same fate as former VP Dr Joice Mujuru and her putschist cabal.
Dr Mujuru and dozens of her loyalists were fired from the ruling party for plotting to remove President Mugabe from power unconstitutionally.
Recently, the revolutionary party has been embroiled in serious internal fights pitting the so called G40 and Lacoste factions.
“President Mugabe’s term of office runs until 2018 and any talks or discussions questioning his term of office border on treason,” said Cde Kasukuwere while addressing party supporters in Dotito, Mashonaland Central Province over the weekend.
“It is not easy. Let us continue supporting the founder of our nation kusvika kwaanopedzera.
“With our President, Zimbabwe will succeed, black Africans will succeed and Zanu-PF will succeed.”
In his birthday interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Services aired early last month, President Mugabe said any discussion about his succession was misplaced considering that he was given the mandate by the majority of Zimbabweans to rule until 2018.
He said he wouldn’t have accepted the mandate if he knew he would not be able to complete his term.
“When we went to Congress in 2013 and the people said you are the candidate in 2013, I did not say I was a candidate to retire, only to retire mid-way.
“I was a candidate for the term, the term is a five year term, Isn’t? Otherwise why did I accept ndichiziva kuti ndinogumhina kana kuti ndichiziva kuti ndine chirwere, kana handikwanisi,” said the President.
A few weeks earlier, the President told those fanning factionalism in the party to “shut up”.
On Tuesday, President Mugabe told journalists in Japan where he was on a State visit, that challenging his constitutional mandate was tantamount to rejecting the wishes of Zimbabweans. With health permitting, he would stand for another term in 2018, he said.
Cde Kasukuwere said Zanu-PF had confidence in their leader and the party was optimistic he would be able to stand for another term in 2018 and win.
He told party supporters not to be moved by opposition parties, particularly Dr Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First.
“Who can beat him . . . nobody. President Mugabe will win the election in 2018 come what may. He is an icon, he has worked very hard for the country and defending the gains of the liberation.
“We have heard some people saying let’s build. Build what? What have you built before? Show us your previous works,” said Cde Kasukuwere, in apparent reference to Dr Mujuru’s party manifesto “Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development”.
Before her dismissal from Zanu PF, Dr Mujuru represented Mt Darwin West in the National House of Assembly. Critics said while Dr Mujuru represented the people of Mt Darwin for a long time in Parliament, the constituency remained under-developed.