JEFFREY MUVUNDUSI, BLESSINGS MASHAYA 26 February 2017
MATOBO – President Robert Mugabe yesterday railed against unnamed Zanu PF
elements whom he claimed were formenting party divisions and plotting to
dethrone him from power.
Addressing thousands at his belated birthday celebrations in Matabeleland
South’s Matobo District, the weary 93-year-old also said the warring
ruling party could stage an extraordinary congress to choose his successor
if he decided to retire.
“If Zanu PF says I should go I will … For your own information, I never
canvassed for any position, I rose up to my position … let the people
judge for themselves … We don’t want imposition (of leaders) at all,”
Mugabe said yesterday.
“People have said that I should choose a successor but that is what is
called imposition. I don’t want and will never impose. This is the job of
congress to choose those who will then come up and the party will elect,”
“Whatever position you seek must be a position you get upon a proper
election by the people … People who are busy forming their own groupings
saying VaMugabe must go I ask myself where should I go,” Mugabe
“Let me refer now to the unending problem of division within the party. We
want a party which is tight … The party, as I said, is based on a party
constitution and the party constitution provides how people can get
elected from one position to another.
“So why why do you want to try and circumvent the constitution?
Haunganzvengese constitution se bhora kuti uwane chigaro. Aiwa, hatina
kumboita party yakadaro (you don’t circumvent the constitution to get into
leadership. The party has never worked like that),” he added.
Mugabe spoke as Zanu PF’s ugly tribal, factional and succession wars have
gotten worse over the past few weeks, with the ruling party split between
two distinct camps – Team Lacoste, which is rallying behind Vice President
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidential aspirations, and the Generation 40 (G40)
faction, which is stridently against the Midlands godfather’s presidential
Speaking before Mugabe yesterday, Zanu PF youth league chairperson
Kudzanai Chipanga also accused some party bigwigs and government ministers
of plotting to remove Mugabe from office while pretending to love him
during the day.
Without also revealing the names of the ministers he was referring to, the
ex-party deputy for youth affairs said the nonagenarian must appoint
“We want the appointment of non-political ministers so that they can lead
some economic development ministries. The current economic development
ministers are overwhelmed. They are expected to turn around the economy,
to work in their constituencies and also work for the party,” Chipanga
“Given the calibre of some current ministers, just after you appoint them,
they will then plot to remove you from power.
“They take 95 percent of the money for development to fund the process of
removing you from power,” he roared further.
Chipanga also repeated his controversial statement that the nonagenarian
must be declared life president.
“As youths, we want to declare you the life president. We want to go to
our party congresses for choosing the vice presidents and other members
… Youths belong to … Mugabe and his wife. We want your birthday to be
celebrated like what people do on Christmas Day. The day must be declared
as a public holiday before 2018,” he said.
“Ministers who are responsible for declaring this day must not come to
this event next year if they fail to declare it a holiday,” Chipanga said