via Mnangagwa’s camp vows ‘he’s down but not out’ | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda December 3, 2013
Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top lieutenants on Tuesday vowed his efforts to succeed President Robert Mugabe are not over yet, reminding their political opponents they see it as just round one of a boxing match.
A faction reportedly led by Vice President Joice Mujuru scored a landslide victory in the party’s provincial elections held on Saturday, making her the odds-on favourite to take over the ZANU PF presidency.
But despite the bravado from his loyalists Mnangagwa, known as ‘ngwena’ (crocodile) in ZANU PF circles, will need a virtuoso political performance in the coming year to achieve the dramatic come-from-behind win at the elective congress, slated for the end of 2014.
Mujuru has proved that she is also an extraordinary organizer, who can match Mnangagwa pound for pound.
Official results released by ZANU PF’s national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo on Sunday showed Mujuru’s faction now controls nine out of the ten provinces.
However Mnangagwa’s coterie of sidekicks, who attended Parliament in Harare, warned their opponents to write him off politically at their own peril, as he will vigorously work his way back.
‘He’s been written off before but he always bounces back every time people think he’s down and out,’ a Midlands based ZANU PF legislator said.
Political analyst Gideon Chitanga begged to differ with Mnangagwa’s camp, highlighting the fact that results from the weekend poll showed how just unpopular their man has become in the ruling party.
‘Despite what his loyalists are saying the results from the provincial elections were a knock-out blow for Mnangagwa. He has become unpopular in his own party just as he is in the opposition and Civil Society Organisations,’ Chitanga said.
The weekend polls were characterized by violence and so many allegations of vote rigging that even the state media criticized the conduct of the internal elections.
An article in the Herald said the elections also raised serious questions about the concept of internal democracy in the revolutionary party.
‘ZANU-PF’s provincial elections held at the weekend in the remaining seven provinces were a classic story of the good, the bad and the ugly.
‘The initial elections in Manicaland, Mashonaland and Midlands early last month were characterised by massive logistical challenges and reports of vote rigging, among other irregularities. Last weekend’s elections followed more or less the same script, all amid hype about alleged factions and succession race in ZANU-PF,’ the paper reported.