via Big blow for Mnangagwa – DailyNews Live 16 November 2015
HARARE – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp suffered another devastating blow at the weekend after the Midlands godfather’s bitter ruling party rivals known as the Generation 40 (G40) swept the board in the warring post-congress Zanu PF’s key Harare district elections.
This latest dose of bad news for Team Lacoste followed another deadly body blow to the VP’s camp, also at the weekend, when the women’s league in Mashonaland West openly demanded the return of a women’s quota system in Zanu PF — a clear indication that they want First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from Mnangagwa as party vice president as soon as possible.
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that G40-aligned candidates had taken at least three quarters of the contested posts in the influential Harare district, a development that one of the sources described as “a very bad omen” for Mnangagwa’s assumed bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
Party insiders say the G40 are rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding the increasingly frail nonagenarian, and that the ambitious Young Turks are backing Grace to take over from her husband.
Zanu PF Harare province political commissar, Shadreck Mashayamombe — who is linked to the G40 — confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that the capital city’s district elections had taken place, but claimed that “those who deserved to win were elected resoundingly”.
He also flatly refused to say whether Mnangagwa’s supporters had been trounced in the elections, preferring to say that “as far as I’m concerned, there is one Zanu PF in Zimbabwe which supports President Mugabe”.
But the reliable sources who spoke to the Daily News were emphatic that Harare province was now dominated by the G40.
They also revealed that the province would soon openly support the resolution by the Mashonaland West women’s league, that the ruling party returns the women’s quota system at next month’s increasingly important Zanu PF conference to be held in Victoria Falls.
“The G40 has won over 250 districts out of approximately 300 districts in Harare, which means that the G40 is now in control of Harare,” one of the sources told the Daily News.
“Harare province is also going to demand the return of a women’s quota system. We were supposed to have our conference as a province on Saturday but we are still strategising.
“We heard that in Mashonaland West they have already demanded the return of the women’s quota system and we are going to do the same. I tell you, we want to deal with Ngwena (Mnangagwa) at the conference,” the source added.
The Daily News’ sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday, reported exclusively yesterday that Grace’s presumed ambitions to elbow out Mnangagwa in the post-congress Zanu PF’s bitter war to succeed Mugabe had got a massive boost on Saturday.
This followed the ruling party’s women’s league in Mashonaland West province openly demanding the return of the women’s quota system in the Zanu PF constitution, a clear statement that they want the first lady to take over from Mnangagwa as party vice president.
Mnangagwa, who has since late last year been heavily tipped to take over from Mugabe, was derailed by the same policy in 2004 when the women’s league again pushed for the elevation of former Vice President Joice Mujuru to be one of the nonagenarian’s deputies.
Sources who attended the women’s league meeting and spoke to the Daily News on Sunday afterwards said there was “unanimous agreement” on the need for a woman to be in the party’s presidium — a move that confirmed what the Daily News accurately reported about last week.
“Provincial members, central committee members, national executive members and politburo members, including Senate president Edna Madzongwe, were among the more than 300 members of the women’s league who demanded a return to the quota system.
“This means that Amai is our candidate to occupy the VP post. It was also recommended that the youth leader, Vengai Musengi, be relieved of his duties on allegations that he was campaigning for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” the impeccable source said.
Under this arrangement, the women — together with the G40 — will push for the party to revert to its old constitution at next month’s Victoria Falls conference, so that among the party’s top three leaders “one shall be a woman”.
If this proposal is adopted, it will put paid to Mnangagwa’s long mooted ambition to succeed Mugabe.
To add to Mnangagwa’s woes, the Harare youth provincial executive has also moved to endorse Mugabe as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 national elections, while “decidedly refusing” to name the VP as the nonagenarian’s deputy — leaving the man known as Ngwena (Crocodile) in limbo.
Sources also say all of Zanu PF’s provinces, except for Masvingo and Midlands, are pushing for Grace to become vice president as exclusively revealed by the Daily News last week.
Meanwhile, senior Zanu PF official and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao has called upon party followers to shun factionalism and rally behind Mugabe as the party prepares for next month’s conference in Victoria Falls.
“Today, as we meet for the provincial conference it becomes necessary that we, as the leadership of Zanu PF Mashonaland West province, reaffirm our unwavering support, loyalty and allegiance to His Excellency President RG Mugabe.
“This is particularly important in the light of attempts by successionists to propagate narratives that seek to suggest that President Mugabe should announce a successor when he has not even completed half of his term.
“Such successionists seek to hijack and steal President Mugabe’s mandate perhaps because of the realisation that their succession candidates are unelectable,” Zhuwao said.
“Mashonaland West province has always been the target of succession plots, starting before the 2004 Congress with the pre-Tsholotsho gatherings in Zvimba, and more recent attempts by the disgraced former provincial chair.
“As a province, we must remain vigilant that our province is not used to undermine President Mugabe through such strategies as attacks on the first lady, questioning the President’s decision-making capacities by attacking his appointments, and such fiascos as the occurrence at the official opening of Parliament.
“It is necessary and important that all appointed officials in government and the politburo are reminded that they were appointed to assist the president and as such they must remain loyal and distance themselves from successionist narratives.
“Failure to do so confirms disloyalty to the One Centre of Power, President Mugabe,” Zhuwao added.