G40 goes for the kill

via G40 goes for the kill – DailyNews Live Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Allies of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial wife Grace are ratcheting up their efforts to “checkmate” Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidential aspirations at the post-congress Zanu PF’s annual conference to be held in Victoria Falls next month.

Well-placed sources linked to the ruling party’s ambitious Young Turks, known as the Generation 40 (G40) — and who are rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa and are rallying behind Grace as the race to succeed Mugabe hots up — told the Daily News yesterday that the embattled VP would face his Waterloo at the increasingly-important Victoria Falls gathering.

“Everyone agrees that it is now time to end all these misguided plots by successionists (G40 code for Mnangagwa camp) that the president plans to retire soon and that their man will finally be king.

“We will end all this silly excitement once and for all in Victoria Falls, as it will be checkmate time. Just keep watching this space,” one of the sources, a senior Zanu PF official, declared boldly without giving details.

But further investigations by the Daily News showed that just like the VP’s allies are hoping will happen, the G40 faction is also hedging its bets on the Victoria Falls gathering becoming an elective conference.

This would see constitutional changes catapulting Grace to the party’s vice presidency using Zanu PF’s abandoned women’s quota system — which would in turn see Mnangagwa relegated to a lower position, possibly that of party chairperson which was dropped last year.

Under this scheme, the G40 would push for Zanu PF to revert to its old constitution, under whose Article 7 (31) it declared that four members of the party’s central committee were supposed to be a president and first secretary, two vice presidents and second secretaries — “one of whom shall be a woman” — and a national chairperson.

“We will be pushing to see to it that Dr Amai Grace is nominated to the vice presidency post, while Comrade Mnangagwa may become the chairperson, which currently alternates between him and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko,” a confident women’s league official said, arguing that the old party constitution was “in line with the Unity Accord” which was agreed by Mugabe and the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo in 1987.

“VP Mphoko should keep his post by virtue of being the Zapu representative, which will mean that Comrade Mnangagwa has to be accommodated somewhere else,” she said.

Last year, the Zanu PF politburo gave Mugabe unfettered powers, to among other things appoint his two vice presidents — in a move that was seen as designed to ensure that former Vice President Joice Mujuru did not have “a snowball’s chance in hell” to be re-elected in her then position.

The Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday reported at the weekend that with Mugabe looking increasingly frail due to advanced age and failing health, there were moves within the warring post-congress Zanu PF to push the long-ruling nonagenarian to announce his retirement and anoint a successor at the party’s conference next month.

Well-placed sources told the weekly that allies of Mnangagwa were sensing that they had “weathered the political storm” that had surrounded the embattled VP over the past few months, and that they now needed to move with speed to press home their advantage.

“Ngwena’s (Mnangagwa) allies think that the worst is over and that the tide is beginning to turn against the VP’s real enemies, the G40, who have been trying to set him up against Amai (Grace).

“This is why some of them see the party’s annual conference in Victoria Falls next month as a possible opportunity to press their advantage and encourage the president (Mugabe) to not just announce his retirement roadmap there, but also to actually anoint his successor,” one of the sources said.

This comes as the warring ruling party is awash with talk about the possibility of Mugabe relinquishing power before the end of his current term, which ends in 2018 — amid a counter push by the G40 and other Grace supporters that the first lady should take over in that unlikely event.

A Zanu PF bigwig seen as aligned to Mnangagwa’s camp said it would be “a good thing” if Mugabe indicated now when he would retire and who would take over from him.

“This will bring normalcy back to the party, and by extension to the country, and we desperately need such stability. As we all know, even investors are reluctant to invest in the country because of the infighting and policy inconsistencies that are now the order of the day as a result,” he said.

He also suggested that Mnangagwa’s supporters, in pushing for this, wanted to take advantage of amendments to the Zanu PF constitution that made it possible for the party’s national conference to become an elective gathering.

But a rabid opponent of a Mnangagwa presidency said such “manoeuvring would come to naught”.

Political analysts who were canvassed by the Daily News on Sunday on the matter also seemed to think that this “final push” would come to nothing given the history of the party.

Prominent academic, Ibbo Mandaza, said while the ruling party’s constitution now allowed its annual conference to be elective, it would be difficult for the Mnangagwa camp to have its way as Mugabe was more inclined to the G40 camp that is associated with Grace, than with the VP’s faction.

“While such an amendment was adopted by congress, it is not explicit in the final document and even if it were, the elections will only be a formality because they will all endorse Mugabe, especially with the G40 or Grace or both as the dominant force in the party presently,” Mandaza said.

He added that with the one centre of power mantra currently dominating the discourse in Zanu PF, Mugabe had become even more determined “to die in office”.

“It would be day-dreaming for anyone to think that the old man will hand over power. Bob will die in office and someone actually said recently that his physical presence was not necessary anymore, and that he can rule from the wheelchair.

“That explains why with confidence, the first lady can stand in front of people and speak like she is the president,” he said.

Another Zanu PF bigwig closely associated with the G40 also said among the things party members would ask for at the December conference was for a female representative in the presidium.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar
    mandevu 7 years ago

    who cares? All you are trying to do is create the impression that we have a vibrant democratic political system and taking attention away from the fact that ALL of you are thieves and murderers. So watch out, your time in prison is not far off and it wont be pleasant

  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 7 years ago

    Controversial.
    Some like it some do not. A passive aggressive adjective for a political person.

    Well-placed sources.
    I made this up. A story line condiment introduced by the journalist.

    Rabidly.
    With more passion than sense.

    Embattled.
    You are disagreed with. A passive aggressive adjective meaning ‘you’re a looser” (for now in case the tables are turned).

    Seen as.
    By me but I cannot quote myself in my own story. Another condiment aimed at adding weight to the view expressed.