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Mnangagwa's 2030 plot faces fierce Zanu-PF resistance

by Staff reporter
12 Jun 2024 at 02:54hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's loud campaign for support to hang on to power beyond 2028 when his final term ends has drawn fierce resistance from a Zanu-PF faction loyal to his deputy Constantino Chiwenga with the infighting now even manifesting in the ruling party's events, it has been established.

Mnangagwa was early this year forced to publicly declare that he will not change the constitution to scrap the presidential term limits so that he can contest the 2028 elections.

The 81-year-old ruler's loyalists then started the ‘2030 Mnangagwa will still be president' campaign. Mnangagwa has also started chanting the same slogan at public events.

Indications are that the Zanu-PF faction loyal to Mnangagwa has started engagements with the fractured opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to delink the presidential and legislative elections.

According to those familiar with the plot, the move will see presidential elections being held in 2030 and that will give Mnangagwa two more years in power.

A Zanu-PF politburo member disclosed to The Standard that the idea was a hard sell even within the ruling party as Chiwenga's loyalists were actively challenging it.

He revealed that the ruling party had to move a February 21 youth event from Manicaland to Masvingo following intelligence that there would be clashes over the new slogan.

It was at the Masvingo event where the "2030 Mnangagwa will still be in office" slogan was chanted in public for the first time by top Zanu-PF officials, including Vice President Kembo Mohadi.

The senior official said the slogan was a response to a stillborn slogan "2024 Chiwenga in office," which was now gaining traction.

"That 2030 VaMnangagwa muoffice has nothing to do with the opposition," the Zanu-PF official said.

"No. Its communication within the party (Zanu-PF) and key players of the game understand the language... very well.

"The 2030 VaMnangagwa muoffice is a counter to 2024 Chiwenga muoffice slogan.

He added: "The Youth Day celebrations were scheduled to be held in Manicaland, but were suddenly moved to Masvingo.

"The reason was, it had been established that the Chiwenga camp had organised youth, who were scheduled to boo and heckle Mnangagwa while he was addressing the gathering.

"It was an undercover plot. Not a one day plot...

"It had been orchestrated since last year, after the elections together with some big people in the party, but (Mnangagwa's) intelligence picked it up early, at the last minute."

The youth were allegedly drawn from Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces, which are regarded as Chiwenga's strongholds.

Youth leader Tino Machakaire, who is also the Youth Empowerment and Development minister, hails from Mashonaland East. Chiwenga comes from Mashonaland East.

"To counter that Mnangagwa also organised youth in his stronghold and home province in response to Chiwenga to say that he would be still in office untill 2030," said the politburo member.

"Did Chiwenga attend the gathering? No. He went out of the country, to Russia, because he knew he had been exposed."

The official said several Zanu-PF bigwigs, including ministers were part of the plot.

"They had strategically chosen February 21 (Mugabe's birthday) so that it would appear as if Mugabe was turning in his grave," he added

"They said on 21 February chipoko chaMugabe chichamuka. (Mugabe's ghost will haunt them).

"The president knows the people, who were in the plot.

"And those who were in the plot also know that he knows about them.

"That is why you see some are now trying to run with the slogan- there is a stampede to chant the slogan, to exonerate themselves, but it is too late."

Last month, Zanu-PF suspended its deputy secretary for Danmore Mambondiyani, for refusing to chant the "2030 Mnangagwa will still be in office slogan."

Officially, Mambondiayani was suspended for allegedly taking a bag full of money to a national youth executive meeting where he gave Zanu secretary for youth affairs John Paradza and Machakaire US$200 and US$100 respectively.

The money was allegedly meant to bribe the two.

Zanu-PF insiders said Mambondiyani was being punished for refusing to chant the controversial slogan at a youth meeting on May 9.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and the party's director of information Farai Marapira were not picking calls yesterday when attempts were made to get their comments on the worsening infighting.

Source - the standard