MOSES MATENGA/ANESU MASAMVU
ZANU PF has rubbished claims of a spat between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga that critics claimed was set to deeply divide the ruling party ahead of congress that ended without incident last week.
There was talk prior to the congress that Chiwenga was to challenge Mnangagwa for the top post but however, the former military boss was the first to endorse and announce the decision to have the President as the party First Secretary and sole candidate ahead of the 2023 elections.
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said reports of fissures in the cockpit were misplaced and were shamed by the show of unity exhibited at the party congress.
“For people to think that they can come in and divide Zanu PF to the glee of the Americans or the British or some western powers is daydreaming,” Mutsvangwa told Business Times.
“We know each other and I remind people out of every five people who went to war, only two returned. We bond and we know each other so these divisions within Zanu PF, maybe somebody may think he knows Zanu PF better than us but we know each other.”
“What happened at the congress shows that the glue that makes us stick together as Zanu PF is much stronger and you cannot do anything about it,” he said.
Mutsvangwa said the congress outcome was a message even to internal opposition within the ruling party.
“This is a resounding message first to the internal opposition which was thinking they could be internal divisions in Zanu PF and thought they would try to align with one party and try to form a Government of National Unity,” the Zanu PF spokesperson said.
Mutsvangwa said the party has resorted to war veterans after a red flag on impending danger was raised by the party’s security department.
He said the war veterans are known to step in when the party is faced with danger and the incorporation of the former freedom fighters into the party structures was to thwart any potential danger.
He, however, denied that the war veterans, who have been accused of unleashing violence by the opposition, were roped in to cause terror ahead of the 2023 elections.
“They were not part of the mainstream of the party for the last 40 years. It is precisely because of the danger which is being pointed out by our security department that we thought it timely to have a structure of the war veterans league,” Mutsvangwa said.
“These are master organisers, these are the people who masterminded the victory against Rhodesians. These are the people who are going to be the backbone of imparting unity.”
The Zanu PF security department in its Central Committee report warned that the party will lose elections if internal contradictions emanating from the restructuring exercises were not addressed.