Zimbabwe’s main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is seemingly banking on the alleged succession conflict between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga for it to grab power.
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi on Tuesday made sensational claims that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are engaged in a succession dispute in which the former allegedly wants to extend his presidential term limit.
Mkwananzi further insinuated that Chiwenga and his alleged faction from Zanu-PF structures and the military want to block Mnangagwa’s move.
This, according to the prominent activist, “threatens to splinter the liberation movement into irreconcilable and irreparable pieces”.
At this point, Mkwananzi said, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa will emerge to unite the nation.
“An implosion is pending in Zanu-PF. On the one hand, there is Mnangagwa and his extrajudicial groupings such as FAZ, Lacoste and close family, friends and kinsmen.
“On the other hand there is the General and his groupings namely the military, Zanu-PF structures and others. The battle is centred around ensuring that: Mnangagwa doesn’t get a 3rd term
“That if he leaves office as he is now due to, he doesn’t impose a successor but give way to his Deputy Chiwenga,” Mkwananzi said.
He added: “Both leaders are under immense pressure from their supporters and kinsmen. Chiwenga realises he made a mistake by handing power to Mnangagwa while Mnangagwa sees an opportunity to extend his rule or at least retain the throne among his kinsmen.
“The ethnical dynamic threatens to splinter the liberation movement into irreconcilable and irreparable pieces.
“In the midst of this melee, President Nelson Chamisa remains patient, focused and the only standing national leader that will unite the nation beyond enthical or any other divisionist considerations.”
But investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono told Mkwananzi that he was now dancing in Zanu-PF’s hands.
He added that this was the same propaganda that was fed to Chamisa before August 23 harmonised general elections.
“This is the propaganda that Zanu-PF and the system wants you to believe chief. The same propaganda that was fed to Nelson Chamisa and his advisors that the army was going to make sure that he will become President after August 23 if he wins.
“Don’t believe this counterintelligence propaganda Chief. It is meant to manage you into believing that something is about to happen so that you rest on your laurels,” Chin’ono said.
He added that when Mnangagwa assumed power in a military coup which ousted late former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017, the opposition was used and dumped in the process.
“We have heard these stories since we were kids, and when Zanu-PF had internal contradictions in 2017, it solved them using the opposition and dumped it,” he said.
Chamusa lost the 2023 presidential race with 44% against Mnangagwa’s 52,6%. The plebiscite was discredited by the international observers including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) due to irregularities.
SADC concluded the plebiscite fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.