JUSTICE minister Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday consolidated his grip on parliament after Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, wife of his key ally deputy Foreign Affairs minister Chris Mutsvangwa, was elected chairperson of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.
This comes after Mnangagwa’s arch-rival Vice-President Joice Mujuru took control of cabinet as her close allies were appointed to powerful portfolios, with Mnangagwa’s camp getting only two key ministries — Finance that went to Patrick Chinamasa and Justice to himself.
Mutsvangwa romped to victory after garnering 46 to 23 votes against Information Technology Communication minister Webster Shamu’s wife, Constance, in polls conducted at Zanu PF headquarters after failure to get a consensus candidate between the warring factions.
Shamu is aligned to the Mujuru group.
Mnangagwa’s camp initially took control of the National Assembly against Mujuru as his close ally, former Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson Jacob Mudenda, landed the post of Speaker of Parliament, as the two factions step up their campaigns to succeed President Robert Mugabe reeling from old age and health complications.
Apart from Mudenda, another Mnangagwa ally Mable Chinomona was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly to consolidate Mnangagwa’s control of the House. Chinomona was nominated by another Mnangagwa ally, Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane, while Mudenda was nominated by Bubi MP Clifford Sibanda, also believed to be in Mnangagwa’s camp.
Zanu PF chief whip in the National Assembly Joram Gumbo is also a Mnangagwa ally, showing the former Defence minister has control of the National Assembly.