THE Generation 40 (G40) faction of Zanu PF, which has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe, has intensified its efforts to derail Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendency to the presidency by launching yet another spirited attack on the beleaguered VP to decimate his support base as the succession battle to replace President Robert Mugabe rages on.
Party insiders revealed the G40 faction is using a two-pronged approach to derail Mnangagwa — pushing for expulsions of his backers from Zanu PF structures as well as targetting those perceived to be his allies in state institutions.
This comes against the backdrop of the expulsion of four leaders of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association from Zanu PF this week for allegedly insulting Mugabe. The four, Victor Matemadanda (secretary-general), Douglas Mahiya (spokesperson), Francis Nhando (political commissar) and Headman Moyo (vice-chairperson) were expelled on Wednesday by the Zanu PF politburo together with five party members, including former deputy minister Munacho Mutezo.
They join ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa who was expelled from the party last month.
“The strategy is to isolate Mnangagwa by expelling those who are loyal to him,” a Zanu PF official said adding: “Zanu PF and Mugabe cannot afford to do without Mnangagwa at the moment because this will weaken the party ahead of 2018 elections given that the expulsion of (ex-VP Joice) Mujuru and her allies had a heavy toll on the party.”
The official added: “The strategy also involves pushing out his symphathisers in state institutions, like the army. The idea is to retain him in the position, but without the key support that he enjoys. This means dealing with his support structure at both party and government levels.”
As part of the grand plan the G40 camp intends to descend on provincial officials supporting Mnangagwa, especially in Midlands and Masvingo.
The G40 faction has for a while been targeting Mnangagwa’s right hand man July Moyo, who is also the Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration.
Also in the firing line are Midlands provincial members such as Justice Mayor Wadyajena (youth secretary for administration and Owen Mudha Ncube (secretary for security) whose disciplinary cases are still to be heard by the national disciplinary committee.
Mnangagwa’s key pillars in state institutions are also being targetted.
For months, Mugabe has been contemplating firing Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga, widely seen as a vital cog in Mnangagwa’s plans.
Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, a key Mnangagwa ally, is under suspension and is likely to get fired. Another Mnangagwa ally Munyaradzi Kereke has been jailed for rape for 10 years.