PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s power base remains shaky as remnants of the G40 faction are causing headaches internally for the Zanu PF leader ahead of make-or-break general elections slated for July 30.
BY KUDZAI KUWAZA
The G40 faction is a grouping within Zanu PF which had coalesced around former first lady Grace Mugabe and had succeeded in its aim to get Mnangagwa fired as then vice-president as factional fights to replace the then former president Robert Mugabe escalated.
This was before Mnangagwa swept into power on the back of a military coup which resulted in Mugabe’s ouster in November last year. It also resulted in key G40 members Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere fleeing to exile. Kasukuwere has since returned to the country. However, sources said that despite having won the war with the G40 leadership, the battle is far from over, as elements of the G40 faction remain entrenched in the rank and file of the party.
“The trouble is that there are G40 cells which remain in the party, creating problems for Mnangagwa,” an insider said.
“It has also set up a power interplay between the civilian and military wing of the party. There are fears that some G40 elements will win parliamentary seats and gang up with military kingmakers and the opposition to oust Mnangagwa through impeachment.”
This, they said, explains Mnangagwa’s remarks last week when he said he was aware of a plot to impeach him after elections. “I got intelligence that some of those who have won these primary elections have two minds,” Mnangagwa said.
“They have gone to join the Zanu PF wagon using various tricks, money included, to be elected with a possible view that once in Parliament, they will band together and move a motion of impeachment.”
Mnangagwa threatened to clamp down on the alleged conspirators. “There are two things I would want you to know. First, you must realise that the constitution provides the basis of impeachment and such basis must be fulfilled before impeachment proceedings begin. Secondly, our constitution provides a tool, an instrument to chuck out from parliament any member, who we think is not Zanu PF anymore,” he said.
Mnangagwa came to power last November after the army took over and eventually forced Mugabe to stepdown just before Parliament moved in to impeach him.
Sources revealed that the rift with Mugabe continues to be a source of political tensions to the extent Mnangagwa invited Equatorial Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to mediate. Nguema was in the country a fortnight ago. However, the efforts of Nguema, who met both Mnangagwa and Mugabe, failed to bear fruit.
On Tuesday, the National Patriotic Front, which is linked to Mugabe, effectively endorsed MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa during a protest march by the opposition coalition to demand electoral reforms and free and fair elections.