By Anna Chibamu
SYDNEY Sekeramayi, once seen as de facto G40 choice for then President Robert Mugabe’s successor, weekend assured President Emmerson Mnangagwa of his support for the coming elections.
Until the latter stages of President Mugabe’s rule, the former Defence Minister was viewed as a dark horse within Zanu PF’s succession fights but seemed to lack courage to express his desires for the top job. Only then first lady, Grace did – with as much gusto.
But when it all seemed Zanu PF power brokers were not keen on a successor with no liberation war credentials, Sekeramayi’s name was thrown into the ring by exiled G40 kingpin Jonathan Moyo.
Sekeramayi fought the liberation war and his stature seemed to balance out that of Mnangagwa.
The former cabinet minister did little to distance himself from that.
Infact, he seemed to enjoy the moment as Grace pressured Mugabe to name his successor, who was widely thought to be the Mashonaland East strongman.
The November coup which ousted Mugabe threw the G40 grand plan into disarray and left Sekeramayi with the huge burden of extricating himself from the mess.
But while he failed to do that at the time, he did so much during President Mnangagwa’s Marondera rally where he was asked to give some closing remarks.
Sekeramayi seized the moment to rally support behind Mnangagwa and his band of Team Lacoste candidates.
“Let us vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Let us be united, work together in peace and support our leadership in the 30 July elections,” he said.
“I want to assure you; Your Excellency, we will support all party candidates vying for positions in the party in this election. We will vote for all of them. You must trust this province.”
He added, “President, you have informed us that in this new dispensation, Zimbabwe must now prosper. We know you always fulfil your promises. There will be no bank queues after 30 July.
“On this day, the province will vote Zanu PF into power.”
In his cabinet appointments soon after elbowing Mugabe out November last year, Mnangagwa dropped Sekeramayi as Defence Minister, giving his portfolio to current VP Constantino Chiwenga.
When the Zanu PF succession battles were at their peak last year, Sekeramayi denounced war veterans national chair, Christopher Mutsvangwa and his band of followers who defiantly rallied support behind a Mnangagwa take-over as President.
At a youth interface rally presided over by Mugabe in Bindura same year, Sekeramayi urged Zanu PF supporters and war vets in particular to ignore the mainstream war veterans group in preference of a splinter group which was loyal to G40.