By Staff Reporter
A KEY member of the clique that planned and executed President Robert Mugabe’s ouster through a 2017 coup has said his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa will not cede power to deputy Constantino Chiwenga as was allegedly planned.
Godfrey Tsenengamu, who was eventually chased out of the ruling party following his continued pursuit of Mnangagwa benefactor Kudakwashe Tagwirei for corruption, told NewZimbabwe.com Sunday that Zanu PF members do not have the courage to stand up to him or demand his exit.
Tsenengamu, alongside Mnangagwa’s former advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa, then war veterans minister Victor Matemadanda and the military played a central role in installing Mnangagwa leader in 2017.
They openly challenged the then seemingly powerful Mugabe, galvanised support for Mnangagwa and sold Chiwenga as his deputy.
A hushed arrangement was allegedly agreed between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga, that would see him serve only one term before handing over power to the former army general.
“Mnangagwa’s own daughter Farirai made it clear he was going to serve one term. This means these conversations were had but we might not know where. However, I do not see Mnangagwa honouring such a promise,” said Tsenengamu.
“I do not think the people from Zanu PF have the guts to say this is what we want. Remember in 2017 they supported the ouster of Mnangagwa and, weeks later, supported his return and ouster of Mugabe.
“Unless there are people brave enough to raise their voices, this promise will not be honoured.”
Farirai is Mnangagwa’s third born daughter with wife, Auxillia.
Tsenengamu said Mnangagwa’s fate could be decided by unnamed kingmakers within the ruling party if he gets a mandate to remain leader at a congress due in October this year.
Added Tsenengamu: “What we cannot rule out is that Zanu PF has a lot of stakeholders and kingmakers, if nothing happens at the party’s congress set for this year, that will not mean nothing is going to happen, because anything can happen in Zanu PF.”
His sentiments come at a time analysts have likened ongoing Zanu PF factional fights to the pre-coup environment which was dominated by G40 and Lacoste faction fights.
Despite a public show of unity, both Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are said to be angling for leadership of the party in 2023, manipulating structures to ensure loyalists get powerful positions that determine the party’s top brass and silently fighting each other.
Recent outbursts by Susan Mutami, former youth league gun-for-hire Jim Kunaka and Sybeth Musengezi’s court appeal against Mnangagwa’s presidency have been cited by analysts as a sure sign all is not well in the cockpit.
Asked to comment on sentiments that he was being used by Chiwenga to fight Mnangagwa, Tsenengamu said : “I think the problem these comrades have is that they are in denial of the fact that they failed to govern Zimbabwe and anyone who speaks against them is labeled to be either from a certain faction or sponsored by the West. It is a sad scenario.
“These guys started governing in their early 20s, I am in my 40s. Why should they think people like me are being sent?
“Instead of running away from the truth, they should attend to their issues.”