Geneva: Zimbabwe Vice President and Justice Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa has opened up on Mugabe succession matrix making it clear that he, like his boss and everyone else in Zanu PF, does not know who will take over from the 93-year-old leader.
Mnangagwa said that Mugabe also does not know the next leader as he does not have power to groom or appoint his successor as the Zanu-PF constitution is clear that aspirants for the post undergo electoral processes at Congress.
This could be seen as a smack in the face of a rival G40 faction that whose supporters believe that Mugabe is about to appoint his wife as the party’s President.
The VP went further saying those seeking to throw the succession issue into the debating arena should “relax” as there was no known successor at the moment.
VP Mnangagwa, who rarely speaks on the subject, opened up in Switzerland at a dinner hosted in his honour by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to United Nations and World Trade Organisation, Mr Taonga Mushayavanhu.
He also said that the party’s next leader will be elected at Congress;
“Then there is the question of succession. Our succession in Zanu-PF, whoever becomes President of Zanu-PF does so at Congress of Zanu-PF.
“The President does not groom anybody or appoint anybody as President, no. We go for Congress, the two Vice Presidents are the only people who are not elected. We serve at the pleasure of the President,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa dismissed rumours that a new face other than Mugabe will stand for the party in the next elections because Zanu-PF provinces have already passed a resolution at last year’s 16th Annual People’s Conference in Masvingo endorsing President Mugabe as its 2018 Presidential candidate.
However, some war veterans have been trying to stoke succession fires in Zanu-PF ahead of the 2018 elections, asking VP Mnangagwa to takeover from Mugabe.
On the other hand, some party officials including First Lady Grace Mugabe and her supporters accuse VP Mnangagwa of harbouring Presidential ambitions.