PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has confirmed that there is a plot from within the ruling Zanu-PF party to unseat him, but dared his detractors to dream on.
Addressing a Midlands provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Gweru on Saturday, Mnangagwa said he was aware that some members from his faction-torn party were burning the midnight oil plotting to dethrone him, but warned that their machinations would be crushed as he was firmly in control of both the ruling party and government.
“Go on and mislead each other. You can even ask your wife to chant your slogan say-ing forward with my husband. But when you go out of the house, you begin to say forward with Zanu-PF, forward with central committee of Zanu PE Forget about those ambitions,” said Mnangagwa, who rose to power after toppling his long time boss, the late Robert Mugabe, through a 2017 military coup.
This came amid reports that a faction within the ruling party was plotting to replace him with his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga.
Chiwenga has, however, denied harbouring ambitions to topple his principal. The startling revelations by Mnangagwa came barely a week after exiled former Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted that some Zanu-PF top officials secretly met in Harare to plot his ouster.
Mnangagwa’s government is facing a lot of challenges that include a deepening economic and political crisis that has forced South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to dispatch two sets of African National Congress envoys to Harare within a month to try to douse the flames.
But Zanu-PF has insisted that the country is not in a crisis.
In his Saturday address, the Zanu-PF leader urged party commissar Victor Matemadanda to publicly chastise party members harbouring ambitions to take over power from him. “Commissar, tell people that if you dream being leader of the country, you have had a nightmare,” Mnangagwa said.
“As soon as you wake up, brew some traditional beer and pay rites to your ancestors. Tell your ancestors that you have had a bad omen and ask them why they allow such bad dreams in your life.
“We got this teaching (of not plotting against a sitting leader) from (the late Zanla commander Josiah Magama Tongagara) Tongo long back, but we have not forgotten it.
“Zanu-PF should never, never shy away from doing that which is in the interest of the majority. We must never be swayed by individuals who pursue personal or sectional interests,” he added.
“We must know that the strength of the party is in the mobilisation of masses. The power of the party is in the people, not in Mnangagwa, not in the commissar. The power of the chairman is in the people. If people tell him to go, can he refuse?” Mnangagwa asked rhetorically.
“As a revolutionary party, we should never deviate from our revolutionary past. The revolution is our DNA … Do not let go your membership of Zanu-PF when it is night then claim it is during daylight.”