By-Zanu PF President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared that he will be in power beyond 2023.
Mnangagwa made this declaration during a ground-breaking ceremony of a planned Cyber City project in Mt Hampden just outside Harare Wednesday.
Mnangagwa said: “The people who are here, you are the first to see this vision. Each one of you must pray to see this vision coming to fruition. As for me, I know I will be there until the project is finished and overseeing that everything is running smoothly. I will be in charge.”
The first phase of the cyber city, which will include cyber technology offices, shopping malls and construction of the tallest tower in Africa called the Mulk Tower as well as other recreational facilities, are expected to be completed in the next two years.
“This will be a new city, the city of government will be built here. We already have the new Parliament. The Supreme Court and the High Court will also be here and even the President’s offices will be built here together with ministerial offices,” Mnangagwa added.
However, his claim that he would be in office beyond 2023 was viewed as aimed at quashing rumours of discontent in his ruling Zanu PF party over his reported refusal to hand over power to Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga in line with an agreement allegedly made in the wake of the 2017 coup that ushered him into power.
Mnangagwa’s remarks came days after some key former Zanu PF members claimed that he had violated tenets of the 2017 coup agreement stating that he would only serve for one term and pave way for Chiwenga.
Immediately after his speech, a group calling itself Men BelievED started chanting that the President would be in office after the 2023 elections.
Mnangagwa has also been facing growing pressure from ordinary Zimbabweans over the dire state of the economy which has driven many into abject poverty.
Civil servants are mulling a strike soon in protest over poor salaries.
Former Zanu PF youth leader Jim Kunaka, who is infamously known for leading a Mbare-based violent militia called Chipangano, claimed at a Press conference last week that Mnangagwa was reneging on the 2017 coup agreement.
“If they had agreed with Chiwenga that he would give him five years to rule, what prompted him to change today, that he refuses to give him a chance? There is no need to go for congress,” Kunaka, who now represents the Zanu PF Original, told journalists.
“He (Mnangagwa) must honour what he agreed with Chiwenga that he would rule for a single term. He has already created parallel structures — Varakashi, Young Women for ED, Men BelievED … Those are now people who are loyal to him and not the organisation itself,” Kunaka added.
Another former Zanu PF leader Godfrey Tsenengamu also warned that Mnangagwa was going to lose the 2023 elections.
“You are going nowhere. If we reach 2023 and if you are a candidate, you won’t win. The only thing you can do is make amends with some people,” he said.