Mnangagwa Fires Grace Mugabe’s Brother To Consolidate Power Beyond 2028
23 May 2024
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By A Correspondent| President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s apparent demotion of Zanu PF commissar Mike Bimha to a regular politburo member has sparked speculation about a broader strategy to consolidate his power beyond 2028, sources claim.

On Monday evening, ruling party secretary-general Obert Mpofu announced the appointment of Munyaradzi Machacha, previously the principal at the Chitepo School of Ideology, as the new commissar. Additionally, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda swapped roles with Patrick Chinamasa, who moved from treasurer general to secretary for legal affairs.

Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and party information director Farai Marapira were unavailable for comment on the sudden reshuffling of the party’s top decision-making body.

Insiders suggest that Bimha was surprised by the move, learning of his new status only through the press statement. Some sources allege that Bimha fell out of favor with the President due to perceived shortcomings in his mobilization efforts and criticism of Mnangagwa’s political ambitions. Bimha’s alleged failure to organize Thank You rallies after the 2023 elections, which were viewed as crucial for consolidating Mnangagwa’s power beyond 2028, also contributed to his purported demotion.

Mudenda’s reported promotion may be tied to his rapid facilitation of the recall of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators, aiding Zanu PF in securing a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Chinamasa’s new role is speculated to involve drafting legislation aimed at extending Mnangagwa’s tenure beyond 2028. However, constitutional constraints pose a challenge, as Section 91(2) prohibits an incumbent president from seeking a third term.

Exiled former minister Walter Mzembi suggested that Mnangagwa’s reshuffle reflects his agenda for 2030. Reports also indicate that Zanu PF has been engaging in discussions with the CCC, led by Welshman Ncube, as part of Mnangagwa’s broader strategy.

Human rights advocate Aaron Hamauswa warned against amending the constitution to benefit the incumbent, emphasizing the threat such actions pose to democracy and the rule of law.

Since assuming power in 2017, Mnangagwa has frequently reshuffled his political commissars, highlighting the strategic importance of these positions in his administration’s plans.