Takunda Maodza in Geneva, Switzerland
PRESIDENT Mugabe does not groom or appoint his successor as the Zanu-PF constitution is clear that aspirants for the post undergo electoral processes at Congress, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He added that Vice-Presidents served at the pleasure of President Mugabe who can appoint and fire them as he sees fit.
The VP went further saying those seeking to throw the succession issue into the debating arena should “relax” as there was no succession headache in Zanu-PF. VP Mnangagwa, who rarely speaks on the subject, opened up here at a dinner hosted in his honour by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to United Nations and World Trade Organisation, Mr Taonga Mushayavanhu.
“On politics, we are going for elections in 2018 in terms of our constitution, not constitution of other political parties, no,” he said.
“In terms of our constitution as Zanu-PF, the candidate of our elections as Zanu-PF is the one who was elected as President of the party at the last Congress. So our President whom we elected at the last congress is President Mugabe and each year we have endorsed him as our candidate. Am I clear? So that is not a problem,” he said.
“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, vanoda kuda murefu, mupfupi kana wakafuta kana wakadii, unosimudza ruoko ndavakudawo kuita President womira uko…Toita secret ballot zvedu, ndipo panobuda President of the party paCongress,” said VP Mnangagwa.
VP Mnangagwa further clarified the matter adding that: “The two Vice-Presidents are the only people who are not elected. We serve at the pleasure of the President. Anytime vakamuka vakafunga zvavo – get away, you go. Asi kana uri member ye branch you are elected into a branch and une period yako mubranch.
“If elected kupinda muProvince, une period yako. Kana iri Central Committee you are elected haungopindi. You have the mandate of the electorate kupinda muCentral Committee. Only two people vanongonzi uyo nanhingi ndoda vaite ma vice angu. We are not elected, we are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the President, in the same manner Politburo.
Politburo is not elected vanongogara pasi President voti nhinhi na nhingi. With Cabinet, you must be elected to Parliament first as MP or senator.
“From that President then chooses his team for his Cabinet. That is where he can hire and fire, hire and fire because you are not elected to be Minister of Justice, Minister of Foreign Affairs, you are appointed to be that minister and so President hires and fires in that area. Those things must be clear. ”
Zanu-PF provinces 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. On the other hand, some party officials accuse VP Mnangagwa of harbouring Presidential ambitions. This is despite the fact that VP Mnangagwa has never declared an interest in succeeding President Mugabe ever since the discourse on the subject was generated.