AN ally of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has placed First Lady Grace Mugabe among those with the most realistic chances of succeeding President Robert Mugabe.
Terrence Mukupe, Zanu PF MP for Harare East, posted on his Facebook page that the next President would emerge from among Grace, Mnangagwa, former central bank governor Gideon Gono and cabinet ministers Sydney Sekeramayi and Saviour Kasukuwere.
But the outspoken legislator may have misfired by linking Zimbabwe's 93-year-old leader and those angling to succeed him, to a "cult" phenomenon that threatens the country's future.
"If there is one thing I'm sure of is that the person that is going to succeed my President RG Mugabe when he decides it's time is definitely going to come from one of the individuals in the collage below," Mukupe said while referring to a collage in which Grace's picture was the largest.
"As I look at how our party, Zanu PF, has transformed itself over the years and has come up with the one centre of power philosophy, it's clear that we have become a party that is centred on individuals."
Zanu PF is currently torn among factions with the most distinct ones being Mnangagwa's so-called Team Lacoste on one hand and another, G40, powered by cabinet ministers Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo but thought to be using Grace as a front.
However, Grace is seen as having developed her own ambitions to become leader but has given conflicting messages about her perceived presidential ambitions.
President Mugabe last month said none of his current lieutenants were presidential material but reserved glowing praise for his wife, a political novice he said has matured into a seasoned politician while being party women's league secretary.
But in the eyes of Mukupe, all these were cults which did not bring any value to the country's attempts to find a leader with the country at heart.
"When one looks at the so called factional fights within Zanu PF, I do find it interesting that there is so much focus on nhingi should be the next President. What I'm failing to hear is what that Presidential aspirant has to offer to the people of Zimbabwe.
"What I find interesting is that this phenomenon is not confined to Zanu PF, it also holds true for the MDC, ZAPU and other political parties. It's a cult like following.
"My hope and dream is that we as the people of Zimbabwe start looking objectively at what the individual that is looking to lead has to offer to the future well-being of our country.
"Pasi nema cults!!!"