15 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Faction Reaches Out to Dabengwa

Photo: New Zimbabwe
The battle to succeed the 93-year-old President Mugabe intensifies.

THE Zanu PF faction linked to vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has approached opposition leader, Dumiso Dabengwa, offering him a role a "new government", it has emerged.

Dabengwa, a former cabinet minister, quit the ruling party ahead of the 2008 elections frustrated by President Robert Mugabe's refusal to retire.

Mnangagwa has been accused by rivals in the ruling Zanu PF party of plotting to oust Mugabe. The vice president denies the allegations.

However, a senior Zapu official told NewZimbabwe.com that Mnangagwa recently dispatched war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa to speak to offer the Zapu leader a role in a post-Mugabe cabinet.

"They told President Dabengwa that there is no one from Matebeleland region who would qualify to be the Vice President other than the Zapu leader," said the official who did not want to be named.

"President Dabengwa gave them three conditions; the first one being that of lobbying for the return of all Zapu properties which were taken by Zanu PF.

"He also told the Mnangagwa faction to tear-up the 1987 peace accord signed by Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.

"The third issue was that President Dabengwa would not accept regional positions; he wants to be in government with all his party structures represented nationally."

Mutsvangwa confirmed reaching out to Dabengwa on Wednesday while addressing journalists at the launch of their anti-G40 election campaign.

The G-40 Zanu PF faction is fronted, according to President Mugabe, by local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere. The group includes higher education minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and enjoys the support of Mugabe's wife Grace.

G40 is opposed to Mnangagwa taking over from the 93-years-old Mugabe and has recently touted defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi as a better candidate.

Said Mutsvangwa on Wednesday; "We are democrats and we allow people to choose their candidates.

"We have no candidate; all we do is respect the structures of the war which means we respect the commanders from the war and the structure which fought the war.

"That is why we are reaching out to Dumiso Dabengwa as a comrade; that is why we are also look at Zanu structures to see who is the most senior from that period of the war.

"I have a natural obligation to make sure that the next Zimbabwean leader comes from the ranks of war veterans and we will not impose but we will persuade people for that leader to come out."

Mutsvangwa was fired from cabinet where he was war veterans minister by President Mugabe after the former fighters publicly indicated that they backed Mnangagwa as successor.

The war veterans' leader and his executive were subsequently expelled from Zanu PF by efforts to remove them from the helm of the former fighters' association have so far failed.

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