One of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vocal allies yesterday ripped into First Lady Grace Mugabe, describing her as “un-presidential” and warning of an implosion in the ruling Zanu PF party if she continued with her unrestrained attacks on the VP at her next rally.
By Everson Mushava
Former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth chairman, Godfrey Tsenengamu, who leads a group of six other provincial youth leaders axed from the ruling party on allegations of backing Mnangagwa, told journalists in the capital that they were now ready for a bareknuckle fight with Grace.
“The next time she (Grace) holds a rally to attack others, we will also organise ourselves to attack her together with those behind her. So what I mean is, there will be commotion in the party,” he said.
“What I want to tell you (Grace) is: Touch not the successor (Mnangagwa). You can talk about the queen bee (in reference to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru), not the successor. “If you think you can sustain the game, move to the next rally and attack others. One thing that I know is Zanu PF will be history. If this is the way you want to use to end your husband’s career, let it be.”
Grace last Friday attacked “power-hungry” party bigwigs calling for Mugabe’s resignation, in remarks seen as targeting Mnangagwa, who has been her husband’s top ally since the liberation struggle.
“So, for the sake of continuity, and the future of the party, she should stop what she is doing. It is for her own good because, through her utterances, she is making a lot of enemies for herself,” Tsenengamu continued.
“That is why I am saying if she goes out for another rally attacking people, there will be no party, the party will be dead.”
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Tsenengamu claimed G40 members – a faction said to be opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe – had “lied” to Grace that she could be President.
“We know why she is saying that, it is because those backing her (G40) have lied to her that she is presidential material,” he said.
Referring to Grace’s claims that Mugabe’s corpse can win an election, Tsenengamu said: “If the dead can be voted for, then we can ask the people of Zimbabwe to vote for (the late Zanu) chairman, Herbert Chitepo or General Tongo (the late Josiah Tongogara). Let us deal with issues of the living.”
He said Mnangagwa was the ideal candidate to succeed Mugabe, adding that youths under the guidance of war veterans would soon roll out a campaign to secure the VP’s succession bid.
“The ball is now in your hands, the war veterans, the same way you removed (the late Ndabaningi) Sithole to replace him with Mugabe. We now want you to lead us so that Mnangagwa becomes the next party president going forward,” Tsenengamu said.
He claimed war veterans would soon be out mobilising support for Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe, but the former fighters’ spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, denied being involved in that.
“We have never talked to him (Tsenengamu). If they campaign for Mnangagwa, it will be a youth programme. As war veterans, we have our own programmes,” Mahiya said.