ED ring-fences Zanu PF allies

Christopher Mutsvangwa

SEVERAL Zanu PF bigwigs — among them politburo members Christopher Mutsvangwa, Ziyambi Ziyambi, Obert Mpofu and Kenneth Musanhi  —  sailed through the central committee uncontested at the weekend after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a special waiver to ring-fence his close lieutenants.

Zanu PF legal affairs secretary Paul Mangwana confirmed the development yesterday.

 “From what I read, it was agreed at provincial level that some people will not be contested,” Mangwana said.

Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha said some sailed through without being contested because there were no challengers.

“It was a mere coincidence where someone would not have been challenged,” Bimha said.

Sources within Zanu PF said Mnangagwa wanted his close allies in the central committee to seal his 2023 presidential candidature.

 “We all know how the central committee played an important role during the transition from the late former President Robert Mugabe to the new dispensation. The President wanted his people in because in politics one never knows what happens next,” said a party insider in apparent reference to the November 19, 2017 central committee meeting which pushed out Mugabe and ushered in Mnangagwa as new party president.

Mangwana added that Mnangagwa was likely to invoke Article 7(35) of the party constitution to handpick other bigwigs who fell by the wayside in the weekend polls.

The provision gives the party president power to nominate 10 members on account of their outstanding contribution to the party.

 “I think the President will appoint 10 CC,” Mangwana said, adding these would be chosen on account of their contribution to the party.

Former Health minister David Parirenyatwa, politburo member Tendai Chirau and party deputy president Kembo Mohadi’s ex-wife Tambudzani are among those tipped for a comeback after humiliating defeats at the weekend.

“It’s at his (Mnangagwa’s) discretion to appoint whomever he wants,” Bimha added.

Mnangagwa also embraced former senior party members who were either suspended or sidelined for different political offences, including members of the G40 faction and those who flirted with former Vice-President Joyce Mujuru’s opposition National Patriotic Front.

 “So all those people who had their crimes punished and finished serving their sentences bounced back into the party; people like former Environment minister Francis Nhema and others, there are many of them. That’s why we have stayed in power for so long because we have the capacity to punish offenders, they can come back to reconnect and continue serving the party again,” Mangwana said.

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