PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s challenger Sybert Musengezi has alleged that the Zanu PF leader was creating a dynasty and warned of a protest vote in the general elections later this year.
Musengezi is challenging Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the party following a coup that toppled long-time ruler, the late President Robert Mugabe in 2017, which he claims did not follow procedure and, therefore, illegal.
The case is still before the High Court, with general elections under six months away.
“We had hoped that power would be transferred gradually to the younger generations so that the country can move with the times while at the same time safeguarding the values of the liberation war,” Msengezi said in an open letter to Zanu PF members referenced Diversion from the Values of the Liberation War and the Perceived Objectives of Operation Restore Legacy.
“However, we seem to be moving in circles on the issue of succession with undemocratic ‘endorsements’ and the elbowing of other members out of structures being the order of the day.
“We have recently witnessed the unhealthy ‘one centre of power’ being resuscitated. We have seen the creation and mushrooming of parallel structures loyal to Mnangagwa (4EDs) and not to Zanu PF. This is likely to result in a Mnangagwa dynasty and history is fast repeating itself. We all witnessed how loyalty to individuals paid back in 2017,” Musengezi said.
“If things continue in this trajectory and the economic situation continues to deteriorate, there is going to be a serious Bhora Musango in the coming elections. We can’t be stubborn flies that follow a corpse into the grave as we will be buried together with the body.”
Bhora Musango was the term used in Zanu PF in the 2008 elections, when its candidates campaigned for themselves and not then party leader, the late former President Robert Mugabe, telling the electorate to vote for anyone they thought would represent their concerns.
Then, Mugabe was contesting against the late opposition stalwart, MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
In his letter, Msengezi also claimed that there was now unprecedented levels of corruption “never experienced” under Mugabe’s rule.
“Multi-million United States dollars, clearly controversial contracts are awarded to politically-exposed persons under the guise of ‘critical projects.’ The question is: ‘why the same people? Are they very good investors?”
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa told NewsDay that Msengezi was a “small mind” with no locus standi to speak of succession issues in the party.
“He has an affliction of a small mind trying to fight big battles. He approached the courts trying to frustrate the candidacy of Mnangagwa and it has come to nought. Now he wants to speak on behalf of the Zanu PF membership which he doesn’t belong to. We don’t know him. He has no authority whatsoever to speak on all that he is talking about,” Mutsvangwa said.
“And where does this come from? We fought the last dynasty which was looming —Grace Mugabe. The best thing is to just ignore him. He probably has somebody who pays him. All members of Zanu PF are loyal to the party. We don’t even know him as a party member, he has no record. That’s why he couldn’t have a locus standi with judges on the issue (of Mnangagwa legitimacy).”