By Staff Reporter
ZANU PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo (pictured) has denied the party extra-ordinary congress slated for December this year was intended to dislodge Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa by President Robert Mugabe.
Chombo, the country’s finance minister, was speaking to the State media, adding, the feared Zanu PF leader had the powers to send any of his lieutenants packing without convening a congress.
President Mugabe and wife, Grace have come out guns blazing accusing the embattled VP of harbouring a plot to remove the veteran leader from power.
Accusations against Mnangagwa climaxed into a recent politburo video presentation by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo detailing how the country’s number 2 was constructing an elaborate plot to capture key state institutions, among other manouvres, to position himself for takeover.
President Mugabe has since moved to strip the Midlands strongman of his Justice portfolio and further remove his allies during a recent cabinet reshuffle laden with attempts to manage succession politics.
The 93-year-old leader has also sponsored a party move to turn the Zanu PF national people’s conference into an elective one with speculation rife the wily politician could be considering replacing his once trusted ally with his wife.
President Mugabe is also seen clearing the decks for his chosen successor, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
But with everything pointing to a Mnangagwa ouster come December, Chombo has played down wide beliefs the congress shall see the last of the country’s ambitious VP.
Chombo said the hastily arranged elective congress would instead be a party platform to review biometric voter registration, the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth, the State Constitution and national policies.
“Our party calendar and Government calendar do not tally, so in the year that they do not sychronise, we may decide to have an Extraordinary Congress to make sure that we are prepared.
“This is not new. It will not look at individual issues; we focus on national party issues. The removal of people from certain positions, just like the Cabinet reshuffle, the President can do it anytime. So, let’s not be arrogant and suggest for him,” Chombo said.
The Zanu PF top official further said President Mugabe had no reason to try to camouflash the removal of any of his lieutenants with a congress.
“The constitution provides for the President as the one centre of power. He can use his discretion and does not need Congress. I cannot run the party based on wishes of individuals. I run the party on the dictates of the party constitution,” Chombo said.