Harare – Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has ridiculed local media reports about succession wars that have somewhat engulfed the party in the past months, reports the state-owned Herald newspaper.
Several party leaders accused privately owned local media outlets of “making up” reports about President Robert Mugabe’s succession.
They also reaffirmed their support for Mugabe, 92, as party leader in the upcoming 2018 elections.
“We have taken a resolution that our candidate for 2018 is president Mugabe and why should people talk about succession when his term of office is still running? We cannot talk about wishful thinking of the media because our president was endorsed by thousands of Zimbabweans who voted for him in 2013…” Dickson Mafios, Zanu-PF’s Mashonaland central provincial chairperson, was quoted as saying.
Long-time right-hand man
According to reports, Zanu-PF was riddled by warring factions as party leaders positioned themselves to eventually succeed the nonagenarian.
Among the possible names in the looming battle to take over were his wife Grace, 50, and his two vice presidents, Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Reports indicated that a new group of young Turks, Generation 40, was pushing for Grace as the next deputy president, thus, positioning her to eventually succeed the ailing president.
However, the country’s former freedom fighters were pushing for the nonagenarian to relinquish power to Mnangagwa, who was seen as his long-time right-hand man.
This had reportedly further widened the party’s succession factional wars.
The veteran leader recently accused potential successors of wishing him dead and told supporters to unite against foreign enemies he said wanted to destroy the southern African nation.
Mugabe has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980 and said his heir must be chosen democratically, adding his wife, Grace, would not automatically inherit the presidency. – News24