POLITICAL analysts say President Emmerson Mnangagwa is likely to retain his Zanu-PF post at the party congress in October, but his political life is on the brink ahead of the 2023 elections due to the comatose economy and recent sexual escapades revealed by a Zimbabwean based in Australia. citizen, Susan Mutami.
Political analysts say it is now too late for Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to issue a serious challenge to wrest power from Mnangagwa at the October congress despite the concerted efforts of his supporters at home and abroad. . A series of developments have shaken Mnangagwa’s political gravity in recent weeks.
On July 18 this year, Jim Kunaka, a former Zanu-PF youth leader who led a notorious terrorist group called Chipangano but was later expelled during the Robert Mugabe era, publicly accused Mnangagwa of reneging on an agreement to cede power to Chiwenga. after one term following the November 2017 coup.
Kunaka said Mnangagwa must hand over power to Chiwenga in the letter and spirit of their arrangement and then announced the formation of a new splinter political group, Zanu-PF Original.
He described the Lacoste faction of Mnangagwa as a group of power brokers.
Prior to Kunaka’s rant against Mnangagwa, another former Zanu-PF youth leader, Godfrey Tsenengamu, also beat the embattled leader in a public address to the media, in which he said the party’s exile commissioner, Savior Kasukuwere, was supposed to come back and take over. head of the ruling party.
The situation reached a crescendo last week when Mutami led a Space Twitter address that drew an audience of 13,000 in which she accused Mnangagwa of raping her when she was 15 years old.
Mutami made detailed disclosures to back up his claims, which included information about Mnangagwa’s body, such as a birthmark on his left inner thigh and another on his buttocks.
Australian Police in Brisbane have since opened an investigation after a formal rape complaint was made by the 33-year-old health service professional.
Australian police said they would refer the case to “international courts”.
Mutami also accused Mnangagwa of murder and sexual abuse of women in Zanu-PF.
She told her Twitter audience that she informed Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe and current Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lt. Gen. David Sigauke about the sexual abuse.
In separate interviews with The NewsHawks, political analysts predict a bleak future for Mnangagwa when it comes to his political life due to the latest revelations.
Stephen Chan, a political analyst and professor of global politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, told The NewsHawks that while Mnangagwa’s sex scandals may not directly lead to his downfall, his end. policy was close.
“It will not be a sex scandal that will hamper Manangagwa’s quest to be the 2023 presidential candidate for Zanu-PF, but power struggles within Zanu-PF itself that have much at stake. more important than a sex scandal,” he said.
He added: “Susan Mutami has had a varied love and sex life. Whether her accusations are true or not, they will not register with the majority of Mnangagwa supporters.”
Chan also indicated that Mnangagwa, on the other hand, could take comfort in the fact that his rivals are also not clean.
“The problem with using sex scandals to criticize a leader is that his rivals also have their own colorful and controversial private lives. It’s hard to paint one person as tainted when so many people can be put in the same boat” , did he declare.
In his assessment of Mnangagwa’s current political life, Eldred Masunungure, a professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe, told The NewsHawks that the leader’s advantage is the support he enjoys in the military.
“Overall, I think ED [Mnangagwa] has sufficient support within the military, thanks to deliberate and concerted efforts to protect against coups by reconfiguring the command element across all security sectors. If there are any problems on this side, they will most likely come from the middle and lower ranks who are haunted, like most Zimbabweans, by the specter of empty stomachs,” he said.
Masunungure reiterated that since the Zanu-PF congress is two months away, dissident elements like Jim Kunaka and Chiwenga supporters no longer have enough time to topple Mnangagwa at the elective meeting.
“If in October [the Zanu-PF congress], then Chiwenga’s challenge is far too late and currently the intra-party momentum is with ED and the multiple party structures and quasi-party proxies deliberately created to mobilize support for him. Jim Kunaka’s Zanu-PF Original is unlikely to disturb the apple basket.”
“If #2 [Chiwenga] is serious about challenging the ED and winning, then he needs to create a cross-party coalition type formation between disaffected Zanu-PF elements (and there are many of them) and the main opposition. This could take the shape or form of the ‘bhora musango’ of 2008. Otherwise, in my view, all doors to the presidency of Zanu-PF via official party organs are now closed for No. 2,” said Masunungure.
Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said that right now there is “a do or die political game in Zanu-PF”.
“Although Chiwenga does not appear to be in a position of strength at the moment, factionalism does not necessarily end in Zanu-PF and although ED may still get its way to the October congress, it does not in any way signal its consolidation power struggles.”
“The Susan Mutami revelations are a signal of Zanu-PF policy heating up, but the boiling point and implosion is not October but a bit later,” Mukundu said.