President Robert Mugabe, 93, has reportedly engaged the Minister of War Veterans Tshinga Dube over the succession issue, telling him that he had not named his successor “as that was the prerogative of the Congress”.
Dube recently urged Mugabe to name or groom his successor in-order to put a stop to the continued factional fights in his ruling Zanu-PF party.
Two distinct camps have emerged in Zimbabwe’s revolutionary party in recent years, as factions seek to outwit each other in the race to succeed the 93 year-old leader. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is allegedly leading a faction that is angling to succeed Mugabe calling itself “Team Lacoste”, while another grouping made up of young Turks, commonly known as Generation 40 and backing First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her ageing husband, wants to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Although both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions, the ructions in the revolutionary party have now become synonymous in Zanu-PF politics.
‘I don’t want to dwell on the problem anymore’
“There is nothing wrong with talking about the succession. Succession is not a crime to talk about. This happens in every country. All what the war veterans are saying is that he must groom the next leaders so that whatever happens to him, or when he retires there is somebody we know,” Dube was quoted as saying last week.
But, according to the state owned Herald newspaper, Tshinga had since laid the issue to rest after Mugabe “answered his concerns”.
Tshinga said that the veteran leader had told him that he was only constitutionally empowered to name his deputies not his heir.
“I do not want to dwell on that problem anymore. He [Mugabe] has said the problem of choosing his successor lies with Congress. I have just put a full stop on that issue. I am not going to discuss it anymore because my Commander-in-Chief has said so. I do not want to appear like I am raising issues against him,” Dube was quoted as saying.
Dube also rubbished calls by a faction of the war veterans that called for him to step down following his remarks for a succession debate, reported the Chronicle newspaper.
According to the report, the faction led by Mandi Chimene and her deputy George Mlala wanted Dube to be booted out of both government and the ruling party.
Dube, however, dismissed the calls and alleged demonstrations as “dubious”.
“I do not think that the president is told by the Mlalas and Chimenes to hire or fire ministers. He has got his own criteria of choosing and firing,” Dube was quoted as saying.