Exiled former government minister Jonathan Moyo has sensationally claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was going through a tough period after senior military officials blocked him from making key new appointments into Zanu PF leadership positions.
Mnangagwa announced new senior appointments in the governing party, last Wednesday, including appointing disgraced former Vice President Kembo Mohadi as the head of party affairs and Patrick Chinamasa as the acting national political commissar.
Mohadi recently resigned as the country’s vice president after he was exposed over his sexual romps with junior government employees seconded to his office.
However, according to Moyo, who is self-exiled in Kenya, senior army officers blocked Mnangagwa from appointing as national political commissar, an unnamed Zanu PF politician from Midlands province. Midlands is the home province for Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa has in the recent past been accused of appointing people from the Midlands province into influential positions in government, parastatals and Zanu PF.
After being blocked from appointing his Midlands “blue-eyed-boy”, Mnangagwa was forced to settle for Chinamasa, the party’s secretary for finance as acting commissar.
The post is influential within the party as it allows the holder of the position to recruit and mobilise party supporters and activities ahead of the 2023 national elections.
However, Moyo accused Mnangagwa of being “irrational and incompetent” by appointing a “loser” like Chinamasa as the Zanu PF commissar.
“Even as irrational and as incompetent as Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF has shown itself to be, appointing an acting national commissar like Chinamasa, who could not win an election in his backyard constituency in 2018, is clearly an act of desperation. All is not well at Shake Shake Building!” he said.
Chinamasa lost a 2018 parliamentary election for Makoni Central constituency to MDC Alliance’s candidate David Tekeshe.
The political commissar’s seat in Zanu PF became vacant following the redeployment of Victor Matemadanda to Mozambique as Zimbabwe’s ambassador.
The Maputo post became vacant following the death of Douglas Nyikayaramba, who succumbed to Covid-19.
“The disastrous appointment was foisted on Mnangagwa after the military blocked him from appointing a clansman to replace Matemadanda. There is a standoff!” said Moyo Saturday.
Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters
Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox
Almost finished…We need to confirm your email address.To complete the process, please follow the instructions in the email we just sent you.
There was a problem processing your submission. Please try again later.
Over the past three years, Mnangagwa has been forced to change party national commissars three times.
After Zanu PF removed former President Robert Mugabe from office in a military-assisted coup in November 2017, Mnangagwa appointed Elbert Rugeje as the national commissar.
However, Rugeje has removed in May 2019 to be replaced with Matemadanda.
Rugeje was accused by party structures of presiding over chaotic Zanu PF primary elections ahead of the crucial 2018 national elections, which Mnangagwa won narrowly against Nelson Chamisa of MDC Alliance, his closest challenger.
In the 2018 elections, several Zanu PF officials also defied party instructions and stood as independent parliamentary or local council candidates after losing in primary elections resulting in the defeat of the party in some constituencies or wards due to splits in votes.
During his time as political commissar, Matemadanda was also accused of failing to organise and manage the December 2020 district coordinating committee elections (DCC) held across the country.
The elections were marred by violence, vote-buying, and serious factional divisions.
Chinamasa’s appointment comes when Zanu PF is on an ambitious national recruitment drive to reach five million supporters ahead of the 2023 elections.