After months of suffering a savage and relentless mauling at the hands of the Generation 40 (G40) group within the warring Zanu PF, allies of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa have their tails up again, vowing yesterday that nothing will stop the Midlands godfather from succeeding President Robert Mugabe.
Well-placed sources close to the VP’s Zanu PF camp told the Daily News yesterday that Team Lacoste, as the faction is called, had “weathered the storm” and were now “very confident that Lacoste (Mnangagwa) will get there (succeed Mugabe)”.
One of the sources even claimed that Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration, July Moyo — said to be Mnangagwa’s foremost aide — had thrown down the gauntlet on Saturday, openly declaring that the VP would succeed Mugabe, despite “the G40’s machinations”.
“This happened during a heated extra-ordinary Midlands co-ordinating committee meeting that was called by acting provincial chairperson Joram Gumbo to try and douse the factional flames that have split the province into two because of the G40’s machinations,” the source claimed.
Midlands, said to be the citadel of Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF support, has witnessed some of the ugliest party battles over the past year, as the factional and succession wars devouring the former liberation movement continue to escalate.
Indeed, the province has experienced deadly and incessant infighting as the G40 have worked tirelessly to neutralise the VP “in his den”. This has seen the regional party leadership being dissolved unceremoniously, and Gumbo being appointed interim chairperson.
The G40 camp accuses Mnangagwa’s regional allies of steering the province towards “an alternative centre of power and seeking to stampede Mugabe from power”, while Team Lacoste members accuse the G40 of having “unbridled ambition and abusing the First Family” in that regard.
Another source aligned to the G40 who attended the weekend Zanu PF meeting in the Midlands also told the Daily News yesterday that while the warring factions had agreed to bury the hatchet at the get-together, Moyo had allegedly not hidden his “fanatic support” for Mnangagwa.
“It was a candid meeting where everyone was free to speak their minds about the problems arresting the political development of the province. Moyo openly told the meeting that he wanted Mnangagwa to succeed His Excellency, the president.
“To quote his exact words, Moyo said ‘it is my wish to see Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa become president one day. I have no problems with that. So, if he can be, so be it.
“This shocked everyone in the meeting, given that the president is still there and we all wondered how that can be,” the source said.
Contacted for comment, Gumbo confirmed the attempts at uniting the province, but declined to shed light on what went on, insisting that it was premature to give a comment.
“I am a member of the politburo who was given the mandate to unite the party. So, while I can confirm that we had a PCC on Saturday, I cannot comment on anything before the job is complete.
“I will give a report to the politburo when I am finished. I am not sure in what capacity those who gave you all those details were doing so. You can get a comment from them,” he said.
Repeated efforts to talk to Moyo yesterday were unsuccessful, as his mobile phone was unreachable.
The meeting, according to other insiders, also saw Tapiwa Matangaidze and his team that allegedly includes Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane and Lot Mpofu — all of whom are said to be aligned to the G40 — “telling each other some home truths” with Gumbo and the VP’s wife Auxilia Mnangagwa.
“The G40 camp complained about the issues of parallel structures and the holding of meetings at Moyo’s home, saying this was causing unnecessary confusion in the province.
“. . . (Auxilia) Mnangagwa told the PCC that the regional problems were about differences between Owen Ncube, Matangaidze and Hlongwane, and that their problems should not be allowed to affect the whole province,” one of the other attendees said. daily news