Special adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa Christopher Mutsvangwa has said that Mnangagwa may lose this year’s presidential election. Mutsvangwa claimed that large numbers of Zanu-PF supporters had been disenfranchised and blamed Zanu-PF Political Commissar, Lieutenant-General (retired) Engelbert Rugeje for this. Said Mutsvangwa,
It is inconceivable that the President will win given that the party’s members have been largely disenfranchised. We realised that instead of being in the primary elections to provide peace and a stable environment in which Zanu PF members freely express themselves and choose their leaders, the national commissar, being a political novice, sought advice from a rehabilitated ex-Gamatox commissar in the form of Webster Shamu to turn police into returning-officers.
…The new national commissar, while he is a comrade, lacks the party’s institutional memory and failed to handle this issue well, leading to the disenfranchisement of thousands of party members countrywide. Zanu PF’s problem has always been the abuse of the office of the political commissar and we are seeing this again.
Mutsvangwa who lost the Norton primary blamed G40-Gamatox elements and declared war on Temba Mliswa who he accused of orchestrating his loss. Before the primaries, Mutsvangwa was reported to have clashed with Rugeje with some reports saying the two men almost traded blows.