A ZANU PF official has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa has no mandate to lead the ruling party after he “arbitrarily” postponed the 2019 elective extraordinary congress to 2022.
These remarks come amid reports that Mnangagwa’s deputy, Constantino Chiwenga is leading a faction that seeks to dislodge him from power.
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The News Hawks, a new local publication, was told by an anonymous senior official in ZANU PF that the situation has rendered Mnangagwa”s leadership shacky. Said the official:
Legally, Mnangagwa has no mandate from congress to currently lead Zanu-PF.
He basically avoided the 2019 congress, when it was constitutionally due, and postponed it to 2022. Currently, he is running on empty: the mandate he got from the 2017 extraordinary congress expired. It was for the interregnum only.
Subsequently, there was no other extraordinary congress to allow him and all those in the structures elected in the last regular congress in 2014 to continue.
It was an arbitrary postponement, hence illegal arrangement. So his mandate is illegitimate in terms of the Zanu-PF constitution.
Mnangagwa was installed Zanu-PF leader by the party’s central committee on 19 November 2017 at the height of the military coup and confirmed through an extraordinary congress on 15 December 2017.
The Zanu-PF constitution does not give power to the central committee to remove an elected leader.
If the position becomes vacant, an extraordinary congress is held to fill it in.
Another official said while it appears at face value like Mnangagwa is consolidating power; in reality, there is no consolidation to talk about.
The official said Mnangagwa is now surrounded by political opportunists and he has lost control of the party.
The anonymous official said the glaring factionalism in Midlands and Masvingo, his strongholds, while he is watching “helplessly,” is enough evidence to suggest he had lost control.
More: The News Hawks