Zanu-PF to ratify decision to make Mnangagwa party leader

The Zanu-PF will hold its extraordinary congress in Harare this Friday where the 10 provinces are expected endorse the decision to make Emmerson Mnangagwa party leader.

FILE: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - In the wake of a Zimbabwe’s military takeover and the ascension of Emmerson Mnangagwa to power, the ruling party, Zanu-PF, is preparing to hold an extraordinary congress where it will discuss decisions taken at November’s special committee meeting where the party recalled the then President Robert Mugabe.

The party is expected to ratify the decision to make Mngangwa leader of the party and preferred candidate for the presidency in the 2018 national election.

The Zanu-PF will hold its extraordinary congress in Harare this Friday where the 10 provinces are expected endorse the decision to make Mnangagwa party leader.

Mnangwaga was made the interim president of the party at the special committee meeting which saw Mugabe recalled and party members thought to be in the G40 cabal expelled.

The Zanu-PF earlier announced Mnangagwa as its preferred candidate for the 2018 election, but Zimbabwean academic, Professor Ibbo Mandaza, says the country is in a political crisis.

“We’re in a crisis… emerging from what was clearly a coup and therefore there’s a legitimacy question which everybody, national and international, is saying the only way the government can cure the coup is through a free and fair election.”

Mandaza says the question remains whether the government can successfully hold free and fair elections under military establishment.

CONTINUED PRESENCE OF THE ARMY IN THE STREETS

Questions have been asked about Mnangagwa’s silence over the continued presence of the army in the streets, nearly three weeks after the military takeover.

Soldiers can be seen at strategic points in the country as part of what the army calls “operation restore legacy”, which saw the resignation of Mugabe after 37 years of rule.

Amid reports of incidents of violence where members of the Zimbabwean defence force have been accused of assaulting civilians, Mandaza says though these may be isolated cases, Mnangagwa has not given an indication of when the soldiers will return to the barracks.

“The army is still present on the streets and new command in chief is yet to make a statement as to the extent, which that alone might be in breach of the Constitution.”

Mandaza says it remains to be seen if Zimbabwe will be able to hold free and fair elections in 2018, following the army’s facilitation of a takeover which put Mnangwaga in the presidency.