CHIWENGA WON’T STAB MUGABE IN THE BACK | Zanu PF Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba has accused Young Turks in the ruling party of sowing seeds of divisions between President Robert Mugabe and senior leaders within the ruling party as well as the military.
Chinotimba told a local radio station in an interview on Monday that Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga along with other liberation war veterans had protected Mugabe’s life and could not turn against the 93-year-old Zanu PF leader.
“The President is being told someone wants to kill him. He is told Chinotimba does not like you, Chiwenga hates you and (Airforce Commander Perrance) Shiri does not like you by these young people. They are lying these Johnnies-come-lately, which could cause a collapse of the party,” Chinotimba said.
Zanu PF is split between two distinct factions with one known as G40 pushing for First Lady Grace to succeed Mugabe, while the Lacoste faction is sympathetic to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe has in the past few months accused his military commanders of dabbling in Zanu PF factional politics ordering them to keep off.
Chinotimba added they had protected Mugabe during the war.
“We fought with the President and protected him, suddenly these youngsters come and claim we want the President out. There are so many people who are lying to the President. They want to get positions through lying. They tell the President lies in order to make him suspicious forcing him to dump some people from the party and government. If the President is told someone wants to kill him, then the best idea for him would be to fire the person accused,” Chinotimba said.
The lawmaker drew parallels between Zanu PF and the main opposition MDC-T, arguing that even former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was being fed with lies about his deputy Thokozani Khupe.
“The same is happening in the MDC-T, Tsvangirai is being told that khupe does not like him or wants to remove him. Tsvangirai formed the MDC with Khupe and suddenly they do not see eye-to-eye because of liars. Some people actually now want Khupe sacked. Our people must learn not to be used,” the Buhera South MP said.
G40 boasts among its leading lights party commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo. Moyo has not hidden his disdain for Mnangagwa, accusing him of plotting to unseat Mugabe by foul means. Mnangagwa has responded, accusing Moyo of being an American spy, citing his public declaration that Zanu PF could only be destroyed from within.
Khupe and Tsvangirai are now trying to mend fences after a fallout over a proposed alliance ahead of elections next year.