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‘Campaigning for Mnangagwa divisive’

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s emissary and former central committee member, Jimaya Muduvuri has reportedly cautioned war veterans against placing the vice-president ahead of other perceived competitors in the Zanu PF succession matrix.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Muduvuri, who has been moving around the country to dispel rumours that Mnangagwa was eying Mugabe’s position, yesterday told The Standard that the statements by war veterans were against the spirit of oneness and promoted factionalism.

War veterans passed a resolution that Mnangagwa was the most senior Zanu PF official after President Robert Mugabe and should be the only legitimate candidate to take over from the 92- year-old leader.

The remarks have stirred tension in the faction-ridden ruling party where two distinct factions, G40 and Team Lacoste, are battling to position themselves for the succession of Mugabe.

“Yesterday I sat down with war veterans and I told them that let us all be loyal to the party,” Muduvuri said. “I told [secretary-general Victor] Matemadanda and others that no one will be able to take away the president’s position for now,” Muduvuri said.

“I asked them if they were sent by Mnangagwa and they said no. I told them that my mission [of cleaning Mnangagwa’s image] was done and the message was clear that we should bury the factions.”

He added: “I cannot manage them but I told the war veterans that they should not respond to such matters and say Mnangagwa should do this and that. We don’t want factions and as long as they start talking about that issue, it promotes factionalism.”

Muduvuri said the war veterans themselves were happy that Mugabe was their patron.

He said his last meeting was in Gweru, where Mnangagwa is regarded as the Midlands political godfather and where support for Mugabe was relatively higher compared to other provinces.

Muduvuri said he confronted the officials in Midlands to confirm if any of them was sent by Mnangagwa and none stood up.

“My aim is to make people unite. We don’t want to hear about factions anymore and we don’t want to hear about G40 or Lacoste,” he said. “So far I have finished all the 10 provinces and I concluded with Midlands where Mnangagwa is regarded as the godfather. I also delivered to them the same message I was telling other provinces.”

At the Gweru meeting, Muduvuri reportedly told the gathering that he feared for his life over his mission. This comes after he was involved in an accident on his way to Masvingo on the same mission.

Muduvuri yesterday said he would not be silenced or intimidated by anyone.

“If Mugabe is alive, then Zanu PF is solid. I grew up in Zanu PF and I won’t be intimidated. If they think I will fear anything then they are wasting their time. I love my president and his wife. I am their child and I cannot be intimidated here in Zimbabwe as long as President Mugabe is there,” he said.

“We will only start to fear when he is gone. I am trying to protect my father’s throne and this is why I asked Vice-President Mnangagwa about those rumours that he wants to take over. I am glad he said he has no such plans.”

Both Matemadanda and war veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya were not available for comment up to the time of going to press last night.

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