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Mugabe’s Nephew: I’m Opposed to VP Mnangagwa’s Presidential Bid

President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo
President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo

President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, says he is totally against Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s alleged bid to succeed Zimbabwe’s 92 year-old leader.

Zhuwao, who is the country’s indigenization minister, told the privately-owned Standard newspaper that some Zanu PF supporters are allegedly threatening to kill people that are opposed to Mnangagwa’s presidential bid.

“They [war veterans] said that he must succeed the president and if he does not, there will be blood on the floor. That alone, is a blow to the VP. As a Zanu PF member, I must not be intimidated to support the VP but must be allowed to do it freely.

“So when you threaten me, I will definitely look at his envisaged government, that if people oppose him he would kill them, and that to me is damaging. People in Zanu PF must be allowed to make choices without being intimidated with death or war, like what the so-called supporters of VP ED are doing.

“Surely we can’t allow a country to be run by people who threaten to kill when they get state power and machinery … I have to freely make my own decision without undue fear or intimidation. So with that, if at this point in time, I would not support VP Mnangagwa at all.”

Zhuwao, who is believed to be in a Zanu PF faction called Generation 40 which is said to be led by First Lady Grace Mugabe, together with Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo, Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and several others, further claimed without elaborating that ruling party activists supporting Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed Mr. Mugabe will be shocked when the president leaves office.

He said they are currently busy campaigning for the vice president.
“Those who were supporting Mnangagwa, I see that they are still going on with their bid to have him succeed the president,” Zhuwao said. “Because of this, I have been made to take a position on the issue of succession and my position is very clear, I will not support those who are saying the VP should succeed the president.

“The challenge here is that the people that claim to be supporting VP Mnangagwa are doing it in a manner that seems to want to give the impression that vice-president Mnangagwa was appointed to succeed President Mugabe.”

Zanu PF expelled former Vice President Joice Mujuru and several other senior party officials in 2014 claiming that they were wanted to topple the president. She dismissed the allegations as wishful thinking.