The controversy over who succeeds the 92-year-old Zimbabwe president has continued to deepen especially as the G40- a faction of the ruling party – has risen to support Grace Mugabe‘s succession war.
An ex Zimbabwean war veteran minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa has accused Grace Mugabe and her faction of holding president Mugabe captive by baring him from meeting with the country’s former freedom fighters.
Mugabe who said at his recently celebrated 92nd birthday, that he had no plans of relinquishing power as the president till he turned 100 years, has faced political challenges especially as a faction of the ruling Zanu-PF has rallied around his wife Grace who plans to succeed her husband.
Recent reports by NewsDay has it that Mutsvangwa believed that Mugabe was being held “prisoner” by a faction of the ruling Zanu-PF party known as the Generation 40 (G40) which is allegedly led by the first lady.
The war veterans announced a few weeks ago that Mugabe wanted to meet with them after they were brutally attacked by riot police in the capital Harare at the beginning of February.
Though the date and the venue of the meeting were at that time not announced, the fighters was later informed that the president had canceled the meeting.
To this, Mutsvangwa accused the G40 of forcing the veteran leader to cancel a meeting with the country’s freedom fighters.
“G40 wants to frighten (His Excellency) the patron out of meeting his fellow war veterans. They are now holding him prisoner away from his own life,” Mutsvangwa was quoted saying.
The attack on the war veterans was said to be masterminded by the by the factional wars within Zanu-PF. The former freedom fighters are believed to be backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe when he finally leaves office.
The slogan G40 was once used by the Zanu-PF women’s league secretary for administration Esphinah Nhari who chanted the slogan, “Pasi neG40” at Grace’s final rally at Mushayavanhu High School in Gutu and Vice-President Phelekezela explained the slogan to be an indirect attack on President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing this issue, the University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said though Grace Mugabe was fighting to unify the waring party, she was taking a wrong approach by siding with a faction of the party.
Though Grace has tried to dissociate herself from the two factions fighting for control of the party in the post-Mugabe era, her attacks against war veterans has led to speculation she is backing G40.
Masunungure said Grace had failed to hide her ambitions to succeed Mugabe, hence her inability to unite the Zanu PF factions.
“While she is now trying to claim she has no ambition to lead the party and government, it is too late, the party is now more fractured than it was before she came along.”He said.