- Published on 23 September 2014
- Written by The Telescope
The race to succeed President Robert Mugabe, together with a make or break Zanu PF reconfiguration elective congress in December, arguably the party's biggest since formation over 50 years ago, is set to be decided through intelligence scheming, The Telescope News, has gathered.
Politburo officials, some who have been voluntarily forthcoming with confidential information over cold calling during the weekend, as the succession issue nears the finishing political line, allege that mysterious Israeli security company, Nikuv International Projects Limited, has been courted by one of the two competing factions wrestling control of the presidency, to run a controversial secret ballot during the December vote, as a sure way to seize victory and power for their camp.
Vice President Joice Mujuru, and justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, are locked in a seismic political skirmish, to takeover from Mugabe and eventually run affairs of the country, as the second republic president.
Nikuv has been accused of manipulating the 2013 general elections in favour of Mugabe and is now having a significant administration presence in Harare, after being generously rewarded, with a new tender by government to continue producing new e- passports or biometric passports for the citizenry, and offering services on security matters, to the Joint Operations Command (JOC). JOC is the supreme organ for the coordination of state security in Zimbabwe.
"I have it on good account, that the security services bosses do not want to stage a political coup. Military intervention in civilian affairs to deal with Zanu PF politics, is the last resort on their table. However, JOC has proposed an intelligence intervention solution to the issue, so as to avert the threats of mass unrest and disturbances. This explains the move to have a secret ballot, during our congress, which is going to be run by Nikuv, and some elements from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission," said a politburo member who is formerly a cabinet minister.
The country's top Commander, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) boss General Constantine Chiwenga, last week told senior Zanu PF bigwigs fighting to replace Mugabe, not to drag the military into their squables.
"Only if Zimbabwe is being threatened, then we will come in," Chiwenga told a state publication.
The Zanu PF congress will elect a new presidium through secrecy, with only Mugabe going unchallenged. However there is already growing opposition to the secret poll by party members, believed to be backing Mujuru.
"Secret ballots are a breeding ground for rigging," said another politburo official, who is fearing for an implosion of the party. "Although tension rose about involving Nikuv, at the last meeting, the first secretary himself (Mugabe) did not overrule it. We now have a situation whereby an intelligence related firm, will succeed in killing two birds with one stone, and by that I mean resolving both the president and party's succession."
The Telescope News, has also been told by Zanu PF insiders, that Mnangagwa's loyalists want a new-look party, with Mnangagwa at the helm; Oppah Muchinguri, Sydney Sekeramayi or Jonathan Moyo occupying the first and second vice president slots. Some circles are speculating that, the chairmanship might go to finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, as a deliberate ploy to kick-out secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, who is said to be interested in the influencial position.
Mutasa is publicly supporting Mujuru to be president, and is seen as a top ally of the VP.
The above developments, should they sail through, will most likely leave current national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo and Mujuru herself in the cold. Khaya Moyo is also being challenged by former Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa Phekezela Mphoko and home affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, for the vice-president’s post.
Mohadi could be the hot favourite over Moyo and Mphoko, if Mujuru fails to fend off Mnangagwa's campaign bid, analysts have said.
Nikuv continues to operate from the shadows, and initially rented offices in Avondale and Borrowdale, but is now thought to be based at the army headquarters at KG VI in the capital.
The firm has also reportedly been paid at least US$10 million by Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede’s office, to fix a 'landslide' rig for Mugabe in last year's presidential elections.
The company denies links to Mugabe and Zanu PF's succession affairs.