‘Chiwenga will not succeed ED Mnangagwa, he is part of the past’


President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s biographer, Eddie Cross has ruled out Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga succeeding President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the event that the incumbent steps down and does not push for a third term.

Cross, speaking during #FreeTalk, on HSTV interview which will be aired today, said he believed Chiwenga knew that he was never going to be President and had already resigned to that fate.

“Chiwenga will not take over from Emmerson, aiwa [no], not even for five minutes,” said Cross, bubbling with confidence after interacting with Mnangagwa on several occasions as his biographer.

“Chiwenga is part of the past and he has gone as far as he can go. He will retire along with Emmerson. Emmerson keeps him there because he needs the constituency.”

There has been speculation that Mangagwa was pushing to extend his term beyond 2028.

Mnangagwa, who took over from former Zanu PF party leader, the late Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, is yet to come out publicly on his official position on the matter. He has, however, previously declared he would still be at the helm of the country’s affairs in the year 2030.

Zanu PF’s Masvingo province, however, let the cat out of the bag about his third term bid intentions during Youth Day celebrations in February this year through a slogan.

The slogan “2030 VaMnangagwa vanenge vachipo (Mnangagwa will still be in power in 2030)” is now being used at Zanu PF events, much to the chagrin of his opponents.

Cross, who spent time with Mnangagwa during the time he was writing the book, said he was convinced that the President is not going to run for a third term.

“He is going to retire in 2028 and in Zanu itself, there is a generational change taking place,” he said.

“I talk to the younger generation in Zanu PF, there are some exciting guys, really exciting guys. Look Emmerson Jnr won’t take over, they have to win the people, they have to win the party and I think that’s tough.

“One thing I am absolutely sure of is that my generation and that includes Emmerson and all the others, I am 83, has failed Zimbabwe. We failed Rhodesia and the next generation must come into play,” he said.

Some reports have indicated that Chiwenga has the backing of influential figures such as businessman Kuda Tagwirei, but Cross said Mnangagwa has “disbanded that influence”.

“There is no doubt that Mugabe benefited substantially from Kuda’s activities … the whole system has now been dismantled,” Cross said.

Cross said Mnangagwa has pushed Tagwirei out of fuel and mining, forcing him into the banking and commercial sector as he brought down the businessman’s monopoly and control of State affairs.

“In 2019, Emmerson called me in and he said I want to revive the second pipeline and he appointed then Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, as chairperson of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and instructed him to take the pipeline back from Tagwirei which he did in 2019 and Tagwirei was then instructed to get out of the fuel business…,” Cross narrated.

“Of course Tagwirei is close to Mr President and I was then told to get on with the pipeline. So we are now in a position where we are waiting for Mozambique to approve their side of the pipeline and when that happens we will start building it.

“He (Tagwirei) took all the money he got from the fuel business … he got a lot of money and he bought a lot of properties and put it into Kuvimba, now Kuvimba has been taken over by the national wealth fund and Kuda remains with his commercial and banking interests,” Cross said.

Cross said he has no interest in joining Zanu PF. NewsDay.

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