Army General helps Kuda Tagwirei and General Chiwenga unite as Mnangagwa era comes to an end


In a move that underscores the shifting dynamics within Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF insiders have revealed that business tycoon Kuda Tagwirei has reconciled with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the Zimbabwe Independent has reported. This development is seen as a significant development in the party’s ongoing and often turbulent succession matrix.

The reconciliation between Tagwirei and Chiwenga, facilitated by a top army general close to both men, comes at a crucial juncture as President Emmerson Mnangagwa prepares to serve out the final years of his constitutionally mandated two-term tenure. The 81-year-old leader has maintained that he will step down in 2028, but the jockeying for position within Zanu PF has already begun in earnest.

Tagwirei, a key figure in Mnangagwa’s rise to power in the aftermath of the 2017 coup that toppled the late Robert Mugabe, had previously fallen out of favour with Chiwenga. The two were reportedly at odds over the management of a chrome mining venture, African Chrome Fields, in which Chiwenga had invested.

However, sources within Zanu PF have now disclosed that the once-estranged business mogul and the vice president have mended fences, with the help of a top army general who is also close to Mnangagwa.

“For the past months, the army general, who is also close to Mnangagwa, has been facilitating meetings between Tagwirei and Chiwenga which led to a truce between the two,” the source revealed.

The rapprochement between Tagwirei and Chiwenga is widely seen as a calculated move by the two power brokers to position themselves for the post-Mnangagwa era. Tagwirei, who has been accused of using his proximity to the president to amass wealth through lucrative government contracts, is believed to be seeking to secure his continued influence and access to state resources, regardless of who emerges as Mnangagwa’s successor.

Chiwenga, on the other hand, is widely regarded as a potential successor to the incumbent president. The former army commander played a pivotal role in the 2017 coup that brought Mnangagwa to power, and his faction within Zanu PF has been jockeying for influence. By reaching out to Tagwirei, Chiwenga may be seeking to shore up his support base and potential sources of financial backing ahead of a potential leadership bid.

The source further revealed that Tagwirei’s visits to State House have become less frequent in recent times, as he is not part of the faction pushing for Mnangagwa to extend his rule beyond the constitutionally mandated two terms.

“Tagwirei does not believe in the ED 2030 mantra. He thinks Mnangagwa should serve his constitutional terms and leave,” the source added.

The Sentry, a US-based investigative group, has previously reported on the murky dealings involving Tagwirei, Mnangagwa, and Chiwenga. According to the group’s findings, Moti Group, a company allegedly linked to Tagwirei, paid millions of dollars to entities associated with Mnangagwa and Chiwenga following a deal that saw Tagwirei acquire a 30% stake in African Chrome Fields.

The revelations have once again shone a spotlight on the entanglement of Zimbabwe’s political and business elite, raising concerns about the outsized influence of a handful of well-connected individuals over the country’s economic and political trajectory.

As Zanu PF continues to grapple with the thorny issue of Mnangagwa’s succession, the rapprochement between Tagwirei and Chiwenga underscores the complexities at play. The party’s internal power dynamics, fueled by personal rivalries and the pursuit of economic and political dominance, have the potential to shape the future leadership of Zimbabwe.

Analysts have cautioned that the succession battle within Zanu PF could have far-reaching implications for the country’s political and economic stability, as the various factions jostle for control and influence. The ability of seasoned power brokers like Tagwirei and Chiwenga to navigate these treacherous waters will be closely watched in the coming years.

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