FOREIGN Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo has emerged as a centre of power in government and the ruling Zanu PF party, and now fancies his chances of becoming Zimbabwe’s next president.
This was said by exiled former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo while speaking at the Crisis in Zimbabwe’s Dialogue Series under the theme; “Zimbabwe’s prospects: transition, imperatives and stability” on Wednesday.
The Zoom discussion was moderated by broadcaster, Violet Gonda.
Jonathan Moyo, who is now in exile in Kenya following a military coup that removed the now late President Robert Mugabe from office, said calls were growing louder for SB Moyo to replace Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s next leader.
“It’s being whispered widely, and the whispers are getting louder, that SB has emerged as a center of power with his own ambitions and that he now fancies his chances,” Jonathan Moyo, a former Zanu PF Politburo member and cabinet minister said.
“He’s said to command some considerable influence in the defence forces, having served as ZDF’s (Zimbabwe Defence Forces) de facto prime minister, in the (Constantino) Chiwenga years, when he effectively ran the army’s business enterprises and interests.
“While SB does not have a social base in Zanu PF, he’s said to be linked to or to be behind some vocal current and former Zanu PF activists, as well as some clergy and businessmen, including journalists.”
Jonathan Moyo also dismissed Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s chances of taking over from Mnangagwa due to concerns over his health by Zanu PF functionaries.
“General Chiwenga has influence in the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) through General Edzai Chimonyo and retired generals (most posted to diplomatic missions).
“However, General Chimonyo, who had been away on diplomatic services for 10 years before returning to command ZNA, has not quite managed to settle down and has not been able to assert effective authority among field commanders. Chiwenga’s long spell outside the country on health grounds in 2019, weakened his base not only within ZDF but also within Zanu PF. Concerns over his health have cast doubt about his leadership prospects.
“Many now see him more as a kingmaker than a king in waiting. Nevertheless, some Zanu PF Politburo members are said to be working for a Chiwenga takeover, and these include Tendai Savanhu, Cleveria Chizema. Bigwigs like Obert Mpofu and Patrick Chinamasa have also been linked to Chiwenga. In the lower ranks, the likes of Godfrey Tsenengamu, Jim Kunaka among others.”
Savanhu and Chizema were last week expelled from Zanu PF on charges of being involved in the planning of the foiled July 31 anti-corruption protests and fomenting dissent in the ruling party while Tsenengamu was fired early this year.
Tsenengamu is currently in hiding as state security agents hunt for him for inciting public violence ahead of the July demonstrations.
“Like in 2017, the critical flare-up in 2020 is within the system and not between it and the opposition,” Moyo said.
The former Tsholotsho MP said Mnangagwa, however, remained in control of the military intelligence, police and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), but did not have any political influence in Zanu PF.
“Mnangagwa controls military intelligence through General Thomas Moyo at MID (Military Intelligence Directorate), with Moyo directly reporting to Mnangagwa. A part but not all of the CIO is in this loop through DG (director general) Isaac Moyo and, to a lesser extent, (Minister of National Security) Owen Mudha Ncube.
“The police are also in this loop through Commissioner General of Police Godwin Matanga and his deputy (Stephen) Mutamba. Mnangagwa also controls forex in the country via (the) RBZ with (Governor John) Mangudya and (Finance Minister) Mthuli Ncube working as key runners along with Kuda Tagwirei.
“The combined control instrument out of this arrangement is the Ferret Force which is abducting, torturing, se_xually assaulting and murdering targeted citizens to enforce Mnangagwa’s power. Mnangagwa does not have any political influence in Zanu PF.”
Senior Zanu PF officials are reported to be unhappy over Mnangagwa’s handling of the economy, which has been on a free fall resulting in some agitated citizens calling for his removal from office.