Outbursts by a top ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa declaring that G40 elements remain firmly within Zanu PF’s top levels have heightened fears in the party that the president’s loyalists are targeting his deputy Constantino Chiwenga, insiders have revealed.
Mabel Chinomona, the senate president, is said to have raised eyebrows at a briefing ahead of a Zanu PF provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting held in Marondera on November 14 when she directly told Mnangagwa that G40 people “are at the top table with you”.
Sources said the statement jolted Chiwenga, who was sitting at the top table with Mnangagwa. The VP is said to have responded by shaking his head.
Mnangagwa did not respond to Chinomona’s statements when he addressed the briefing, opting to attack Zanu PF commissar Victor Matemadanda for failing to weed out G40 elements from the party.
“He ordered Matemadanda to make sure all people linked to the G40 are not allowed in the party anymore,” said a senior Zanu PF official who attended the briefing.
“He accused the commissar of not acting to ensure the G40 is not allowed to be in the party anymore.”
Chiwenga is said to have addressed the meeting while brandishing the Zanu PF constitution and insisted that the party must follow its laws and “not be run through gossip”.
“Let us unite as we prepare for a resounding victory, come the 2023 harmonised elections with our flagship, none other than the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa,” Chiwenga told the meeting.
“He will be there and those who dream otherwise must realise that it was just, but a dream after all.”
“I repeat, no to factionalism in the party. Those engaging in factionalism and name-dropping are on a selfish, lonely and self-destructive path. We (himself and Mnangagwa) are one and will remain one.”
Zanu PF insiders said Chiwenga tried to downplay Chinomona’s attacks.
“When the VP addressed, he was now managing the situation when he spoke about loyalty to the party and not individuals,” said another source.
Mnangagwa has always admitted there is a plot in the party to oust him.
Sources said Mashonaland East Zanu PF officials are not happy with Chinomona’s alleged utterances, which they think were targeted at Chiwenga.
Chiwenga is from Mashonaland East.
After the tense briefing, Chinomona told the PCC meeting that G40 remained a menace in Zanu PF.
Chinomona said Mnangagwa had managed to outwit detractors, who wanted to use the economy to oust him.
“Let me talk about G40. When people talk about G40, they don’t know that G40 is among us,” Chinomona said.
“They are not happy when the new dispensation is making progress. It is time now that we identify who is in G40.
“We used to have the likes of Mandi Chimene (former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister), they are gone, but they were not alone.
“There were others, who have remained in the party, we have them here.
“They talk nonsense about the new dispensation while in private, but publicly, they say, ED Pfee.”
She said the rift between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga was a media creation, claiming G40 was funding social media groups to drive a rift between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga.
Chinomona was not reachable yesterday while party national commissar Victor Matemadanda said he was not aware of what happened in the briefing because he was organising people outside.
“I cannot comment because I did not attend the briefing. I was outside organising people,” Matemadanda said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said he was not aware of Chinomona’s alleged utterances, but said allegations that Chiwenga is aligned to G40 are false.
“I am not privy to that because I did not attend the briefing, but if she said so, referring to VP Chiwenga, the allegation will be a lie,” Chinamasa said.
“Any suggestion that VP Chiwenga is G40 is a malicious fabrication meant to divide the party.
“What I can categorically say is that VP Chiwenga is 100% loyal to the president.
“We expelled all G40 elements in a central committee meeting on November 19, 2017 — any other case is dealt with individually using the national disciplinary committee.”
The G40 faction was comprised of Mugabe loyalists and they were forced into exile during the coup after they were targetted by the army.
— The Standard