PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s poor stewardship of the economy has seen a renewed push to oust him as the ruling Zanu PF leader at the elective congress expected in October.
While some members of the party have endorsed Mnangagwa as the party’s presidential candidate for elections next year, sources said a camp linked to his deputy Constantino Chiwenga has allegedly been burning midnight oil to remove him.
They blame him for failing to provide answers to the country’s deteriorating economic crisis mirrored by skyrocketing prices of basic goods and services.
Zanu PF members have taken to social media to express their discontent against the party leader, whom they accuse of being tone deaf to the people’s suffering.
A rival faction linked to Chiwenga has reportedly formed counter social media groups, where they express their discontent against Mnangagwa’s leadership.
In leaked WhatsApp audio clips in possession of NewsDay Weekender, Zanu PF youths claimed victimisation for speaking against Mnangagwa.
One youth only identified as Jasi said: “We can’t continue with this situation. We are in Zanu PF, but we should be candid.
“Out there, we protect our President, but we can’t continue with this situation because our parents are struggling. It is so pathetic. Mr Mnangagwa should step down, or must be removed. We can’t be threatened.”
Another group member replied: “No Comrade Jasi. The reason why we opt for the removal of people is because these men do not want to take advice.
“If people overstay in power, they think they own Zimbabwe. If we are talking about important issues, we must be one. If they fail, then they must let Chiwenga take over.
“They do not care about us. They have got their agenda that benefits them. We will end up losing this country to (opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson) Chamisa if we continue on this track.”
Mnangagwa has blamed “economic saboteurs” for the country’s economic meltdown as inflation hit three-digit figures last month, evoking memories of the 2008 hyper-inflationary period.
But Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa told journalists on Wednesday that Mnangagwa remained the party’s presidential candidate
“We are four years into the second republic going for election next year. Many people thought president he (Mnangagwa) would never rise to power, but he rose to power,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Many people then said he would not survive power in Zimbabwe, he has survived. Many people now know that he is going to be around in the next five years, according to the constitutional provisions of Zimbabwe.
“We are going to the elective congress. The same message is coming from the organs of the party, with the successful youth league endorsing him and the women’s league endorsing him. You know what is coming from the provinces.”