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HARARE – Zanu PF has dismissed claims its annual people’s conference penciled for month-end aims, among other things, to endorse what is believed to be attempts by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to secure a third term.
Breaking with tradition, Zanu PF is holding its conference in Gweru from October 28-29 instead of December. Mnangagwa has also ordered fewer delegates of less than 3,000 after over 4,000 attended last year.
Mnangagwa, who muscled his way into power on the back of a 2017 military coup, is in his second and last term allowed by the country’s constitution.
The Zimbabwe incumbent is yet to reveal thoughts about his political future but there are strong sentiments his actions currently could be pointing to a bid to hedge his job while also preparing ground to launch a bid for a third term.
Mnangagwa, who recently secured a second term following disputed polls in August, has kept his old cabinet almost intact while pushing for the expulsion of over a dozen opposition legislators through sponsoring a dodgy recall order by a man who claims to be the CCC interim secretary general.
Any bid for a third term shall be occasioned by a constitutional amendment which requires a two thirds majority vote in parliament.
In the August elections, Zanu PF came short of reaching its two thirds majority and cannot rally any constitutional amendment even if all its MPs vote in the affirmative.
Mnangagwa, considered a political schemer, has also appointed his known loyalists to key positions such as Attorney General, Prosecutor General, National Assembly speaker, and Chief Justice in case his assumed maneuvers run into legal hurdles.
Sources within Zanu PF say Mnangagwa was also keen to use the upcoming conference as a platform to both silence and purge party dissenters.
Zanu PF acting information director Farai Marapira dismissed the claims saying they were based on ignorance of the difference between a conference and a congress.
“The biggest issue is that these are positions coming from people that are ignorant as to the meaning of terms.
“They do not understand when Zanu PF is holding a conference; neither do they know what it means when Zanu PF is holding a congress.
“This is clear that they are not members of Zanu PF because if anyone was a member of Zanu PF, they would know that this year is a conference, people will be meeting.
“There are no elections, there are no changes of any position within the party structure.
“As Zanu PF, we can’t respond to allegations of war within ourselves from people without, simply because people are ignorant of how our party is structured and how our meetings go about.
“This is going to be a conference celebrating our election win and of course rumour mongers will be rumour mongers.
“These rumours should be thrown out with the disgust and disdain that they truly deserve.” _*ZimLive*_