Mnangagwa consolidates power at extra ordinary congress

“ZanuPF is not the party of its leader, but the party of its members. As your First Secretary, I am the first among equals.”

Mnangagwa says,”the biggest task at hand is rebuilding the country and to improve the livelihoods of all those that call Zimbabwe home.” “The principle of taking back our land, cannot be reversed. It would be a betrayal of those that fought for freedom.”

The choreographic statement is a departure from his predecessor who will have likely added that western countries led by Britain and the United States were not welcome to observe the

Turning indirectly on the need to rejuvenate the economy Mnangagwa said: “The party ideology and rules were being ignored at will, structures were being overrun and resources being looted and stashed outside the country.”

The extra-ordinary congress ratified Central Committee resolutions of the 19 November which recalled ex-president Mugabe,ratify appointment of Mnangagwa as First Secretary and President of ZANU-PF and endorsed his candidacy for 2018 harmonised elections. It also
endorsed the expulsion of alleged G40 kingpins accused of having captured the state.

Among them is former first lady Grace Mugabe, former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, former Higher Education minister Prof Jonathan Moyo, former finance minister Ignatious
Chombo, former Manicaland provincial minister of state Mandy Chimene and former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Several hours later during his closing remarks at the congress Mnangagwa sought to portray himself as a strong and stable statesman since his inauguration last month. Mnangagwa said he needed some few days to announce Vice-Presidents.

He also painted ZANU-PF as a responsible party that was committed to turnaround the economy.

“You can ask the current crop of ministers whether it’s still business as usual,” he said. He added, “I realise that people are still short of cash. The frustration is much more so now as we prepare for the festive season and school fees.”

Turning to appointments, Oppah Muchinguri is now ZANUPF chairperson, Obert Mpofu is now Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, new Zanu PF Secretary for Finance is Patrick Chinamasa who replaces Obert Mpofu.

The Political Commissar is Major General Rugeje, another key military appointment. Victor Matemadanda was only there in an interim capacity. Chris Mutsvangwa is new Secretary of Science and Technology.

Foreign Minister Major General Sibusiso B. Moyo and Agriculture Minister Air Chief Marshal Perrence Shiri have been appointed into the Politburo whilst Deputy speaker of House of Assembly Mable Chinomona replaces Grace Mugabe as Secretary for Women’s League.

Pupurai Togarepi retains his position to head youth league.

No doubt Mnangagwa heralded the dawn of a “new era” of Zimbabwean politics and managed to defend his power through the one centre of authority at the ZANU PF historic extra-ordinary party congress.