Speaking in the aftermath of Mugabe's Cabinet reshuffle that saw a number of allies of embattled Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa demoted or dropped altogether from government, Mutsvangwa on Tuesday said failure to hold a special congress, war veterans would assume Mugabe was supporting the candidature of Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
"And that's not right because you cannot cheat the electorate by saying I am your candidate, when Sekeramayi is the actual candidate, because they have declared that is their candidate. So, if there is no congress that decides that issue as to who is his successor, we will assume that he (Mugabe) is a foil for Sekeramayi as a candidate," he said.
Mutsvangwa claimed war veterans had never declared Mnangagwa a candidate, but insisted he was number two in the party hierarchy.
"We have only said we respect the structures of the war and Mnangagwa is in that structure and Mugabe is number one, Mnangagwa is number two. The same way we would respect Dumiso Dabengwa because that is a structure from the war," he said.
The war veterans leader said the Zanu-PF G40 faction, through Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, introduced the Sekeramayi candidacy at a local think-tank symposium earlier this year.
"The President is now in a bind. G40 has declared a candidate and he says he is a candidate who is in the election, but they already have a successor," Mutsvangwa said.
"If the President does not challenge the candidacy of his person from the G40, our assumption is that he is the foil for the candidate, which the war veterans have foiled."
Zanu-PF is divided into two main factions: G40, which has the ears of First Lady Grace Mugabe, and Lacoste, which is angling for Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe.
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