By Mutsa Makuvaza
A ZANU-PF top official reportedly threw the cat among the pigeons and caused great discomfort at a Zanu-PF special Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Marondera when she told a shocked President Emmerson Mnangagwa that G40 factionalists were sitting right at the top table with him.
The G40 faction was comprised of Robert Mugabe loyalists most of whom fled into exile during the 2017 coup after they were targetted by the army for pushing Grace Mugabe to wrestle power from her ailing husband.
Mabel Chinomona, the ruling party’s women’s league boss who is also a Senator, dropped a bombshell and made the startling revelations on 14th November while addressing the meeting where the President and his deputy, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, were both in attendance.
According to a report by The Standard newspaper, Chinomona’s utterances jolted VP Chiwenga, who was sitting at the top table with President Mnangagwa.
Chiwenga is said to have responded by shaking his head. President Mnangagwa, while addressing the meeting moments later, did not respond to Chinomona’s statements and opted to attack Zanu-PF commissar Victor Matemadanda for failing to weed out G40 elements from the party.
The publication quotes Chinomona as having said G40 was clutching at straws after its attempt to oust President Mnangagwa using the economy had failed as the New Dispensation had stabilised the galloping exchange rates and prices.
“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.
VP Chiwenga reportedly tried to manage the situation when he addressed the meeting while brandishing the Zanu-PF constitution and insisted that the revolutionary 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.”
Reached for comment, Zanu-PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa told The Standard 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.”
Besides Chimene, other G40 top officials who have since fled the country include former Ministers Walter Mzembi, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, and Saviour Kasukuwere.
President Mnangagwa repeatedly makes reference to G40 gladiators, warning his party colleagues at every turn that G40 is not totally annihilated and are waiting for the right time to pounce. He recently warned even the party’s grassroots in the districts to keep eyes wide open against G40 infiltration. – Zimbabwe Voice ■