Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘Out of that team, there are only two remaining, myself and Mnangagwa’

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has dismissed allegations that there is a rift going on between him and his boss President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The former Army General recalled how they worked together with Mnangagwa and five other liberation stalwarts, namely General Josiah Tongogara, General Solomon Mujuru, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, and Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai (all late), during the liberation struggle.

Of that team, Chiwenga said only two are now left, him and Mnangagwa.

“We were one, very solid. And if you wanted to report to the President (the late Robert Mugabe), you went through the personal assistant who is now our current President.

“So we were bound as one. And out of that team, there are only two remaining, myself and President Mnangagwa. And one thing you have to understand here is that he has my blood, and I have his blood. It will never change,” he said.

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Chiwenga added that his relationship with Mnangagwa, soldered through blood and iron, goes further than that.

“We are one, not joined in the hip, in fact that was not the correct description. We are one. As I am speaking here, if you go to the President, you would think that I have phoned him to give you the same answers, sometimes word for word.

“And wherever we are, we think alike, we move as one — one step, two steps, one step, two steps, we have been doing that,” he said.

In November 2017, Chiwenga led a military coup that ousted former president Robert and installed Mnangagwa as the country’s new leader.

The shooting and killing of more than six civilians in Harare in August 2018 laid bare what many thought was a power struggle between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga with no clarity on who ordered the crackdown.

The fierce five-year power struggle has been dominated by scheming, backstabbing, a grenade attack, poisoning and purges that have left Chiwenga in a severely weakened position with most of his allies now dead or demoted.

Chiwenga appeared to temporarily concede defeat in January when he said;

“The party membership through its structures and leagues has already clearly and thunderously endorsed Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as the president and first secretary, and as the sole presidential candidate for the ruling party, Zanu-PF, in the 2023 harmonised elections.

“People have thus spoken. He is the one and only candidate that we know,” Chiwenga said at the time.

Mnangagwa is said to owe his victory to Chiwenga’s ill-health (some say from being poisoned) and the Covid-19 pandemic that killed several army generals loyal to Chiwenga.