Zimbabwe army commander, Constantino Chiwenga is destined for greater things after being selected to be Zimbabwe’s next deputy president with Emmerson Mnangagwa as the head of state, an online publication has been told.
Chiwenga who graduated with a PhD last year before changing his name last month has been widely touted as a leader in waiting due to his cool headedness, family ties and close relationship with President Robert Mugabe.
The Chiwenga vice presidency story seem to gel with a recent publication by Japan based Zimbabwe writer, Ken Yamamoto, who hinted that 2017 ‘could be Mugabe’s last’.
Below is a report from a Canadian based Zimbabwe publication with sources in the army
Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander, General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga, is now all but waiting to become the country’s vice president, under a looming VP Emmerson Mnangagwa presidency, expected to shape up possibly before Christmas, top army sources have confirmed.
Spotlight Zimbabwe, was the first Zimbabwean online publication, to break the stunning revelations of Chiwenga’s promotion into the presidium, on 18 March 2016.
Chiwenga is expected to continue with his current office as ZDF boss for a little while, at the mercy of President Robert Mugabe who is reportedly unlikely to renew his expired contract, as the Zanu PF strongman battles to extinguish growing political fires calling for his exit from power, with the latest blow being the impasse between him and members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).
The veterans have recently unleashed a damning communiqué deploring Mugabe for his dictatorship tendencies and threatened to withdraw support for his 2018 office bid. War Veterans are also thought to be secretly aligned and sympathetic to Mnangagwa, and are understood to be getting closet morale support from the army itself.
“General Chiwenga is the next Vice President of The Republic of Zimbabwe,” said a senior officer based at Harare’s KGVI Barracks on Monday. “It is a bitter pill to swallow for many, but this is what is about to happen. Your newspaper has also rightly reported about the Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lt-General Philip Sibanda taking over from Chiwenga soon, it is all true, and just a matter of time.”
If things go as planned, Chiwenga will thus become the first highest ranking military chief in the country’s history, to assume the second most powerful office in the land, after his predecessor, the late General Vitalis Zvinavashe, came within a whisker of taking up the same office in 2004 following the death of VP Simon Muzenda, in a thrilling grand political plan that has been brewing since 2008, reportedly mooted and involving former Ethiopian leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam now exiled in Zimbabwe after receiving asylum in 1991, who is said to be the brainchild of the scheme, as a hired national security consultant of the military.
Government insiders yesterday said, it was no coincidence that Chiwenga had changed his name recently, from Constantine to Constantino, in anticipation of his new powerful office next door to Mnangagwa should he assume the presidency this year, as is now increasingly likely in Harare.