By Mary-Kate Kahari|HARARE– Defence minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, is tipped to become the next first vice president of Zimbabwe, taking over from incumbent, vice president Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga, in a new post-Mnangagwa political order set to take power within 12 months, Spotlight Zimbabwe, can exclusively reveal today.

As first revealed by this publication on 14 May 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly due to tender his resignation as the country’s leader in less than twelve months, to avoid a humiliating exit, after failing to resolve Zimbabwe’s economic crisis and suffering an alleged business fallout with a powerful military faction rooting for VP Chiwenga, to either take over or name a successor to finish off Mnangagwa’s term.

High ranking sources in the army and senior officials at the defence ministry aware of the plans, said Muchinguri is allegedly aligned to Chiwenga’s political faction in government and the ruling Zanu PF party, therefore she was a natural favourite to land the post.

It is also coming to light for the first time, that Chiwenga, who is himself likely to become a “transitional” president of the country between anytime now and July 2023, following Mnangagwa’s imminent exit through another subtle military campaign we have reported on, code-named “Operation Restore Economy” was instrumental in the appointment of Muchinguri to her current position on 11 September 2018, in Mnangagwa’s so called second republic government. Ironically, Chiwenga is Muchinguri’s predecessor after holding the same office as minister of defence and war veterans between December 2017 to September 2018.

“Oppah Muchinguri is the next first vice president of this country,” army sources said. “What you have to realise is that anyone who becomes defence minister in this country, is almost set for an automatic presidium post as their political elevation. Muchinguri is a very close ally of Chiwenga, although she does not openly show sides. The General (Chiwenga), is making sure that Muchinguri will deputise him both in government and Zanu PF when he becomes president. Have you ever asked yourself who appointed Muchinguri to be the ruling party’s first female chairperson and why? I will tell you. It is our military bosses, and she’ll soon become Zanu PF’s Second Secretary, therefore you know where that equation leads.”

Previous defence ministers in the country’s history, have often ended up becoming vice presidents, and these include Mnangagwa himself and VP Kembo Mohadi.

Other former defence ministers such as Sydney Sekeramayi and Moven Mahachi, have been linked to press reports of having presidential ambitions and only failed due to political sabotage.

Muchinguri’s vice presidency also has the closet support of China, senior defence officials revealed.
The Chinese leadership is now said to be in direct contact with Chiwenga and the Zimbabwe military leadership, sidestepping Mnangagwa over concerns of graft and the president’s perceived cosying up to the U.S and the EU, which is seen as a threat to China’s foreign policy in Zimbabwe.

Muchinguri on offcial visit to China

“China is involved big time,” the officials said last week. “They’re backing the VP to rule Zimbabwe, and Muchinguri will benefit as the potential second in charge. Many high level meetings between the military and China with regards to Zimbabwe’s post Mnangagwa presidency are already in motion. Muchinguri was in China last month. Yes the official line is that it was a high powered delegation from the ruling party she was leading as chairperson for strategic exchanges with the Communist Party of China. However there is more to it, and you need a third political eye. The minister held closed door meetings with Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe, what has that got to do with Zanu PF?”

Spotlight Zimbabwe, can also reveal that apart from Muchinguri, foreign affairs minister, SB Moyo, and Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, are said to be neck on neck to fill the position of second vice president. However at the moment Khaya Moyo is believed to be having an upper hand over Moyo, as he is closer to China and seen as an unofficial political operative of Beijing. If the foreign affairs minister does not land the job, he’s earmarked to return to the military as their new defence minister.