HARARE: Mnangagwa is reported to have shouted at Vice President Chiwenga over plots to topple him during the 31 July protests in a move that shows growing tensions within government.
At the recent politburo meeting of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa shouted at Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, according to two people familiar with the situation. They asked not to be identified because the quarrel hasn’t been publicly disclosed.
Bloomberg reports that;
The president accused his deputy of instigating a plan to use an opposition protest on July 31 over the deteriorating economic situation to embarrass the national leader, the people said. Some party members would have been encouraged to demonstrate alongside the opposition, but focus their criticism on Mnangagwa to weaken his standing within the ruling party, the people said.
Chiwenga denied any plot against the president, saying he’d endorsed Mnangagwa as president for Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections, the people said. He said he had protected Mnangagwa against enemies within the party who have now fled the country.
The clash shows the tension between Mnangagwa, 77, and Chiwenga, the 63-year-old former head of the armed forces who installed Mnangagwa when he led a November 2017 coup that ousted President Robert Mugabe. Some military leaders and their allies have grown increasingly impatient as inflation has exceeded 700% and shortages of fuel and food have become rife.
At last week’s meeting, Mnangagwa brandished fliers denigrating him that were seized by the Central Intelligence Organisation from the home of Cleveria Chizema, the party’s health secretary, the people said. Chizema has been suspended. She didn’t answer calls to her mobile phone.
The fliers called for Zanu-PF supporters to join the opposition protest, which was stillborn after security forces deployed on the streets of the capital, Harare. That deployment stoked the latest round of speculation of increasing military influence on the government.-Bloomberg