Bigwigs within the ruling Zanu-PF party are reported to be plotting to oust ailing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga. Chiwenga is currently battling for life in China where he is being treated by specialists. Chiwenga’s rivals are reported to be plotting to oust him from power to remove him from the succession matrix, based on his poor health and incapacitation to do his job. Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has been named as a potential successor as Vice President.
The former Army General’s health has been off for the greater part of the year and he has been treated by specialists from Zimbabwe, South Africa, India and China amid fears that he was poisoned shortly after the November 2017 Military Coup.
The Zimbabwe Independent reports that Chiwenga’s health has improved since the Chinese performed two operations on his to clear his blocked oesophagus. However, he is still unable to eat solid food although he can now talk, walk and do light exercises.
Sources who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent told the publication
We have a group that is plotting the removal of the VP, while he is still away because they fear he may escalate the succession fight.
They want to use Section 97 of the constitution which provides for the removal of a Vice-President on conditions of incapacitation. The idea is for them to get some members of the opposition to move the motion in parliament and then support it. But the general and his allies will not go down without a fight.
Part of Section 97 of the Constitution reads,
“(1) The Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least one-half of their total membership, may resolve that the question whether or not the President or a Vice-President should be removed from office for- …(d) inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity; should be investigated in terms of this section.”
Chiwenga and Mnangagwa are alleged to have fallen out after the coup after Mnangagwa reneged on their deal to serve only one term as President amid allegations that Mnangagwa has been working on limiting Chiwenga’s power and influence.
Shortly after coming into power, Mnangagwa started speaking of two terms and this is said to not have gone down well with his allies in the military. Mnangagwa also retired four senior military army commanders with the ranks of Major General and Air Vice Marshal and redeployed them to the diplomatic corps. The four commanders have been alleged to have been loyal to Chiwenga.