Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the road to the presidency of Zimbabwe is wide open. Anyone who is a member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front can become president.
“Those inside ZANU-PF know that being vice president or being a member of the politburo or central committee is not a stepping-stone to becoming president. Not at all,” Mnangagwa said in an interview with the New African.
“A president is elected at the party congress. There are no conditions that you must be at this level or that level to become president. The condition is that you must be a member of ZANU-PF, and anybody can become a member of ZANU-PF. So you can’t say that because I am vice president or a member of the politburo or a member of the central committee, I am nearer to becoming president,” he said in the interview which was reproduced in The Herald.
“You see, you can be on the road between the State House and Zim House, the President’s official residence across the road. You can throw a stone into the yard of the State House when you are on that road, but someone walking from here to China will arrive first before you arrive in State House if you are on that road. So that is what it is. That is how far it is!”
Mnangagwa, who was appointed vice-president at the party’s congress last year, has been touted by Western think tanks and the local media as the leading contender to succeed Mugabe but there have been reports that the Young Turks within the party prefer First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The First Lady and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko have both stated that they have no presidential ambitions. There is only one centre of power- Robert Mugabe.
Joice Mujuru, who was vice-president for 10 years, was kicked out the party after she created another centre of power around her and was accused of trying to topple Mugabe.
Mugabe,91, is Africa and the World’s oldest president but he is still not the longest serving Head of State. His colleague Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is.