GWERU — Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has been described as a party cadre who has always been and will remain a special assistant to President Robert Mugabe, an indication that Zanu PF’s succession issue is heating up.
By Stephen Chadenga, OWN CORRESPONDENT
Zanu PF MP for Chiwundura, Kizito Chivamba, made the remarks while introducing Mnangagwa, who was guest of honour at the commissioning of two early childhood development (ECD) classroom blocks at Mkoba 4 Primary School on Friday.
Chivamba was at pains to paint Mnangagwa as someone important in the hierarchy of the party.
Mnangagwa and Vice-President Joice Mujuru reportedly lead rival factions angling to succeed Mugabe, a charge both have denied.
Chivamba is widely believed to be in the Mnangagwa camp in the Midlands Province.
“The man who is guest of honour today (yesterday) is one who has great history, not only for the liberation of this country, but Africa as a whole,” he gushed.
“Even during the struggle he was special assistant to the President.
“His appointments after independence, as State Security minister, Justice minister, and now Defence minister, go to show how special he is to the President.”
Chivamba said no one could head the armed forces if that person was not close to the President’s heart.
The introductory remarks sounded like a campaign for Mnangagwa.
Addressing guests, Mnangagwa said it was important for all schools to introduce ECD to prepare primary schoolchildren for Grade One.
He said children who go through two years of ECD would perform better as a foundation would have been laid for them before venturing into fulltime primary education.