Little is known about Gwarazimba, but it is believed that his father at one time worked for Mnangagwa. He would not divulge further details about himself other than describing himself as a businessman.
Even though the significance of the formation of the party is yet to be measured, the development could open a new dimension in the acrimonious succession battle in Zanu (PF).
Mnangagwa, who heads one of the two major factions, is reported to be vying for the co-vice presidency of the party at the December elective congress – paving the way for him to take over from President Robert Mugabe when he eventually leaves.
The fledgling ZSP draws its membership mainly from Zimbabwean students studying at South African universities, according to Gwarazimba, who said it already had 500 members.
He told The Zimbabwean that Mnangagwa was the most suitable successor to Mugabe and deserved support from all Zimbabweans.
“ZSP was recently formed mainly to support Mnangagwa’s succession agenda as he is the one to turn around Zimbabwe’s fortunes. We have mobilised a huge number of students and other South Africa-based Zimbabweans from all walks of life into the party, which will do everything possible to ensure that Mnangagwa wins the Zanu (PF) succession race, ” said Gwarazimba.
A national intelligence operative who closely works with the Zanu (PF) commissariat described the party as “weird”.
“This is a strange development. How can you form a party to support an individual from another party? This could mean that Mnangagwa is the brains behind this project.
“This party will not have much influence on dynamics within Zanu (PF), but it could be calculated as a propaganda tool to give the impression that Mnangagwa has much clout. It’s just meant to sell him as a godfather with support beyond the borders,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Star president said his membership still supported Zanu (PF) but had decided to step out of the party temporarily so as to make objective assessments of the crisis.
“We need self-introspection and we will eventually re-join our party at the appropriate time,” he added.
He described Mnangagwa as a philanthropist who had helped hundreds of youths earn a decent living in Kwekwe, other parts of the Midlands and Masvingo, but could not say how.
The party wants land, jobs, food and peace for the youths, a task Gwarazimba said only Mnangagwa would be equal to.
He claimed that Mnangagwa was not aware of the party.
“We are yet to communicate the initiative to Mnangagwa who is in the dark as we speak. He might not like the project but he remains the country’s saviour,” he added.
Recently, another Zanu (PF) strategist, Jonathan Moyo who heads the information ministry, was linked to a project dubbed 263preez Team – purported to be campaigning for him to become Zimbabwe’s next president.
Mnangagwa is believed to be a master strategist capable of turning the tables against his rivals. Rejoice Ngwenya, a political commentator said student activism and other events outside party structures could be good for propaganda but nothing more, as “Zimbabweans are politically mature enough to know what is good for them.”
He said ZSP could be used to fuel factional fights within Zanu (PF).
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu (PF) spokesperson, said he was not aware of the existence of ZSP.
“We would not be surprised at such a development as these days people are in the habit of saying and doing whatever they wish,” said Gumbo, adding that Zanu (PF) was a big machine that would not be derailed by minor side shows such as ZSP.
The Mugabe succession issue has become complicated following the recent elevation of his wife, Grace, as the candidate for the Zanu (PF) Women’s League chair.
Several theories have been bandied about regarding Grace’s endorsement, with some observers saying Mugabe wants her active involvement in Zanu (PF) politics to create a nest-egg for his family.
Others think she is a Mnangagwa project meant to dilute Mujuru’s influence while currying favour with her husband.Post published in: News