President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son has reportedly denied claims that he is set on running for a parliamentary seat currently held by his mother, First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa.
A report over the weekend by Daily News said that the Mnangagwas were planning on forming a “political dynasty” – “as was the case with former President Robert Mugabe’s family”.
The report quoted sources as saying that Mnangagwa’s two sons – Emmerson Jr and Tongai – were preparing to contest for the Chirumhanzu-Zibagwa and Harare south seats respectively.
The Chirumhanzu-Zibagwa seat was currently being held by the first lady, while the Harare seat was held by a former Zanu-PF lawmaker Shadreck Mashayamombe, who was recently dismissed from the party.
The Chirumhanzu-Zibagwa constituency had previously been held by President Mnangagwa before leaving it for his wife when he was appointed Mugabe’s deputy in 2014.
Emmerson Jr was alleged to be on the ground, campaigning for the seat despite his mother last year promising that she would not abandon her constituency.
“Initially, we thought he was doing it for his mother who is the Member of Parliament for the area but we have since established that the first lady will not be standing so he is actually preparing his own ground. Even the language he uses now shows he is his own man. His foot soldiers in the constituency now refer to him as honourable. We have even noticed that the first lady no longer visits the constituency as frequently as she used to do,” one of the unnamed sources was quoted as saying.
But, according to NewsDay, Emmerson Jr had since rubbished the claims, saying they were fabricated lies that were “meant to tarnish” his name and that of his family.
He said that he had no interest in holding any political office as “there is more to life than politics and occupying public office.”
Emmerson Jr said: “It is not part of the family agenda to establish a dynasty. Those who are pushing such speculation want to paint the family as greedy and personalising the national political space. We do not stand on that platform.
“This is purely fake news sadly being propagated by mainstream media. There was not even an attempt to seek clarification from myself, which is sad.”
Emmerson Jr was regarded as being very close to his father, as he also was present when his father escaped an assassination attempt after being fired by Mugabe last year.