Robert Mugabe's son endorses Mnangagwa's Zanu PF ahead of by-elections

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Robert Junior Mugabe is seen during a meeting of the party's youth league.
Robert Junior Mugabe is seen during a meeting of the party's youth league.
Jekesai Njikizan, AFP
  • Robert Junior Mugabe has endorsed Zanu PF ahead of by-elections on Saturday.
  • Mugabe junior says supporting Zanu PF is a family tradition.
  • Robert Mugabe senior died a bitter man and voted for the opposition led by Nelson Chamisa in 2018.

Robert Junior Mugabe, son of the late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, has come out in support of Zanu PF ahead of by-elections due to be held in the country on Saturday.

"I thought I should come and support the party... it's a family tradition. Since I was born, all I knew was Zanu PF," Robert Junior, 30, told journalists upon his arrival at President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF's rally in St Mary's Chitungwiza about 25km east of Harare.

He added:

I am a Zanu PF child and it's only right that I continue the legacy.

His appearance at the rally and support for Zanu PF is contrary to that of his father shortly before his death.

READ | Zimbabwean by-elections: Change of name, colours for MDC as parties test waters before 2023 polls

The late Mugabe said he would not vote for his oppressors and openly showed his support for Nelson Chamisa, who ran as MDC Alliance candidate in the 2018 general elections.

"I can't vote for those who have caused me to be in this condition," the late Mugabe declared at a news conference on 29 July 2018, two days before the elections.

Mugabe was removed from power after 37 years in a military coup led by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.

Tankers rolled into the streets of Harare a few days after Mugabe had fired his then-deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who, in a letter addressed to the president, declared that he would be back in three weeks to "take the levers of power".

Mnangagwa's threat came to pass.

Prosperity preacher and socialite Passion Java has been credited with persuading Mugabe's son to support Zanu PF since the two have appeared on social media together.

They arrived at the rally venue together.

Speaking about the presence of Mugabe's son at the rally, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said his generation was ushering the youth into leadership.

Mutsvangwa said:

It's a matter of continuity for the future of prosperity in Zimbabwe. Having Robert here is very inspiring and very reassuring. I'm very happy about it.

More than 100 parliamentary and council seats are up for the taking on Saturday. The by-elections are viewed as a dress rehearsal for the general elections, slated for next year.

The biggest opposition party, led by Chamisa, will contest the elections as Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) after losing the name MDC Alliance to Douglas Mwonzora, a former ally.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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