THE search for another Attorney-General has already begun with senior members of the Zanu PF politburo divided over who to promote to fill the post after Andrew Chigove
ra resigned two months ago.
Individuals in President Mugabe’s inner circle are reportedly unhappy with the acting AG, Bharat Patel’s handling of the on-going treason trial of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the party’s secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, and secretary for agriculture, Renson Gasela who are facing charges of plotting to assassinate Mugabe.
But others understand the need for professionals to be in charge if the growing catalogue of state setbacks are to be reversed.
Well-placed sources this week said Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa favours Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Paul Mangwana, who is also his ex-deputy.
Others reportedly favour Johannes Tomana.
Tomana is a partner in Muzangaza, Mandaza & Tomana law firm, who are Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s personal lawyers, something which could load the dice against him.
Denying links to the race, Tomana said he would put his money on Patel to land the job.
“The hunting ground is obviously at the AG’s office and Patel will most likely land the job no matter what happens.”
Other parties involved on the sidelines are Zanu PF secretary for land and resettlement Enos Chikowore and Speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chikowore is reportedly at loggerheads with Mangwana with whom he has clashed over administrative and land issues in Kadoma East where the latter is MP.
As the secretary for land reform in the politburo, Chikowore has reportedly teamed up with Mnangagwa to convince Mugabe that Mangwana will not be forcible enough to represent the state in land cases lined up in the courts.
Chikowore is thought to see Mangwana, who is also the secretary for administration in Mashonaland West, as an unreliable ally in the AG’s post.
Moreover there are fears that Zanu PF will find it difficult to regain the peri-urban Kadoma East seat in the event of Mangwana resigning to take the post of top government lawyer.
While Chikowore may be distrustful of Mangwana, Mnangagwa on the other hand reportedly sees the exit of his old friend and school mate Chigovera as the work of his predecessor as AG, Chinamasa.
Reports have suggested Chigovera was forced out after criticism from Chinamasa that he was insufficiently robust in his prosecutions, but this has not been confirmed and neither of the two have commented on the circumstances surrounding Chigovera’s departure.
According to sources, Mnangagwa and Chikowore would rather have Patel stay on as the acting AG till the end of the treason trial, by which time a candidate could have been identified.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mangwana said: “When I retire from politics I will certainly wish to go back to law but I haven’t heard about the intention to reassign me now. In any case I enjoy my current job.”