Chombo’s comments seem to be an about turn on the part of G40 which called for the congress because G40 wanted a change of leadership to “smoothen” the succession process.
Its main target is Emmerson Mnangagwa whom it wants fired to be replaced by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Legal experts have argued that ZANU-PF does not need a special congress to endorse Mugabe as its presidential candidate, or to rally people behind the party structures in preparing for 2018. This can be done at regular annual people’s conference.
G40 was calling for an “elective congress” and wanted a woman vice-president and to have one, one of the male vice-presidents has to go as appointing three vice-presidents will need the party constitution to be amended.
Zimbabwe’s powerful war veterans are opposed to the G40 proposals and have threatened to field a candidate to challenge Mugabe.
The Lacoste faction said to be behind Mnangagwa has largely been silent leaving G40 in a quandary.
In 2015 G40 tried to push for the nomination of a woman vice-president and those from Lacoste who had been silent as the debate raged said the female candidate does not have to com from the former ZANU-PF.
She could also come from the former Zimbabwe African People’s Union which meant vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko could go instead of Mnangagwa.
The plan was abandoned.