Addressing reporters in Harare, Chinamasa said the ZANU PF constitution stipulates that the most senior party member would succeed an incumbent party leader and there won’t be any deviation from that precedent which was set in 1977. He said:
ZANU PF has a constitution and under that constitution, we sit as a congress to elect our president.
In 1977, a lot of the leaders had fallen by the wayside. The most senior person in rank remaining was (the late) Cde Robert Mugabe and at the congress in Chimoio, he was elected president of ZANU then.
In November (2017), exactly on the basis of the precedence of 1977, exactly that is what happened when it became very clear that our constitution was being trampled upon by the G40 cabal and that they were threatening the stability of the nation, the party moved in and we elected, at our December congress, President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa as leader of ZANU PF.
The G40 was a ZANU PF faction that tried to position itself to seize control of the party and block Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was Vice President in 2017, from succeeding the then nonagenarian President Robert Mugabe.