HARARE-- Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu PF, has expressed concern over attempts by some members of civil society and various political parties to malign President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government by questioning its legitimacy.

President Mnangagwa assumed the presidency in November last year after the Zimbabwe National Army stepped into government affairs to purge criminals around former President Robert Mugabe, triggering a series of events which eventually led to Mugabe's resignation.

The army cited grave security concerns following months of rampant fighting within the ruling party over 93-year-old MUgabe's succession. While carrying out their operation, the army did not interfere with the functions of the arms of government by suspending the Constitution or declaring martial law, an act not synonymous with coups.

However, some local civil society activists have approached the Constitutional Court challenging President Mnangagwa and his Deputy Constantino Chiwenga's ascendancy to power, arguing that the Administration had used unconstitutional means to remove former Mugabe from power.

Prior to that, some bitter former Zanu PF members had tried, to no avail, to push regional and continental bodies to declare the army action unlawful, and in turn de-legitimise the current regime.

Pouring water to the attempts, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo says the notion that President Mnangagwa assumed power through a coup is misplaced and that the agenda is being pushed by individuals seeking political relevance.

It is common cause that President Mnangagwa's occupation of the office of Head of State and government of the Republic of Zimbabwe is a consequence of due constitutional processes conducted by the party subsequent to the intervention efforts by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and, this is the position overwhelmingly accepted by the entire globe, he says.

Khaya Moyo explained the steps taken by the party to remove the former President, starting with the convening of a special session of the Central Committee on Nov 20. The Central Committee, which is the highest decision making body of Zanu PF outside congress, resolved to remove the former President as party leader, replacing him with President Mnangagwa, whom he had fired as his deputy a few days earlier.

It further gave him an ultimatum to resign as State president or face impeachment, a warning he initially ignored. He eventually resigned after realising that he would not survive the impeachment motion which was already underway at a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate.

The former incumbent dully submitted to the motion of impeachment moved against him by the party and tabled before Parliament, hence his resignation. It cannot be a coup because he was still the President (when the army operation begun). No one took over, says Khaya Moyo.

In what turned out to be his final address to the nation, President Mugabe alluded to the fact that the army intervention had been motivated by genuine concerns over the country's security and stability, and was not a coup.

"The operation I have alluded to did not amount to a threat to our well cherished constitutional order nor was it a challenge to my authority as Head of State and Government, not even as commander-in-chief of the

Zimbabwe Defence Forces," the former President said then.

To buttress this, the former President had, a few days into the army operation, presided over a graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University in his capacity as Chancellor of state universities in the country.