Mnangagwa’s fate in Mugabe’s hands

It is beyond doubt that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on the ropes and is literally fighting for his political life, as Zanu PF’s infighting gathers momentum and heads for an inevitable climax.

BY NQABA MATSHAZI

Mnangagwa is in exactly in the same position as his predecessor, Joice Mujuru was three years ago, with the other similarity being that the opposition seemingly have no idea how to take advantage of the situation.

Let us deal with the Mnangagwa issue first.

Writing him off at this juncture would be quite premature, but it is quite evident that he is fighting for his political life and his rivals are now saying it is a matter of “when” rather than “if” he falls.

I have previously pointed out that Mnangagwa’s seemingly over-eager allies have been his greatest undoing, as they have pitted him against President Robert Mugabe and in such a scenario, there is only one winner.

His supporters say he has been loyal to Mugabe for decades and his closeness to the security sector means it is much more difficult to fire him than Mujuru.

In spite of this, the knives are out and Mnangagwa’s rivals believe he is at his weakest and it is only a matter of time before he falls.

Mnangagwa’s options at this moment are quite limited; if he keeps quiet and does not respond to accusations thrown at him, he will be considered a sitting duck and that silence would be construed as an admission of guilt, as with Mujuru before him.

If he hits back at his accusers, he runs the very certain risk of offending Mugabe and his wife, Grace, as happened last week.

Take the poison saga for instance; if Mnangagwa says he was not poisoned, it will be a victory for his rivals, who insist he was not.

If he says he was poisoned, he risks raising the ire of the First Family, as happened last week when First Lady Grace Mugabe threw a tantrum and described Mnangagwa as a nobody, whom she will not bother to poison.

Either way, whatever response he offers, he is doomed; he is literally between a rock and a hard place.

He could also apologise to Mugabe for any wrongs done by omission or commission, but this could be tricky, as his rivals could use this against him in the future.

When Grace was leading the onslaught against Mujuru, she implored her to apologise to Mugabe, but the then Vice-President did not, meaning it is anyone’s guess how the President would have reacted to the apology.

Those that have apologised to Mugabe in the past seem to have been rehabilitated in the party and the government, such as Patrick Chinamasa, who after the infamous Tsholotsho Declaration, is said to have apologised and went on to hold the Justice and Finance portfolios.

Mnangagwa, who was also implicated in the Tsholotsho Declaration, was rehabilitated through the non-descript Rural and Social Amenities ministry and bounced back as Vice-President later.

But will an apology suffice or we have got to a point of return?

Mnangagwa’s supporters have been very vocal, saying they want him to take over from Mugabe and quite a few of them have been expelled from Zanu PF, as the succession issue has long been considered heresy in the ruling party.

It seems the battle lines have been drawn and Mnangagwa’s supporters are insisting that he is the heir apparent, whatever the circumstances and an apology at this point is rather unimaginable.

Even if Mnangagwa continues to profess loyalty to Mugabe, his fate is now in the President’s hands and the run up to the December conference could seal it.

These ructions in the ruling party should be considered as a godsend to the opposition, but never before has the opposition been this moribund and they have been reduced to cheerleaders and bystanders instead of going in for the kill.

Instead of regrouping and strategising, it seems the opposition are more interested in what is happening in the ruling party than the circus in their own ranks.

MDC-T legislator, Eddie Cross is now speaking authoritatively on Zanu PF issues and Mnangagwa’s loyalty to Mugabe, as if that is any of his business.

“An effective, even brilliant organiser he has held the State captive for Zanu PF,” Cross writes about Mnangagwa.

“One of the very few Zanu PF ministers, whose hands are relatively clean of corruption, he has survived in the shark tank — but now is under sustained and co-ordinated attack.”

Surely there is everything wrong when a senior opposition member begins to write this excitedly about a Zanu PF member, even drawing parallels between MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s illness and Mnangagwa’s political troubles.

Former minister, Jameson Timba also seemed quite enthused by Mnangagwa’s response to his counterpart, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, almost describing it as a masterstroke.

Unbeknown to him was that Grace was to hit back at Mnangagwa in a very blunt manner within minutes, rendering the latter’s statement irrelevant and yesterday’s news before it was even published.

The opposition has no business in Zanu PF factional wars and instead should take the opportunity to galvanise itself for a bruising 2018 election battle.

All is not well in the opposition and they should be concentrating on solving their own problems instead of looking for the better devil in the ruling party.

As the opposition, their pre-occupation with the next elections should not just be on changing the driver of the carriage, but rather changing the whole carriage.

If the opposition continues on this path of being obsessed with ruling party politics, they should not be surprised when Zimbabweans look to Zanu PF for change rather than the opposition.

Instead of singing the praises of one faction or at least one person, the opposition should be telling Zimbabweans why Zanu PF ought to be removed lock, stock and barrel.

Mnangagwa may be an effective and brilliant organiser, but these are words that we would ordinarily expect to hear from Zanu PF, not Cross.

Yes, the opposition, like anyone else, are allowed to have opinions on Zanu PF and its factions, but it is worrying that they continue to talk this effusively about the ruling party, when their own house is in shambles.

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30 Comments

  1. Nothing interesting is happening in the opposition. Instead of choosing a healthier candidate to field against old rgm, they stick to an ailing leader whose physical fitness come election time is not at all guaranteed, simply because many of them are afraid that the new leader might not pick them to dine on their own grevvy train should they win the elections. No wonder then that all of them spend effort and time on zanupf succession matters and not how they can win the next election by putting in place a formidable presidential contestant now instead of hoping that somehow god will deliver morgan from his woes and panel-beat him into the winning force that they need without themselves doing anything.

  2. All these zanoids have sinned so much that there Mugabes knows everything and now there can not afford to bullshit him and there are serving at his mess and any slight mistake by his/her lieutenants there can find themselves behind bars.

  3. Comment…The opposition have already accepted defeat and will blame nikov/cio for rigging the elections

  4. Wezhira wezhara

    You Newsday guys were bought to do an onslaught on Munangagwa. Where is my comment and everytime I write to correct your bad reporting, my comment disappears. Nxaaaaa

  5. Well when everything has been said and done, politics ultimately comes down to the will of the people.The writer seems to suggest that Mugabe is the Alpha and Omega, the giver and taker of Mnangagwa’s political fortunes and that without his blessing Mnangagwa is nothing.This is a view that is not supported by ground realities. For the past three years Mugabe, through his wife has been mercilessly hammering Mnangagwa, but he is still around.The complaint that opposition leaders are wrong to be mesmerized by ED’s organisational acumen is quite strange.That opposition leaders seem enthused by ED bodes well for the country if he can be a rallying figure in efforts to transform the economy.

  6. Wezhira wezhara

    You are spot on @Musavazi. At least my sentiments are echoed somehow even though my comment has been banished.

    1. One particularly dangerous weakness with “ED” (Erectile Dysfunction? ) is that almost all his supporters are “Wezhira”, “Wezhara” or related. He divides the nation along dangerous lines. Hatimude.

  7. There is nothing Ngwena can do to endear himself to RGM. RGM doesnt and has never wanted Ngwena to suceed him. He has done absolutely nothing wrong(just like Joice) but is simply not RGM’s choice never mind pretentions of the past. It would do Ngwena a lot of good if he were to accept this and therefore deal with the issue appropriately.

    1. Its not an RGM’s wish on who will suceed him but its the will of the people that will determine the successor.

      1. LUV MY COUNTRY ZIM

        did the people choose doctor grace? listened to muchinguri achiti pandakaudzwa kuti amai vakuuya pachigaro meaning she was told of what as to happen not that people wanted, kasukuwere paakanzi nemaprovincies hatichamuda akaenda here or vakanzi stop it akatowedzerwa masimba. vhurikai mese pliz.

  8. Comment…@P. Musavazi, Gushungo’s dairy products are Alpha and Omega. He is the Alpha and Omega until he meets his Creator who is the ultimate Alpha and Omega then Zimbabwe will be free. Gushungo once said he was put in power by his creator and his creator is the one who who will remove him from power.

  9. Its also a strategy to destroy the party by what he thinks…. In ZANU they have Jona who goes to twitter whenever smthn arises and says whats in his mind… Same applies in MDC-T they have Cross to do what Jona does

  10. ED will bounce back as always.The opposition has been laid back by the sudden illness of Save and they seem to be going nowhere at all

  11. Comment…kusiri kufandekupi he must stand as a man and defend himself,vanongoitwa sepwere nxaaa

  12. Comment…isu tongonzwa tinyerere hedu

  13. The opposition is now matured clever and spot on bcoz if they start working hard and show zanu that pple now want opposition zanu will then work on how to destroy the gained support by time elections come all the opposition hard worked so hard to achieve will be gone .So it better to keep zanu guessing till last minutes . More so opposition need no work at all bcoz hardship has taught everyone to hate zanu .

  14. The Opposition is surprising indeed. In Shona they say “Kwadzinorohwa matumbu ndiko kwadzinomhanyira”. Why – of all the opposition parties, MDC would come out praising ED ; its a wonder!! The same man is pon record or its now of public fora that he “SAVED” the president from election defeat in 2008 by merely subverting a democratic electoral process and rejected the “people’s will! He just declared kuti Tsvangirai haana kuhwina – and the rest is now history! Today this is the man this main opposition party is heaping praises on!! May God forgive us!

  15. Anton Frankfurter

    Looking from abroad, why the other choice is not present: Manangwa and war vetrans as organiser of a movement of fair and free elections, the rule of law and its defense by Police and Army – together with other democratic politicians and people of Zimbabwe?

  16. like it or not, the truth is Mnangagwa and everyone else in ZPF serves at the pleasure of rgm

  17. ngaaende uyo kana shungu dzeboofu kuda kuona

  18. As Mugabe said some time ago when he was referring to the opposition coalition, ZERO+ZERO=ZERO!!

  19. Mnangagwa, the bible says God enthrones and dethrones kings. While you were taught a number of things from your so called boss, you failed to learn the key things. I have said it before that no matter how close you may become, you will miss it by a wisker. You are a characteristic blasphemer. Do you remember saying ‘ I SAW God under a tree wearing a ZANU t shirt. At a certain wedding you professed that you do not worship God the creator but Jehovah wehondo. I concluded that you have missed it then. Hameno vari kushamisika. Look at at how mbuya Bona’s boy behaves. Trained to fear God and observe religious liberty. Manje God is too big to fight you; he just send an unarmed professor to politically persecute you irregardless of your PHD in active politics. Like kings of old , cry in sackcloth, per chance you may be forgiven

    1. Very true indeed that ED is a serial blasphemer. I remember ED saying that Zimbabwe should harvest enough maize in 2016/2017 season so that nyangwe Mwari akatsamwa zvakaita sei, hatizovi nezhara muZimbabwe in future.

  20. Hate the game, not the player! With the current ‘ideological radicalization’, limited democratic dispensation and winner-take-all system of leadership, hero-worshipping is here to stay. Alternately, with their unilateral approach to political divergence, the opposition may scramble in the event that Tsvangirai is not the arena come 2018 due to lack of succession roadmap. Lets reason broadly.

    1. IT IS ALL BECAUSE OF THE WOMAN WHO RAN ZEC ( ZANU )
      NYANGWAH, FICI

  21. he must just join MDC

    1. LOLEST!

  22. Comment…Can MDC people stop commenting on the ZANU fights and go out and tell people how important it is to remove ZANU from power. Can MDC seriously think of excusing Morgan until he recovers and offer an alternative leader of the Alliance.Can people start thinking straight

  23. Comment…As Christians we pray for peace all the way despite all these political storms ,May God be with all our political leaders and guide them all the way

  24. Patrick Guramatunhu

    It is beyond doubt that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on the ropes and is literally fighting for his political life, as Zanu PF’s infighting gathers momentum and heads for an inevitable climax.

    This is just wishful think of the ill informed who are desperate for change and so they imagine what is not there.

    President Mugabe and G40 have been trying every dirty trick they can think of to boot Mnangagwa out of the party without success. Mugabe had the chance to fire him but did not have the guts.

    Mnangagwa like Professor Moyo know a lot about Mugabe, the tyrant has found firing them impossible. Only the naïve think Mnangagwa can be fired just as easily as Mujuru!

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