PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, fresh from being elected first secretary of Zanu PF, has been receiving showering praises from the very same people who were at the forefront of banishing him from both party and government just 16 days ago as political turncoats positioned themselves for the “gravy train”.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Most of the Zanu PF activists who only recently were in the G40 camp plotting to eject the new leader have now jumped ship and are trying to endear themselves with Mnangagwa. These include top Zanu PF officials such as party information secretary Simon Khaya Moyo, Obert Mpofu, Sydney Sekeramayi and Psychology Maziwisa.
Khaya Moyo read out the letter firing Mnangagwa, then Vice-President, for being “deceitful, incompetent and lack of probity” and was the same person who read out a statement from the Zanu PF central committee reinstating the new President into the party.
“You are right that I read out the statements, I am a spokesperson, I do not talk about my personal convictions. I communicate the message that will have been given to me, the decisions that would have been arrived at either by the government or the party, that’s all I did,” Khaya Moyo said in his defence.
Sekeramayi was being touted as the preferred G40 candidate for the position of Zanu PF president after then President Robert Mugabe went around Harare on a witch-hunting exercise disguised as a fact-finding mission together with Finance minister Ignatius Chombo and his Local Government counterpart Saviour Kasukuwere.
In an interview, Sekeramayi was clear that the Zimbabwe National War Veterans’ Association executive led by Christopher Mutsvangwa and Victor Matemadanda should be contained.
“There are individuals who have been denigrating the President, but they have been doing that in their individual capacities and not as representatives of the war veterans,” Sekeramayi said on the sidelines of Mugabe’s youth interface rally in September.
He was, however, at the forefront of singing praises for Mnangagwa after Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday declaring that at the time he denounced Mnangagwa he was “acting as a servant of the party”.
“I was equally shocked by what was going on. I wasn’t a part of it. I am a servant of the party. I follow what the party wants,” Sekeramayi said.
Mpofu, who once declared that he was Mugabe’s “ever obedient son”, turned the heat on his father by chairing a special central committee meeting that threw the former President off the citadel of Zanu PF power.
Maziwisa, whose team comprised of Labour minister Patrick Zhuwao, also somersaulted after showering former First Lady Grace Mugabe with praises on his Twitter page celebrating Mnangagwa’s fall. But now, he has switched his allegiance to the new party leader.
He was quick to post a picture of himself with Mnangagwa, sending a congratulatory message as he sought to endear himself to him.
“Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa elected new leader of Zanu PF. Congratulations Mr President,” tweeted Maziwisa, who on the eve of the military takeover was due to appear on Al Jazeera to speak glowingly about Grace and why she was fit to take over from Mnangagwa.
Another activist Acie Lumumba, who during the biggest protest in Zimbabwe against Mugabe’s rule stepped in and appeared to be speaking on behalf of the army has already signalled his intention to get back in government. Yesterday, he announced that he was back at the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry’s National Youth Council.
“He is the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa. Today, I promised him my service to the country because I understand like he does that it’s not his job alone. Tomorrow, I begin my reinstatement as the government national youth chairman,” he said.
Lumumba is on record supporting Grace to take over from Mnangagwa before he fell out of favour with then Indigenisation and Youth minister Zhuwao.
The two fought tooth and nail against then Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa as he tried to stop Zhuwao from interfering with financial institutions in the country over the obscure indigenisation law blamed for the liquidity crisis.
Lumumba helped craft the Press statements which were supported by G40 leaders as Mnangagwa, was fired by Mugabe as Vice-President, with the support of a number of high-ranking Zanu PF officials.
Lumumba refused to answer questions on his U-turn on Mnangagwa, instead dropping the line and ignoring questions on his WhatsApp platform.
Former Information deputy minister Bright Matonga also joined the bandwagon, seating on the high table at a war veterans’ Press conference last Friday in an unexplained capacity.
Matonga was fired from Zanu PF in 2013 alongside former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who fought to scuttle Mnangagwa’s ascendance to the position of Vice-President, but now appears to take credit as king maker.
Analysts yesterday warned Mnangagwa to be wary of opportunists or wolves in sheep skin who could derail his vision to totally emancipate the generality of Zimbabweans.