Mnangagwa is out – Mutasa

HARARE - Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has insisted that Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is not in the running to succeed President Robert Mugabe, as the party’s succession politics become more convoluted.

This comes as the Presidential Affairs minister has — for the umpteenth time — tipped Vice President Joice Mujuru to take over from the 90-year-old nonagenarian, but Mugabe himself has recently ruled out both “contenders”.

“It is you the media that wants to bring Mnangagwa’s name in the issue (of succession), but he is not in the top line-up,” Mutasa told the Daily News yesterday, adding the Midlands supremo was a “low-ranking” official whose chances of making it to the party’s presidium were slim.

“If someone becomes lucky amongst the people you refer to, he will be voted to be in the top order in the party at our next congress in December but not now. You must read the Zanu PF constitution and understand it,” he said.

With the ex-Defence minister locked in a perpetual succession duel with Mujuru, the Chirimanzu-Zibagwe MP has emerged as one of the leading contenders to take over from Mugabe — but Mutasa said he was a distant number 14 and far beyond the pecking order of making it into the presidium.

Although the country and ruling party’s constitution place the VP as  the front runner, Mnangagwa has often been touted as the 90-year-old ruler and other hard-line elements’ choice or preferred candidate.

And with Mugabe flatly refusing to name anyone as his successor, other names have cropped up and these include ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

In a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Zanu PF leader hinted he may not contest the 2018 election and the people would have to choose his successor — although he had not made that decision yet.

“I have people in mind who would want to be,” Mugabe said in the documentary dubbed “Robert Mugabe @ 90”.

“But I have looked at them. I have not come to any conclusion as to which one, really, should be. I leave it to the choice of people,” he told Ghanaian-born British film-maker Roy Agyemang in the interview.

But just as the decision not to contest the next elections has surprised many in the 51-year-old party  that has won successive elections since independence in 1980, albeit under controversial circumstances.   Mugabe’s views lacked clarity on what exactly he thought would happen at the elective December congress which is expected to choose his successor.

With the next congress due in 2019, a year after the presidential ballot, he might have to call an extraordinary congress ahead of the next plebiscite to choose a candidate for the election.

But given his advanced age, it is not clear if he will still be around to make that call and analysts warn his failure to appoint a successor has presented a very dangerous scenario for Zanu PF.

Even though Mutasa has routinely tipped Mujuru, the Manicaland supremo has refused to commit himself to what would happen at the party’s elective December congress and whether there would be any presidium configurations.

“Are you saying that President Mugabe does not know that Mujuru is the vice president when he made that statement?” he said.

Further, he claimed that Mugabe had made it clear that the VP “was his natural successor”.

“She was supposed to officiate at the ZITF (Zimbabwe International Trade Fair) in Bulawayo as the VP and also does she not act sometimes as the president in the absence of VaMugabe (President Mugabe)?” Mutasa asked.

However, the Zanu PF women’s league stalwart — who was expected to be a keynote speaker at a business conference with more than 350 delegates in attendance — has failed to attend the annual gathering and instead dispatched party chairman, and senior minister Simon Khaya-Moyo to act on her behalf.

As it is, Mugabe himself will officially open the trade showcase.

“Although SK Moyo is there officiating, he is not doing so as the president or vice president,” Mutasa said.

While many have claimed that the 90-year-old president has for long preferred Mnangagwa, his recent visit to Gono’s Harare farm has sparked unprecedented panic and speculation on who he really wants for the top job.

Many see considerable hurdles in Mnangagwa’s way and especially given Mujuru’s respect among Zanu PF supporters, and other neutrals. 

These include Mnangagwa’s alleged involvement in the 2004 Tsholotsho plot which was described as a “coup” by Mugabe and was meant to rearrange the Zanu PF presidium.

Nonetheless, the Tsholotsho gang, including other top party officials and mainly provincial chairpersons, failed to block Mujuru’s ascendancy to the vice presidency, with Mugabe taking strong disciplinary action against the bunch.

In the aftermath of that episode, Mnangagwa was relegated to manage a backwater ministry for Social Amenities and Rural Housing.

He was, however, rewarded after the bloody 2008 poll, where he was Mugabe’s chief election agent and was accused of spearheading the faction-riddled party’s brutal campaigns.

While analysts say the prospect of taking over from the ageing leader gave Mnangagwa a clear incentive to ensure that last year’s elections went Zanu PF’s way, others such as Mujuru claim to also have worked hard for that victory.

Together with her late husband Solomon, the ‘modest’ VP is reportedly leading a faction vying for power as party and State president.

Comments (38)

Why is Mutasa taking it upon himself to announce who has the greater chances of taking over from Mr Mugabe? What is his personal interest? The president of the party has said the post can be taken over by anyone provided the ZANU PF members support that individual. The next leader of ZANU PF may as well be Jonathan Moyo is members so choose. Mutasa is the Secretary for Admin himself despite playing a very minor role in the formative years of ZANU. As far as the history of ZANU PF is concerned, Mutasa is a "Dhaka Boy" ( a midget).

Sekuru Chokocha - 25 April 2014

Something is about to happen in ZANU PF. The fights are now quite interesting and they occur daily. The other day we had the deputy foreign affairs minister calling his immediate boss "my junior". We also had the fights between Jonathan Moyo and Rugare Gumbo. Two or so days ago Kasukuwere was labeling Walter Mzembi as an ignorant and naïve fellow who was involving himself with issues beyond both his knowledge and mandate. Now Mutasa is calling the ZANU PF legal supremo a "low ranking" official. Surely, the vultures are circling around a carcass. Soon we will be seeing an all-out war. Mark my words!

Dominic Tarusenga - 25 April 2014

Cde Mutasa is very right. In ZANU PF we follow the perking order. "Low ranking" officials like Mnangangwa must be patient and not jump the queue. Cde Mujuru will be the next president of ZANU PF and the country. You don't need to seek Makandiwa's prophecy for that.

Madhavu - 25 April 2014

@Madhavu. You are very wrong. Remember that only recently Mrs Mujuru was Mnangagwa's junior but was strangely catapulted into the vice president's post on some dubious pretext to fill a nonexistent women's quota. Remember the Tsholotsho debacle? Mnangagwa almost became the vice president had some spanners not been illegitimately thrown in the works. The post is open for everyone!

Zivanai Tekere - 25 April 2014

Madhavu get away, we are going for an elective congress in 2019 and the order you are talking about will be disbanded with every nominated candidate standing an equal chance

Ngwena - 25 April 2014

Zvauya - You are very far from the realities in ZANU PF You really need to dig more about ZANU PF

dungas - 25 April 2014

what position did Mutasa and Mujuru hold when Ngwena was secretary of administration in Zanu? congress wl discide who becomes what baring Mugabe intervention as he did when he made mujuru vice president when she had no support of the people

dongo - 25 April 2014

Amana , the truth is Mutasa hurts Mnangangwa chete, why take take naye, hee haaite president hee chii chii, ndochii ko ichocho mu party?? ko akazoita president iwe uchimbo beja?? hoo manje ini pakaitwa ma votes ndotomuvhotera come what may.

Mikhail Gorbajev - 25 April 2014

Who is he to tell us baba Mnangangwa havaite , the majority will decide not njere dzake dzehudofo idzo . We are behind Ngwena 24/7 taneta nezvenyu zvokungopa vushe ikoko mega Midlands musingatione . Tinoti kana Save vatadza kutonga tinoenda naNgwena . Viva Baba Mnangagwa viva hate or like him we dnt care

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 25 April 2014

Yes sekuru tell them we are choosing our successor ourselves isai heti mundiro

protestor - 25 April 2014

Mr President knows in his heart who is capable to take over the throne only it's not yet time according to him to say .We must not read much into the ZanuPf elective congress as he will be imposed to the people. Mugabe is crafty ,wiser .Also there are chances of NIKUVING the elective congress.

MyZimbabwe - 25 April 2014

Mr President knows in his heart who is capable to take over the throne only it's not yet time according to him to say .We must not read much into the ZanuPf elective congress as he will be imposed to the people. Mugabe is crafty ,wiser .Also there are chances of NIKUVING the elective congress.

MyZimbabwe - 25 April 2014

For once I agree with Mutasa. Mnangagwa is to blame for the factional fights. All he needs to do is to respect those above you. The successor will obviously be decided at Congress. But as we all know, there will be only one candidate for the party President position.

Tongo - 25 April 2014

The issue of who to succeed Bob, is confusing you guys. All those mentioned have had their chances what is it that you prefer them to be, what do you think they will bring different from what they have been doing. What we need is people like Gono who has the capability. He is the man to become president, if Zimbabwe is to be what it was yesterday.

deeds - 25 April 2014

isu ve zanu pf tinoda Va Mnangagwa....

katerere - 25 April 2014

can i ask whois to replace

TANAKA - 25 April 2014


TANAKA - 25 April 2014

Mnangagwa muOffice varume, makaranga ambotongaoka

studio77 - 25 April 2014

If ever Mnangagwa wriggles his way to the highest office of the country, ta-mama. Yes tinenge ta-mama. I say this from my knowledge of him not fembera fembera.

Muchakubvura - 25 April 2014

Iwe ndiwe uchamama ,tonovotera Munangagwa timbowona kwazvinosvika.

mukaranga - 26 April 2014

Mutasa is wrong to launch this unwarranted tirade against Mnangagwa because the latter has not announced his intention to contests the party presidency. So I don't see why Mutasa goes to town about this non issue as far as Mnangagwa and Mujuru are concerned. However, I just want to remind those who are coming out blazing in support of Mnangagwa that much as they would want to see him lead Zimbabwe, this man is unfortunately one of the least popular politician of our time. His cruelty and penchant for taking punitive action against competing suitors for instance, is well known. Not long ago, he had to defend this unpopularity by announcing to people in Kwekwe that he was now born again and those who think they are holier than him will be surprised to find him ahead of them in paradise. You can see that he was clearly showing his awareness of how he is perceived by the generality of Zimbabweans. In my opinion, if people across the political divide were asked to choose between Mnangagwa and Mugabe, the latter would win hands down. The same would happen if Mnangagwa was pitted against Mai Mujuru in a straight contest across the political divide. Mnangagwa would only win by use of brute force spearheaded by the partisan and gullible military assisted by ZANU PF yobs (referred to as youths). For God's sake spare us this monster called Emmerson Mnangagwa please. We might as well have Jongwe for the next 10 years!

Tinoziva - 26 April 2014


WEZHIRA - 26 April 2014

apa pachaita ma1

mabs - 26 April 2014

Nyika yeZimbabwe ndeyemazezuru, I don't know whether Mnangagwa is zezuru or not but to he is neither a zezuru or national leader, he can be a district or a provincial leader!!

cchaa - 26 April 2014

Why do people think that Mugabe must choose a successor , Zanu pf must choose a successor not Mugabe to name successor.Already the zanu pf constitution if flawedthe people choose the first secretary who then appoints politburo members, the people should vote for all positions on offer that way the forst secretary is not like a KING

Harare - 26 April 2014

If this country belong to the zezuru why then do we have a Malawian as president since 1980?

Diibulaanyika - 26 April 2014

i just cant help but wonder why is Mutasa standing and giving interviews about the succession of Mugabe...does he have anything else better to do and who has given him that office....Mugabe deep inside knows who his successor will be.......

malvin - 27 April 2014

Mujuru is junior to Mnangagwa in terms of ZANU PF history and the roles played by the two individuals. She was catapulted into VP position thanks to her late husbands influence. And the only way she could get into that position was for the president to declare that it's reserved for a woman. Her camp shouts the loudest because she knows she did not earn that position. The party was ready to vote for Mnangagwa. He is intellectually superior and contrary to what the media portrays he is respected as a leader and is a principled politician. People are afraid of him for all the wrong reasons. Nothing in ZANU PF is written in stone, so Mutasa should not be so confident. Tomorrow he will be accused of 'Tsolotsho'. What will be will be.

Diane Moyo - 27 April 2014

Diane Moyo even Didilmus is very junior to Emmerson if it was not this zezuru hegemony. Mutasa was busy with that white man at cold comfort whilst Emmerson was in the trenches. Emmerson is not junior to any of those he is in the class of Robert Himself he is the few of the remaining gallant forces of ZanuPF kwete ava.

Maita Manyuka - 28 April 2014

Mutasa forgets himself....The first polituburo position Mutasa held in 1977 was Dep Sec Finance and at that time Mnangagwa was Sec National Security&Special Assistant to the President i/c National Administration...That was the last time Politburo positions were contested...These days Mugabe appoints people to positions and it has zero to do with seniority. Otherwise Mutasa as Sec Admin was more senior than Gava,Kangai&Nhongo who were 'mere' committee members. Mutasa is showing personal opposition to Mnangagwa and as it is the fact that Mnangagwa is silent speaks to the difference in intellectual capacity. Whilst Mutasa&Gumbo shout about Ngwena's lack of seniority those who know the history of the party know better.Thats why Chiwenga said Ngwena is one of only 3 people present at ZANU formation still alive and in the structures with Mugabe&Shamuyarira PS-Funny how people talk of Tsholothso and yet Rugare Gumbo who was part of Hamadziripi Rebellion in 1977 which wanted to KILL Mugabe,Tekere&Muzenda is allowed back in the party with a 'clean' record as was Mvhaire and yet the Tsholotsho group continues to be blacklisted.

wezhira wezhara - 28 April 2014

Mutasa forgets he was once secretary for external affairs whilst Mnangagwa was secretary for Administration, the so called no 4 position and he was somewhere no 25, that is according to his dubious and non existent rankings. Mnangagwa started politics as a very young man in 1960, whilst mutasa joined somewhere in 1964 on a passive note, growing vegetables at cold comfort farm. Mnangagwa went to train in China and was the first group to go train even before Tongogara. He was special assistant to the president and secretary for Security and Defence in the pre independence era. He is the longest serving politburo members among the crop that is there now including Mugabe. He was the first Minister of security at Indepedence whilst Mujuru was given a token ministry of youth. He was the longest serving secretary of finance in the politiburo. He is the Chief strategist of Zanu PF. Mujuru only joined the struggle in 1973 and after all did not fight anything and the downing of a helicopter is an blantant lie . The person who shot that palne died on the spot and she claimed she did it. She never fired a single shot. Was just a girlfriend of Chefs and eventually was snapped by Solomon Mujuru and had 2 children in the war. Mind chefs wife did not fight there were in the comfort of Maputo, beira and Chimoio towns. How can you fight when you have pregnancy for 9 months after several months of cosiness and intimacy, then breastfeeding and caring for 1 and half years and mind you this happened twice during the war

Ndini - 28 April 2014

I agree with Ndini. Joice downing a Rhodesian helicopter is just a big joke. Of all the people, she knows she is lying. The story did not originate from her. It started just as a story and eventually she accepted it and owned the fame. Military helicopters do not just come down easily. When we talk about real liberation soldiers who downed Rhodesian helicopters, let's talk about Paradzai Zimondi, not Joice Mujuru.

machakachaka - 28 April 2014

zviroto zviroto, Ngwena for presidency, ndezvavo izvo, kudonhedza chopa kupi kwacho , yu think she could get that time yekusimudza AK 47, kudonhedza chopa, imi AK 47 KUDONHEDZA CHOPA, MMMM. haa if ngwena is not elevated to the top post then it means tribalism is at work in our part zpf. VIVA CAMARADA DAMBUDZO VIVA .

Michail Gorbajev - 29 April 2014

I didn't know that Mutasa is this dull. He doesn't even understand the Party constitution. Elective congress has a special purpose to elect office bearers. Maybe what he doesn't understand is the word election.

kollen - 30 April 2014

Sekuru vangu havapengi n'anga yedu chitopota chaicho uye mishonga yedu iri dangerous. Munofunga ndingagwaute mahara. I know where I stand.

tHEMBA mIISWA - 30 April 2014

Check this out!

mike Dingake - 1 May 2014

So these Ndebele guys are just ceremonial? The likes of Khaya perceived as chairman. What a tribal set up. Some are even dreaming of Zimbabwe being a country for the zezuru. Zimbabwe is for the Zimbabweans. This is why there's no progress in this country. Who owns who?

Regalia - 2 May 2014

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