Mugabe's hard choices

HARARE - Going by Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Chris Mutsvangwa’s recent narrative that “there is no chairman who will walk into a board meeting without knowing its outcome”, one gets a sense that President Robert Mugabe is clearly in the know about the outcome of Zanu PF’s December elective congress.

And that the analogy has come at a time of serious infighting – marked by mudslinging, and sheer acts of thuggery tacitly abetted by the 90 year-old leader and his wife Grace – and between groups sympathetic to Vice President Joice Mujuru, and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa also means the “dear leader” has tough choices, if not decisions, on which team to stick with.

While the Iikes of Mutsvangwa – a clearly partisan observer and actor – would want us to believe that Mugabe is firmly in charge, and will deftly solve the succession conundrum, there are possible headaches here on whether Zimbabwe’s long-running ruler will stick the “constituency-less” Tsholotsho gang or war-time comrades with numbers needed in any political game.

That the nonagenarian has shown some inclination towards the cunning, ever-plotting and highly ambitious Dinyane motley is no longer a secret, but it remains to be seen whether the Zanu PF leader will actually do the unthinkable by dumping Mujuru and many of her allies – given the man’s record, if not inertia, in dealing with errant party members.

From his failure to act on Mnangagwa and his Information counterpart Jonathan Moyo – after accusing them of orchestrating a coup in 2004, and that the latter was out to destroy Zanu PF around Nathan Shamuyarira’s death – to the national youth vote debacle, Mugabe has largely proven to be a namby-pamby leader, who is unlikely to spring any surprises come December.

As a result of that sloth, long-standing loyalties and the very need to carefully handle the party’s ever-changing socio-politic dynamics, we are unlikely to see some wholesale or sea changes and the “life president” dumping his liberation time backers for counter-revolutionaries that make up this other dissenting group.

Zimbabweans will know by now that Mugabe is actually a very sentimental character driven by self-interest, and the need to protect “hometown” positions.

In that vein, the 90 year-old is unlikely to eject his war-time comrades for those he knows have always tried to “prove clever” and held the dagger since 2004, and simply because the former is unsophisticated and literal plain Janes.

And as the world tries to decipher the complex Zanu PF succession drama every day, Mugabe is probably wrecked – as he seeks to build his team and board – by key questions on whether to throw in his lot with this unelected bunch of vultures in the form of the Shuvai Mahofas, Moyos and Oppah Muchinguris rather than those who punted him in 1977, and marshalling 700 000 votes each election time.

In so many ways, this is a group that has not only shown great disdain for the old order, excoriated him at every given opportunity since 1980 and actively sought to trash the straightjacket talk popularised by the late Vitalis Zvinavashe, but stuffed with elements who deserted Mgagao and have much more dubious western links.

As such, it remains to be seen whether the wily old fox regards a tie-up with this "Mazoe-crass punch-drunk" lot as a winning formula for the future and let alone entrust both the party, and country’s future in this bunch’s hands.

And as we ponder the Mutsvangwa boardroom strategy, if not no scenario, these are some of the issues – if not hard choices – that Mugabe has to contend.

But for a businessman of his right and profile, maybe the Moncris Consultants founder knows something that we all do not know and, crucially, his theory will be vindicated.

Comments (5)

Oppah VP,K,Moyo vp. done the rest are fighting for status quo or loose ,loose situation.

ko hamuoni here? - 10 November 2014

Oppah VP,K,Moyo vp. done the rest are fighting for status quo or loose ,loose situation.

ko hamuoni here? - 10 November 2014

Now Oppah fears to be misquoted after her report on Disgraceful rallies was trampled upon

dudzai - 10 November 2014

what we are going to see happening in the next couple of weeks to come is substitution by elimination, both VP Mujuru and ED are a talk of the past,Bob said he has identified two fuctional leaders therefore the solution to this jigsaw puzzle is get rid of the leaders by substituting them with neutral leadership that has no presidential ambitions and indotrinate them with ZANU PF Values finish and clarre

LT. COLONEL - 11 November 2014

The Executive Deputy Editor is either an ignoramus or outright liar. Maybe except for Jonathan Moyo, the rest of the so called Dinyane motley crew are just as long standing loyal liberation time backers of the President as the Mujuru gangsters. The current issues in ZANU PF are less about succession as they are about going back to the liberation ethos - delivering the land, prosperity, jobs, sovereignty, non-racism, eliminating poverty & want. Chris is correct. The December ZANU PF Congress will push out the corrupt and criminal elements in the Party & usher in cadres who can be trusted to deliver. Succession is a diversionary tactic by the guilty in the Party.

mageja siziba - 11 November 2014

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