Mnangagwa finally arrives

HARARE - After years of struggle and suffering some debilitating defeats, Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was finally appointed Zanu PF’s first Vice President yesterday, a position that sets him up to succeed President Robert Mugabe when the 90-year-old leaves office.

Career diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko beat other former Zapu stalwarts such as Senior minister Simon Khaya Moyo, National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda and Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi to land the ruling party’s second deputy position, as dictated by the Unity Accord of 1987.

Mugabe said yesterday that the two party VPs would automatically become his State deputies and would be sworn into office tomorrow, together with the rest of his butchered Cabinet, after the nonagenarian sacked former VP Joice Mujuru and eight ministers in an unprecedented shake-up earlier this week.

Surprisingly, Mugabe abolished the position of party chairperson, dealing a savage blow to the ego and political standing of former chairman Khaya Moyo — who had aspirations to become VP and was linked to Mujuru in the build-up to the ruling party’s divisive congress that was held in Harare last week.

But Mugabe still appointed Khaya Moyo to the politburo yesterday, in the relatively lowly position of secretary for information and publicity.

The nonagenarian said the two new VPs would rotate the function of chairman.

“We have two vice presidents who have no real function, except that they are my deputies, and I will give them work.

“We feel that we should not have a chairman. The vice presidents will rotate the role of chairman.

“We will fill the posts of ministers we have withdrawn (sacked) from duty. But I can now say in regard to the vice presidents, they automatically become VPs in government. These I would want sworn in on Friday,” Mugabe said.

The nonagenarian ominously said Mnangagwa and Mphoko should not use their posts to plot his demise.

“We must not use the presidium to plot and make subversive plans. We have taken action on some people and not everyone because we knew who were running machine yamai Mujuru, vaMutasa and others,” he said.

Mnangagwa, who kneeled before Mugabe as the long time Zimbabwe ruler congratulated  him on his new post, duly vowed that he would be loyal to the president.

“I can assure the president and the party that I am going to be loyal to President Mugabe. This is a new revolution which has happened and the party will remain strong forever,” he said.

He added that his demotion a decade ago to a lower Cabinet post, following the Tsholotsho Debacle — where he and his supporters were dealt with brutally after being accused of plotting to oust Mugabe from power — had been necessary.

“All that happened had to happen that way during that time,” Mnangagwa said.

On his part, Mphoko said he was ready to work for the party.

“It is a challenge for me but I am ready to work for the party and the country in my new capacity,” he said.

Mugabe said women should not blame him for not replacing Mujuru with another woman in the presidium as the former VP had wanted to oust him from power.

“Don’t blame me for not appointing a woman in the presidium because you all know what  Mai Mujuru was planning, but however, we shall also elevate other women to higher positions in the future,” he said.

As soon as Mugabe named Mnangagwa VP, central committee members erupted into a frenzy, shouting “yes, yes, yes!”.

But there appeared to be minimal celebration for the little-known Mphoko, who remains an enigma among most party members.

The shock of the day was the appointment of Ignatius Chombo as secretary for Administration, while Savior Kasukuwere grabbed the Commissariat post.

Commenting on Mnangagwa’s elevation to the VP post, a senior MDC member who requested anonymity said last night that though the Justice minister had a reputation for being ruthless, they looked forward to battling him in the 2018 elections as he was likely to be the ruling party’s presidential candidate.

“All my colleagues that I’ve talked to this evening are salivating at his elevation as he has zero social and political capital outside the top echelons of the party.

“I hope that he knows that he will battle Zanu PF’s nemesis and the colossus of local politics (Morgan) Tsvangirai come 2018,” he said.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News said last night that Mugabe’s new appointments were unlikely to heal Zanu PF’s divisions or the country’s ailing economy.

They said that the fact that Mujuru had been decapitated, where the market had viewed her as a moderate, would worsen the country’s economic woes and the suffering of Zimbabweans.

Joy Mabenge, Crisis Coalition regional information and advocacy coordinator, told the Daily News that the expulsion of Mujuru and her loyalists had nothing to do with “either competence or performance” but the creation of a “cabal of yes men and women who will in the next few years protect Mugabe’s interests both politically and financially”.

“On the economic front, the Mugabe government has reached the end of its capacity in terms of reviving the economy. We have often said you can rig every other political process but not the economy.

“There is nothing meaningful coming in terms of health, education and shelter. It’s going to take a radical shift politically for our economy to rise again,” Mabenge said.

“This is about insulating the First Family from possibilities of restitution of ill-gotten wealth in Mugabe’s lifetime or when he departs,” he added.

In its 2013 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe number 157 out of the 177 assessed nations, making the country the most corrupt in the Sadc region.

An anti-corruption commission established during the days of the  coalition government has hitherto remained a toothless bulldog, with lack of political-will regarded as the major stumbling block.

Economist Christopher Mugaga said the changes that Mugabe had made were more political than policy-motivated.

“I do not expect a policy shift. It is more of a political move and not about policy. The impact on the ordinary person will be minimal.

“The president should have been wholesome in his approach. We cannot expect a major shift in terms of approach, it can only happen through the courts and not the politburo,” he said.

International Crisis Group’s southern Africa project director Piers Pigou said although Zanu PF was changing dramatically, there would not be a turnaround economically.

“Mujuru and company were often presented as ‘moderates’ and ‘pragmatists’, whilst those associated with Mnangagwa as radicals, even zealots. However, a change of the guard in the executive does not automatically mean we will see clarity and coherence on the economic front,” Pigou said.

Dewa Mavhinga, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, said the changes in the “cockpit” were not only cosmetic but also disastrous.

“Forget about a new start. This marks the end of Zanu PF. Is this going to improve the life of ordinary Zimbabweans? No, not at all.

“It signals ugly and dirty Mugabe succession fights which Mujuru appears to have lost for now,” Mavhinga said.

Comments (38)

makorokoto vp mnangagwa and vp2 mphoko. chishandiraiwo nyika yedu kuti ibudirire. its my wish as a zimbabwean that we do not see others as enemies but rather as partners who once motivated may be helpful in developing our country. i wish we abolished sloganeering the downfall or worse still the death of others. if we used the 'down with' slogan, it would be helpful kuti titi pasi ne kumwa mvura ine svina, pasi nemigwagwa yakaondomoka, pasi ne corruption, pamberi nekushandira budiriro yenyika yedu. to fellow zimbabweans, i think and pray that we open a new page even in our perception of what political life ought to be. lets forget yesterday and focus on the present. divided we fall. it may be important that we be supportive of those who will be assuming new roles tomorrrow and hope that from now on corruption is minimized to sustainable levels.

taurai - 11 December 2014

The next time, he will elevate Grace to the position of president. Zimbabwe shall be saved by the Lord from this evil

Izikiel - 11 December 2014

Yes nhasi ndezveduwo ka...........E D M apinda and we happy for you cde Emmerson Mnangagwa we have been waiting and waiting for this moment in our political life.........This is your Xmas boss cde.....You have been a winner since those days when Joyce was given this same post. You beat her and you had the support of 8 provinces or we can say 8 regions......Aluta continua

Clemence Tashaya - 11 December 2014

The only thing that I want to see Ngwena do as quick as he can is to have the death penalty repelled from Zimbabwe laws. He has been an advocate for the removal of the death penalty for a long time. For other things, Zanu PF is an old party and people should not expect much.

Saxton - 11 December 2014

There is nothing to hope for because Mugabe is still in charge.He actually said"they have no function".All decisions lie with Robert and Grace.

chimuti - 11 December 2014

Makorokoto VaMnangagwa. Tinokudai...

lol - 11 December 2014

taurai CIO reku matapi hostel urikungochirika zvisina basa handiti waiti titongwe nevakadzi. wanyara - 2 varume vice-presidents. hatotongwe nevakadzi isu.

Der - 11 December 2014

I am naturally elated at the elevation of ED (Ngwena) to the post of Vice President as it has always been his. In 2004, he was robbed of victory through machinations by Mujuru's cabal. GOD is great-at long last HE has cleared the way for ED to eventually succeed His Excellency the President whenever he decides to call it quits. I am also happy that my homeboy has taken over and expect rich pickings the people of Zvishavane in as far as development is concerned. I would like him to concentrate on the overall economic recovery of Zimbabwe through the introduction of investor friendly policies. He should also eradicate red tape in many Government Departments, especially Immigration, Ministry of Mines' Department of Metallurgy, Registrar General's Office and Deeds Office. Many an investor have taken their investments elsewhere because of the lukeworm reception by some of the aforementioned Departments whose Officials display a big brother mentality. Zimbabwe cannot afford unfettered bureaucracy at this juncture and such lazy Officials should be shown the exit door. ED is a strict disciplinarian and hopefully he will ensure that incompetent civil servants have no place in his Government. Makorokoto va Chivi, Murambwe. May the good LORD bless you exceedingly & guide you in the execution of your Stately duties. Makasarudzwa na JEHOVAH and we all have to defer to your authority.

Chief Charumbira - 11 December 2014

Now that the new VPs are in place I hope someone will remember that workers in the country's state universities have not yet received their Novemnber salaries.I am sure someone slept at work Gushungo ngavambo pamha kutswaira futi we are starving ,our rents unpaid and aour children are crying.

Sihle Moyoswi - 11 December 2014

Chief Charumbira says: "...whenever he [the president] decides to call it quits." This is how democracy works, right? If you decide not to quit, the hell with them?

ThuthaniM - 11 December 2014

@Taurai: Thanks for the comment, I really liked the new "down with" slogan that you suggested. I wish there was something called the Zimbabwean Citizen's Slogan which would say what you suggested and which I will add to: "pasi ne kumwa mvura ine tsvina, pasi nemigwagwa yakaondomoka, pasi ne corruption, pasi ne economy yakaondomoka, pasi with limited economic opportunities which results in our best Zimbabwean minds going to serve and develop other countries, pasi ne racism, pasi ne tribalism, pasi nekuziva vatungamiriri vedu only during elections time (the rest of the time they evaporate), .... the list can go on and on" United we stand. Divided we fall.

Gatsi Rusere - 11 December 2014

“We have two vice presidents who have no real function, except that they are my deputies, and I will give them work". this is mockery chaiyo. saka kana vasina chekuita vaka isirweyi pazvigaro zvacho. mugabeka usatambe nevanhu uchidayi sahwira

Truth Matters - 11 December 2014

thank you lord for peace in our country we dont want war and to those elected i say lets work together to develop our country in good faith thank you Cde president we salute you may the lord give you strength and many more years of good healthy

gusha godfrey - 11 December 2014

Post Bob there wont be any succession to talk about. These people will resume thier fights and will be crushed by morgan in any free and fair election which we are bound to have post bob.

magame - 11 December 2014

So Mboko and Crocodile will have no real function. This country is funny. So why is Crocodile celebrating, so non from Zapu can ever dream to be president so until when?

maita - 11 December 2014

Ngwena's best chance is if bob retires now and leaves him to complete the term to 2018. If God decides to have his way there will be ugly fights as zanu pf choses a successor which will spill to the courts. In a post bob environment judges will be free to work professionally and the illegalities of the zanu pf congress wil be revisited with mujuru camp emerging victorious.

magame - 11 December 2014

imi chief charumbira matotanga tribalism yenyu yechikaranga. ed is for all zimbos zezuru, karanga, manyika, ndebele and korekore. if you look at the politburo you can observe that manicaland and mashonaland east are the worst losers. mash east its only sekeramayi and bimha who is grace's cousin. ndebeles have scored it big with nine in the politburo. mashonaland central has also lost it with only two back to square one when after independence they only had joyce in the politburo.

CDE CHURUCHEMINZWAtich - 11 December 2014

thanks gatsi rusere. we have to be positive. we also need to try and reassure those coming into leadership that we do not wish them harm. our prayers are that these guys will from now on should turn things around and work for a zimbabwe that we can all be proud of. as a people we are ready to work for change. however, change has to start with the leaders. all the best machinda.

taurai - 11 December 2014

@der, wani vakuru vakataura zvavanoitwa kumba namai. that represents a lot of us my bro. kungotaura kuti ndini muridzi wemusha shamwari but the truth is 'musha mukadzi'. behind every sucessful man, there is a woman. in any case i wouldn't be bothered if vp or president was a male or female. what matters is delivery basi. if the person can do the job well thats it.

taurai - 11 December 2014

Mnangagwa, who kneeled before Mugabe as the long time Zimbabwe ruler congratulated him on his new post, duly vowed that he would be loyal to the president. “I can assure the president and the party that I am going to be loyal to President Mugabe. This is a new revolution which has happened and the party will remain strong forever,” he said. Nothing like forever brute. there is in life a time for everything and one day is one day zanu will be gone from the face of zimbabwe this time for ever

Truth Matters - 11 December 2014

What is needed in troubled Zimbabwe are not these cosmetic changes IN government but a change OF government. While dinosaur Mugabe is still in charge Mnangagwa will only be working as a puppet or automaton. It is more of the same. Nothing much will change. Mnangagwa has been appointed to spite Mujuru. Mnangagwa's problems are only starting. He is Mugabe's choice not ZanuPF as a whole's choice. Mnangagwa is not Mugabe. In any case Mnangagwa's appointment is technically illegal or un-procedural. Even if the Vice President serves at the President's pleasure it does not mean the President can fire the Vice president arbitrarily. It is just like any walk of life. You might have the right to choose whoever you want to employ but once that person is employed you cannot just fire them arbitrarily. Section 97 “Removal of President and Vice-President from office” clearly states the reasons and procedure for removing them from office. What is “holding office at the President's pleasure”? Doing as the President tells the Vice BUT not firing them without good reason(s). If the President can fire the vice any time then why is there Section 97 in this silly Constitution? The Constitution should now be amended to remove Section 97, it has been rendered useless or alternatively remove the phrase “who hold office at his or her pleasure”. But you cannot have both. Mugabe could have avoided the hassle by simply reshuffling the cabinet. I hold no brief for Mujuru but anything to cause havoc in ZanuPF is welcome news to me. Why did Mugabe appoint those he suspected of the alleged plots a year ago?

Musona - 11 December 2014

Makorokoto kuna ED, wish you the best in your new role. I believe you can do it

Museyamwa - 11 December 2014

If you can recall how this guy Munangagwa got this post you can see that he is a thug full time and does not want fair game in this case if he had not framed and cooked treason stories against Mujuru he could have been beaten hands down no doubt about that .knowing him from 1980 they is nothing extra ordinary that he has down in this country only killings in Matebeleland , stealing farms which belonged to zipra forces after he framed them that they were using the farms to hide weapons of war . He also stands accused of looting diamonds from DRC Congo . But what makes me happy is the guy has been loosing elections in the midlands to MDC T if you can ask any rural folk who is Munangagwa they will tell that they do not know him but they all know Morgan . The guy is less intelligent and a bootlicker of Grace.

Diibulaanyika - 11 December 2014

Guys, one thing i dont like about both Zanu & MDC, Putting one man's face on most if not all part materials-Regalia. Zanu is not about Mugabe & MDC is not about Tsvangirai. Lets this be fixed by both. Campaign material during election times yes, but not any other times. This is how you aid the formation of dictotators. Pasi ne face yemunhu one on party materials.

allofus - 11 December 2014

The "crocodile" is very far and chances are very slim to be President of zimbawe. His best shot is to become an interim leader pending elections in case 1924 model kicks bucket. The declaration by corrupt Mujuru that she will die in zanu is testimony that this game is far from over and is now in extra time. Mugabe will not retire from office. Mugabe will not hand over power to Mnangagwa on a silver platter even on death bed. Zanu pf will not endorse "crocodile" as its presidential candidate in the event of mugabe"s death . Zanu pf's biggest battle is still yet to come and its coming. Real war vets will come to claim their party. Mash east has resisted while Mugabe is still alive what more if he is dead. Even if E.D survives which I doubt the opposition will beat him at the polls. E.D's elavation to VP does not have traces of someone that was groomed to take over leadership of zanu pf. " Its smash and grab" It is the culture of zanu pf that will destroy itself and makes me believe that E.D is not the next president. A VP post in zanu is more of a cursed post. ED can die before mugabe. Zanu pf is just rough, blood and dirty.

X-MAN IV - 11 December 2014

Why wouldn't there be a turn-around in the economy? It's not right to be sceptical/pessimistic about anything and everything without laying bare the logical arguments. Mujuru has been fired for what was alleged on her (whether or not the allegations are true/false is neither here nor there). Among the allegations is CORRUPTION, and if a senior government official (A Vice President for that matter), can be fired that should send shockwaves through the rank and file. Above all, the international community , stakeholders in whatever capacity, present and future, are bound to harbour different views about Zim. It is the perception that matters MOST , rather than the reality. The way the Stock Exchange signals.

Chenjerai Makudo - 11 December 2014

Lets get on the streets with placads "FACE OFF". lets sharp our politics & Politicians for the better of the next genearations. infact the constitution must carry a clausse that denies the self centering of one person when national issues are concerned. Who will lead demonstration FACE OFF guys?

faceOFF - 11 December 2014

Khaya Moyo was cock sure he was going to be VP he even boosted of "ruling until donkeys grow horns". The donkeys have not evolved a goose pimple and already he is out. He is lucky to be in the central committee this time, the last time!

Wilbert Mukori - 11 December 2014

I was never surprised that Simon Khaya Moyo was ommitted, in fact akatonyarwa munhu iyeye to remain within the ruling cabal. Remember, the Mujuru faction managed to gain ground by asecuring 10 Provincial Chairmen during the course of the last five years and yet he, SKM, was National Chairman. When Dr Grace Mugabe's tsunami came, the 10 PCs where kicked out surely it follows that even the NC has to go as well resulting in the abolishment of the NC post per se. ZanuPF had literally lost the plot with SKM sleeping ne zamu mukanwa. If anyone was to raise a stink early enough, it was SKM by virtue of what was going on in the provinces. But he did nothing, so i conclude that he was complicit all the while. Think about it. In fact i think he should have been the first one to be fired!

Gurinhwa - 12 December 2014

Mnangagwa knowing as he does that he is not liked by many is most likely to wear a new appealing face and try his best to endear himself with the general populace and the outside world by shaking up some policies to be more investor friendly. Mugabe is now just a ceremonial leader waiting for the day in not too distant a future to step down. So far he is satisfied with his appointments, a powerful Mnangagwa and a little known Mphoko with his wife also in the corridors of power. When the dust has settled, he is going to announce his retirement, the 21st of February on his birthday speech to the nation is well timed for that.

Dr Know - 12 December 2014

ZANU 's trail of destruction started as soon as we got independent . Gukurahundi was kick started to wipe out all who inhabited in Matebeleland as a result 20 000 souls perished in the fracas , to further the destruction all companies some strategically located in Bulawayo which is close to SA and also linked by rail line were all relocated to Harare were they were run by semi literate ex war fighters who destroyed them . ESAP followed furthering the destruction. , Gifts of 50 000 dollars to ex war fighters worsened the situation causing more hatred of the party by citizens . DRC came and . farm invasions . company closures , national currency dies , Theft of elections destroyed the image of the country and finally now the destruction is in zanu very soon the party is going to fold .

Diibulaanyika - 12 December 2014

be positive guys. lets not be bitter it is not healthy. i would wait to see how they fare if ever there is need for critquing them.

taurai - 12 December 2014

makambodyavo ikozvino tapinda makaranga.jehova unochengeta

chitova - 12 December 2014

CIO spies will be positive always bcoz they are benefiting from the present madness in our country.

Diibulaanyika - 12 December 2014

By firing Mujuru on allegations of incompetence and corruption, Mugabe is plainly admitting the rottenness that walk along with his devilish party. There has been corruption in the country but as long as it does not threaten the chair of the nonagenarian no action was taken or will be taken. Installation of Ngwena is really bad news to peace loving zimbos especially if we reflect on the 2008 presidential rerun that was fully administered under the armpit of Ngwena. Surely people will be butchered in 2018 for this guy is ruthless.

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