'Mnangagwa won't succeed Mugabe'

HARARE - As the fierce Zanu PF war to succeed President Robert Mugabe escalates, former ruling party stalwarts, current insiders and analysts say embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s chances to rise to the throne look “as good as dead”.

Speaking last week, former senior Cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Dumiso Dabengwa — now leader of the opposition Zapu — claimed that Mugabe had “already hand-picked” a successor who was not Mnangagwa, and whom he would reveal soon.

This comes as both party insiders and analysts warn that Mugabe’s failure to outline a clear succession plan is the main reason behind Zanu PF’s deadly and seemingly unstoppable factional wars.

It also follows the ruling party’s decision at its disputed 2014 congress to change its constitution to allow Mugabe to appoint his deputies — giving the increasingly frail nonagenarian the power to anoint his successor as its “sole centre of power”.

“There is a (succession) programme. It will be unveiled soon ... his programme, not the party’s programme,” Dabengwa told the Voice of America’s Studio 7 last week — but refused to name names, while wholly discounting Mnangagwa’s chances.

“I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess, but there is a candidate in mind and all that is being done (the succession wars) is in order to clear the way for the preferred succession candidate,” Dabengwa added.

Several names have been thrown into the succession ring over the past few years — including Mugabe’s powerful wife Grace, vice presidents Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and former Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

While virtually all of these people have said that they are not in the running to succeed Mugabe, the first lady has hinted at the kind of individual Mugabe has in mind to take his throne.

She said recently that, “Mugoti unopihwa anyerere (the throne will go to someone who is quiet and not campaigning for it)”.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure told the Daily News yesterday that in light of all this, Sekeramayi was in the succession frame.

“The real question is who will get the cooking stick, who is the quiet one? Would you say it’s Mphoko or Mnangagwa? Certainly not, given how they have been involved in the ongoing factional war?

“Would you therefore say it is Sekeramayi? One is tempted to say yes, to the Defence minister for various reasons.

“The fact that Sekeramayi has been appointed to sensitive portfolios of State security and defence for an unbroken period shows that Mugabe trusts him because he would not be comfortable with someone who differed with him in principle and ideology.

“Furthermore, the Defence minister has surprisingly survived the turbulent times that Zanu PF went through that led to the sacking of (former vice president Joice) Mujuru.

“How did he survive when he was one of the people suspected to be backing her?

“Why was he kept at the head of a sensitive ministry? The other thing that works in his favour is that Sekeramayi does not invite media attention. He is possibly the quiet one,” Masunungure said.

But academic and publisher Ibbo Mandaza said he was convinced that Mugabe wanted to die in office — adding that claims that there was a succession plan were “far-fetched”.

He said it was most likely that Mugabe’s successor would only be decided by the party upon the nonagenarian’s passing on or incapacitation, with no guarantees that any of the current frontrunners would make it in the event of a special or extraordinary Zanu PF congress.

“Talk about Mugabe’s successor is hearsay because on several occasions Mugabe has expressed his desire to rule until his death and he has also said publicly that his party had the mandate to choose his successor.

“If you go to the current Zanu PF constitution, you will notice that there is now a provision for a special congress to determine who will take over in the event of the president being incapacitated,” Mandaza said.

University of Zimbabwe War and Strategic Studies lecturer Wesley Mwatwara said military men, including Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga, should not be written off the succession matrix.

He said top military officers were “part and parcel of Zimbabwean politics”, which explained the fierce resistance Zanu PF had mounted regarding security sector reforms that were demanded by the opposition and the international community.

A senior Zanu PF official said Mugabe regarded Gono “highly and credits him with saving the country from

total collapse during the 2008 economic meltdown” that spawned critical shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs, as inflation scaled supersonic levels.

Comments (36)

I live in Masvingo, but I don't do homeboy politics like Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Grace and Mphoko. The best person to lead this counrty is Leautenant-General Philip Sibanda. He is level headed and commands a lot of respect both in the military and in civil society. He is untainted.

machakachaka - 29 February 2016

Who is electable in Zanu pf who can contest against Tsvangirai,Mujuru,Makoni just to mention a few opposition political leaders is it Lacoste,Dr Amai,Saviour,Sekeremayi,chiwenga,and other ranks and file Gushungo has to name a successor soon and all this nosense will stop

Colonel - 29 February 2016

Philip Valerie Sibanda is a professional soldier recognised internationally. He would not want his image embroiled in abracadabra-nonsense. he can serve in any army of any nation.

nelson ndlovu - 29 February 2016

Why shuld thr be anointment of a zanu leader.we shuld hv a congress,simple.only liberation stalwarts .this factionalism is just to entertain pple.Ibbo is damn rite.a special congress is the real deal.RG shuld make sure its done while he is alive n see a smooth take over,like other lib movements in sadc.he must nt choose a leadern he mustnt wait for his death.he must supervise the zanu elections,wthout him contesting.

viola gwena - 29 February 2016

A congress is the fairest.anyone can compete,put forward yo name,mnangagwa,Fst lady,kasukuwere,moyo,chatunga, chinotimba.nominations .simple.thats what anc,swapo,ccm,frelimo do.and thats why their parties r strong .its that simple for this simple problem

viola gwena - 29 February 2016

It doesn't matter what kind of successor it will be, be it a donkey, monkey or what, we are fed up with this zanu nonsense. period.

Tahir Iqbal - 29 February 2016

Its Mugabe's party and all the members are his wives, even Dongo confirmed this. He can and will do what he likes, there is no point second guessing what he might do. I pity those who think they are members of a club/party but are in fact concubines or wives playing to Matibiri's whims. The day they bury Mugabe is the day we bury Zanu & its regressive thinking collective and that can only be a good thing.

Galore 123 - 29 February 2016

yaaa sekeramayi scores more, but sibanda, the general, can also be tipped

francis - 29 February 2016

@ viola. my sista, stop day dreaming coz the word fair in zanupf is alien and taboo. munoda macongress nekuvhota sterek don't you dare talk of fair, fairer or fairest kana mavhota coz kwenyu hakuna izvozvo

francis - 29 February 2016

@ Francis these basic fundamentals are too complex for zanoids...they are taught what to think and what to support. The late Muzenda even said if we (Mugabe & those given powers by him to make decisions) choose a baboon to represent zanu, zanu people will back it up 100%.

Galore 123 - 29 February 2016

Thats the ideal thing viola.uri rite.munhu unogotya ma party elections why?

yuba - 29 February 2016

So call for a congress n put yo baboon.as long as it is free n fair.ia bveni rako.thats wht viola is saying.

hove - 29 February 2016

Thats the only way to reform zanu.a very free n fare congress.that will remove dirt frm zanu,ana chombo,kasukuwere ,moyo will be out,wthout bloodshed.enda kumba unorima.viola spot on.

ino - 29 February 2016

Rwadzoka rwukadzi rwuya.

jembe - 29 February 2016

Congresses r the real deal everywhr.even mdc wil be strong again thru congreses.suppresion of the will of pple kills anyparty nomater how strong it can be.evry one in zanu must now focus on renewing our party thru congres.we want the best man to win n lead zanu ,start afresh.a winner thru congress wil hav all rally behind the leader.this will be the begining of 2 terms only.nothing more.

viola gwena - 29 February 2016

There must be a limit to suspensions.yu cant suspend 5 chairmen nust to suit yo aspirations.3 suspensions must lead to a special congress,to elect all new chairmen.pple must respect the party.stand guided by rules n regulations.even an appeals commete must be frm central cometee,elected,nt apointed.or even to refer to courts for fairness.Times hav changed.we need to move wth times n adjust.if anc was run like zanu pple like zuma wuld be mere cadrs,nowhr near leadership.Anc wuld berun by winnie.bt no they changed their party for democracy.they r into their 5th leader nw.yet they came behind us.

viola gwena - 29 February 2016

dabengwa has always failed to read the political mood correctly,he is president of his own party,why should he preoccupy himself with whom should our leader in zanu be

truth - 29 February 2016

to zanu, congress is just a formality. there is no fairness in the former revolutionary party. the word that carries is that of the president. the good thing about the whole fracas is that the people who were propping up the president are the ones he is chiding now. the likes of mnangagwa were laughing at mujuru and gumbo crew but now its their turn. there is no mercy for sister viola. your party knows no rules my sister. the next to be baby dumped is your preferred choice 'the lacoste' croc. vanhu tagara tinoritya crocodile irero. for us its a good move to off-load the croc from politics.

zvirozviyedzwa - 29 February 2016

@Viola Ngwena, for once I agree with your discussion contribution. I can not add or subtract. Pa chi-Zanu PF they will not agree with. RG wants to die in office. End of story.

Mbareboy - 29 February 2016

All these problems are caused by Mugabe deciding to not have an elective congress. we want an elective congress where everybody interested can contest

grace Jones - 29 February 2016

Vanhu kuswero netseka nezveZanu munei nazvo concentrate nema party enyu zveku ZANU ndezva mudara Bob . ZANU ndi Bob, Bob ndiyo ZANU finish an klaar.

Ndugu - 29 February 2016

The Deep love of corruption, nepotism, thuggery, looting and self enrichnment by Top zanu pf people, is the reason why mugabe will die in office. The last group to fall will fall big time. There is no plan B and all hell will break lose after heroes acre. 1-2-3 just like that zanu pf people can change mugabe overnight, but the truth is there is no WILL.. Mugabe imbodza raka bikwa nevanhu vezanu pf zvino rave kuvazvimbira.

X-MAN IV - 29 February 2016

It no use clamouring for something you know will not give desired results. Congress for any political party has got prearranged outcome.Of late in any competition where someone has got interest the outcome is doctored .eg Cricket ,Soccer,cycling and Politics. In Egypt Morsi is out but he was democratically voted.Cheating is everywhere including school sport where parents and teachers use performance enhancers. Viola if Mugabe is around he will have an interest and will nail his colours to the mast by clearing the way for his anointed candidate.. Ko zvawakati muchachibvondora kuMasvingo tipei update sezvo mapepa anenge anokuvengai hapana chavakanyora.... inonzi Zanu of chiwororo. Murimi akada hipfukuto akarasa gamatox. Let Mugabe realign his Zanu pf. Ziva kwakamboita Liberators Platform yakaenda nepi. Formai yenyu sana Mangoma . Toda new parties with new ideas. Zanu yavakurwadza senhumbu inofanira kuzvarwa kwete kubva.

View from gazebo - 29 February 2016

It no use clamouring for something you know will not give desired results. Congress for any political party has got prearranged outcome.Of late in any competition where someone has got interest the outcome is doctored .eg Cricket ,Soccer,cycling and Politics. In Egypt Morsi is out but he was democratically voted.Cheating is everywhere including school sport where parents and teachers use performance enhancers. Viola if Mugabe is around he will have an interest and will nail his colours to the mast by clearing the way for his anointed candidate.. Ko zvawakati muchachibvondora kuMasvingo tipei update sezvo mapepa anenge anokuvengai hapana chavakanyora.... inonzi Zanu of chiwororo. Murimi akada hipfukuto akarasa gamatox. Let Mugabe realign his Zanu pf. Ziva kwakamboita Liberators Platform yakaenda nepi. Formai yenyu sana Mangoma . Toda new parties with new ideas. Zanu yavakurwadza senhumbu inofanira kuzvarwa kwete kubva.

View from gazebo - 29 February 2016

It should be remembered that through out his political career as head of state and government,Mugabe committed horrendous crimes against humanity.Now he is reluctant to leave office because he fears that he may be called upon to account for his actions.He is taking refuge in state house.In other words,he is a prisoner of his previous deeds.

Gen Spinola - 29 February 2016

There is nothing hidden about Mugba`s succession plan. 1st tear down Joice Mujuru (but only after getting rid of her husband) then, after that it will be easier to teardown completely Emmerson Mnangagwa. Why ? Because the successor cannot succeed the Zanu-Pf jungle politics if the arena is not cleared of the two. He has to do this to avoid a shock effect because in the minds of many Zimbbabweans they are already anticipating Mugabe`s departure and, naturally they are picking on either of the two for succession. Need not mention , Grace is pulling the strings for the family`s life after the old man. Whoever is guessing that Sekeramayi will be the man maybe spot-on. Or is it somebody in very good books with Sekeramayi having been chosen , ofcourse , by Grace - in which case Sekeramayi will be the protective arm. Ngwena was discounted long back by Grace because she is damn scared of him - she knows him very well.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 1 March 2016

Never underestimate Ngwena, it is like a prowler that has it's eyes above the water. you don't see it coming and when it attacks it doesn't let go. I say again DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE NGWENA.

master - 1 March 2016

Politics is as unpredictable as a wave. You might think you have the hang of it but the wind changes it. You say Mnangagwa won't succeed Mugabe. fine, we'll see how it all plays out. it is a wave you can't determine it's course forever and yes the croc is in the water where the waves are too :)

mutauri - 1 March 2016

BIG LIE DUMISO. MUGABE IS A DICTATOR AND FOR DICTATORS, A BAOLE CHIEF DOESN'T KNOW HIS SUCCESSOR. WE WITNESSED THIS IN A LOT OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES. YOUR SELLBY DATE HAS EXPIRED DUMISO AS SEEN BY SUCH HALLUCINATIONS!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 1 March 2016

whatever leader zanu chooses, be it mnangagwa or baboon, that leader will not be good for zimbabwe because of the legacy rhobhati has built. let zanu do whatever it wants with itself as long as what it does result in total destruction of the party. zim needs a new lease of politics that focus on democratic fundamentals for the good of its economy and citizens. the current government uses 'people' as a propaganda word that has been working for their selfish ends since 1980. that is why joyce also want to incorporate 'people' in her PF project. its a personal pjct. so lets not give rhobhati advice on what to do to save zanu because the boy dont take advice. the country is where it is because the boy dont take advice. zanu is where it is because rhobhati dont take advice. those who think they are able must remove rhobhati & his cronies now becoz congresses were held and yielded nothing. elections were held and equally yielded nothing. its always like, 'rhobhati must do this, rhobhati must do that' but the guy just dont want. what do we need this guy for?

SaManyika Chaiye - 1 March 2016

munhu wese akabva either from zanu or zapu politics.should this country then head hunt for an independent Zimbabwean entrepreneur who should be given at least just a term to run this country as a business entity before handing it back to party politics.it seems we have developed a very wrong culture of governing ourselves. Tisu tinofurira ma leaders pamwe tichireva nhema for self interests. TINZWEIVO MAMBO!!!!!!!!

dzakutsaku - 1 March 2016

That is Dumiso's own thinking Mugabe has forgotten that he will soon leave hence the idea of succession is not in his plan.

wamaromo - 2 March 2016

Indeed politics is unpredictable,we might be surprised RG picking a totally unexpected person

hupenyu ivhiri - 2 March 2016

Mugabe got into power and maintained it through killing of opponents,so he believes that who so ever wants power must get it after his death.

vilbrams avril - 4 March 2016

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