Hatred of Mnangagwa tribal

HARARE - A faction in Zanu PF known by the name Generation 40 (G40) has continued its media onslaught on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa with some of its kingpins openly showing tribal hate against the VP and even going further by declaring that they will not support his bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe, 92, whenever he retires from office.

This comes in the face of other nationalists of Mugabe’s time having passed on the baton to their deputies; the latest being Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has announced that he will not stand for re-election in 2018 and has endorsed his deputy as successor.

Others who voluntarily left office by peacefully relinquishing power to their deputies include Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Seretse Khama of Botswana and Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya just to mention a few.

In contrast to his peers, Mugabe is reluctant to come out clearly about who he will endorse as his successor.

Given the endless infighting within his ruling Zanu PF party and an economy that is performing badly, marked by unprecedented joblessness, company closures, corruption and high levels of poverty; anger against Mugabe’s government is heating up.

Recently, the military voiced its displeasure over his government’s interference with the judiciary that has seen some ministers going scot-free in spite of their corrupt activities.

War veterans have also warned that any resolution against Mnangagwa will result in bloodshed and their views have wide acceptance in the security forces.

Even more telling of the serious consequences that may obtain if Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed Mugabe is blocked is the recent failure by Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Dickson Mafios to railroad a G40 faction resolution reportedly aimed at removing Mnangagwa from office under the guise of achieving gender parity in the presidium.

While the notorious resolution has been rumoured to be emanating from Mugabe himself — who allegedly feels his life presidency is under threat if Mnangagwa remains in the presidium — it has betrayed a wanton flip-flopping that leaves the party vulnerable to short-sighted decisions and adverse absence of the rule of law.

Zanu PF introduced a constitutional amendment to accommodate a female vice president in 2004 so as to pave way for Joice Mujuru.

The same provision was amended again in 2014 when a one-centre-of-power clause was introduced to allow the dismissal of Joice Mujuru and the elevation of Mnangagwa.

This time again, the now famously-termed Mafios declaration is proposing to scrap the one-centre-of-power clause and revert back to the 2004 constitution again to deal another blow to Mnangagwa who has stood by the side of the president for more than 50 years.

It is in view of the unfairness of these constitutional changes that war veterans, who are a reserve force and are closely linked to the military, have warned that any declaration against Mnangagwa will have serious consequences.

The war veterans have refused to be regarded as a mere affiliate organisation to Zanu PF, claiming they were the ones who popularised Mugabe and entrusted him with the leadership of the party when the late nationalist Ndabaningi Sithole’s leadership faltered.

They have demanded that Mugabe reconfigures his politburo and appoint one of their own to be political commissar; arguing that current political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere is thuggish and has divisive tendencies that have led to the party’s disintegration in recent years.

A close look at the war veterans statements — suspected to be the same views as those of the military — imply that while Mugabe may have been tempted to listen to flip-floppers and political cowards who deserted the liberation struggle for their own selfish educational pursuits, he may have in the process lost the confidence of the military. 

Already, a cartel of senior military and police officers has attained doctorates from the University of KwaZulu Natal and other institutions of higher learning and remain optimistic that a Mnangagwa presidency will open up chances for them into cabinet and the presidium.

In addition, a number of Karanga professionals who feel that Mugabe’s rule has mainly promoted members of his Zezuru tribe while ignoring all other tribes is itching to see Mugabe out of power so that their time can also come obviously through one of their own; Mnangagwa.

In the wake of the current uncertainties confronting the party and the continued economic decline that has resulted in numerous demonstrations and poor government approval by citizens, it may be clever for Mugabe to use the forthcoming December conference to announce his retirement from active politics; having been in power for more than three decades.

It may be a time to say thank you to the Zanu PF family that has given him a long time to rule.

Alternatively, he may announce that he will no longer be standing for re-election in 2018, a gesture that will serve his image as a revolutionary.

He has been accused by opposition figures as a man who built a handsome legacy of liberation and nationalism based on Marxist ideologies but went on to destroy the same through poor policies that have ruined the country’s once vibrant economy.

*Mutodi is a doctoral degree candidate at the University of Cape Town studying Financial Markets. He is also pursuing a laws degree at the University of Zimbabwe and is a member of Zanu PF).

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