Opposition parties trash Mnangagwa

HARARE - Opposition parties have reacted angrily to a British magazine which has portrayed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a firm favourite to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa and his supporters, known as Team Lacoste, are involved in a fierce tussle for supremacy in the warring ruling Zanu PF with a faction of Young Turks who go by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), and which is strongly opposed to the VP’s mooted higher ambitions.

The New Statesman, a respected British political and cultural magazine, did not only report at the weekend that Mnangagwa was a front-runner to succeed Mugabe, it also downplayed the chances of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru as presidential hopefuls.

Interestingly, lawyer and former Cabinet minister David Coltart, who is a rabid critic of both Mugabe and Zanu PF, is quoted in the magazine giving a surprisingly favourable opinion of Mnangagwa’s presidential chances.

But as expected, the MDC and the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) said yesterday that the British magazine’s article was allegedly part of Britain’s plan to preserve Zanu PF’s rule.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said Tsvangirai remained Zimbabweans’ choice to lead the country and as such it was wrong to try and do him down.

“We are a very united and focused political party and we remain immensely popular throughout the length and breadth of Zimbabwe.

“We are the de facto government-in-waiting. Granted, we don’t have a lot of money compared to Zanu PF because we have no access to looting and ransacking the State’s material and financial resources. But we still have more than one million paid up party members,” he said.

The British magazine also said a Mnangagwa presidency could extricate the country from its current economic rot, going ahead to glowingly highlight his profile.

“He (Mnangagwa) is sharp, organised and business-savvy; more pragmatic and less ideological than Mugabe. And, unlike the president, he understands the urgent need for reform, if only so that he can pay the security forces and fill the trough at which his Zanu PF comrades guzzle,” the New Statesman said.

Coltart also told the magazine that Mnangagwa had an understanding of the economy better than most of his Zanu PF colleagues, including Mugabe.

“For all his historical problems he (Mnangagwa) understands the running of the economy better than Mugabe, better than most Zanu politicians,” he was quoted saying.

The magazine raised doubts about the capacity of Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) outfit to win the 2018 elections, pointing to numerous alleged weaknesses within the new kid on the political block.

“Mujuru’s ZPF has barely got off the ground and its own senior members question her leadership abilities.

“Both might be tempted by offers of positions that would give Mujuru a way back to Zanu PF and Tsvangirai the perks and privileges he cherishes,” it said.

But ZPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, dismissed the New Statesman report outright, condemning the article as “a cheap public relations stunt”.

“Rather than talk of Mujuru, these staggering Mnangagwa PR zealots would do well to persuade him to release the Gukurahundi inquiry report because as minister of Justice, he certainly should know where it is hidden,” he retorted.

Mawarire was referring to the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry which was established by Mugabe in 1983 to investigate the Gukurahundi massacres which claimed the lives of an estimated 20 000 innocent civillians mainly in Matabeleland and the Midlands soon after independence.

Mnangagwa was minister of State Security then, which was also part of the security forces involved in the operation.

In the interview with the British magazine, Mnangagwa denied accusations that he played an active role in the massacres.

“How do I become the enforcer during Gukurahundi? We had the president, the minister of Defence, commander of the army and I was none of that. My own enemies attack me left and right and that is what you are buying,” he said.

Comments (6)

If he swiftly engages the Germans and Israel for infrastructure rehabilitation and agric productivity,then he will deliver and make quick economic turn around.

April 7 - 21 December 2016

"Opposition parties thrash Mnangagwa." Misplaced priorities ! I am yet to hear or come across a page in Zimbabwean history where Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to be Zimbabwe`s life president. Typical Zimbabwean Down`s syndrome: Mugabe slaps you on the right cheek but you turn to someone standing by at your left side for revenge. And we are supposed to believe these people can remove Mugabe and lead Zimbabwe ? Pathetic !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 21 December 2016

This article is nothing but a ploy by the British to create enemity between Ngwena and Bob. Read between the lines.

Dhozi - 22 December 2016

"Granted, we do not have a lot of money compared to Zanu PF because we have no access to looting and ransacking the State's material and financial resources" This may be more than an unfortunate choice of words for the spokesperson of 'a government in waiting'. A Freudian slip perhaps?

Ethni Jay - 22 December 2016

mabritish leave us alone

WISDOM - 23 December 2016

This seems a genuine,fair &may b correct assessment by the British which might only be getting reactionary responses fr the opposition entities. But I don't know exactly & I don't know to what extent it might b correct abt Mujuru.But as regards Tsvangirai he has shown it during his course at the leadership of the MDC.He is not some one with united brains to discern what might b done at leadership dispite his assumed popularity with urban vote

addmore gudo - 24 December 2016

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