'Mnangagwa almost there'

HARARE - Former Finance minister Tendai Biti may have unwittingly poured fuel into the raging fires of the ruling Zanu PF’s deadly tribal, factional and succession wars — after he observed that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is close to succeeding President Robert Mugabe.

This comes after Biti, who now leads the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), wrote in a contribution to an online magazine — The Gravitas — that Mnangagwa was well-positioned to succeed Mugabe, after successfully projecting himself both as a tough and capable politician.

“The one-self evident conclusion is that in the short-term, Zanu PF cannot be dislodged. That its control of the patronage economy and the new social base is absolute.

“That despite its fractures, the opposition, even in a grand coalition, cannot dislodge Zanu PF. That a post-Mugabe candidate must be found who is, first of all, strong — but with an acceptable veneer of reform capacity.

“Inevitably, this self-serving proselytising leads to destination (Emmerson) Mnangagwa,” Biti said in his contribution.

“With the bulk of those who have controlled it (Zim) for the last four decades being in their mid 70s, it is a State in transition. That transition is ideological, demographic, technological and sociological. It is that transition that needs to be captured.

“The real challenge of democrats is not in the event of 2018, but the capture of the ongoing transition ... the transition must be captured to ensure it is not derailed by shareholders of the status quo. It must be captured to buy peace.

“It must be captured to create a soft landing for our country and in the process, deny the merchants of violence who want a civil war or a coup d’état in this lovely country we are privileged to call home,” Biti added, while urging the opposition to coalesce and work to stop Mnangagwa from becoming the country’s next leader.

By saying this, Biti becomes the latest high profile figure to suggest that Mnangagwa is getting closer to winning Zanu PF’s ugly succession war.

In January, United Kingdom-based politics expert, Stephen Chan, said Mnangagwa was steaming ahead in the nasty Zanu PF race to succeed Mugabe.

The professor of international relations at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies told the Daily News then that Mnangagwa was charging ahead because the Zanu PF camp which is rabidly opposed to him succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40) faction, had no candidate within its ranks to rival him.

The G40s, and Mnangagwa’s allies, Team Lacoste, have been fighting hammer and tongs over the past two years, over who will succeed Mugabe, who turned a mature 93 years old last February.

Chan said because Mnangagwa was currently in pole position in the ruling party’s succession war, he was naturally attracting significant international attention.

“As long as those who oppose Mnangagwa cannot identify and rally around a candidate, he will be the one who attracts international attention.

“All major players, from the Europeans to the Chinese, have dossiers on Mnangagwa, and outline strategies on how to approach dealing with him.

“This is impossible when it comes to the opposing faction (G40). In international terms, therefore, Mnangagwa is ahead by default,” Chan told the Daily News then.

In December, a respected British magazine, New Statesman, also portrayed Mnangagwa as a firm favourite to succeed Mugabe.

It also argued that a Mnangagwa presidency could extricate the country from its current economic rot — going on to highlight his profile rather glowingly.

“He (Mnangagwa) is sharp, organised and business-savvy, more pragmatic and less ideological than Mugabe. And, unlike the president (Mugabe), 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.

Former Cabinet minister David Coltart also told the same magazine that Mnangagwa had a better understanding of the economy 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 PF politicians,” he was quoted saying.

Mnangagwa and Team Lacoste, are involved in a fierce tussle for supremacy in the warring ruling Zanu PF with the G40 — which is strongly opposed to the his mooted presidential ambitions.

Zanu PF insiders also say the Midlands godfather appears to have weathered the G40’s relentless assaults on him and his backers — claiming further that the party’s ever-fluid factional and succession politics are changing gear again, and that there is now an ongoing realignment of alliances within the deeply divided party — as Team Lacoste cranks up its own attacks on the G40.

The G40 has has also for some time now been described as being “at sixes and sevens”, following the pressure that has been brought to bear on its leading national figures.

Observers have also consistently said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu PF’s thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party’s deadly infighting, which is worsening by the day.

The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own choice.

Comments (21)

Biti, Biti , Biti...if the proposed coalition will not dislodge Mugabe then why are you and your party trying to squeeze yourselves into the proposed coalition?I hope the other opposition parties can now clearly see that you are and have always been a ZPF project. You want to join and cause chaos.

Tahir Iqbal - 18 May 2017

Well ,Biti if you say the grand coalitioncannot dislodge zanu pf then why are you wasting your time in joining the coalition.I fail to understand you Tendai.So what kind of animal will dislodge zanu pf?

Janana wa Bikaz - 18 May 2017

Well ,Biti if you say the grand coalitioncannot dislodge zanu pf then why are you wasting your time in joining the coalition.I fail to understand you Tendai.So what kind of animal will dislodge zanu pf?

Janana wa Bikaz - 18 May 2017

Saka imi vaBiti, makadii kungojoina ZANUPF pane kuformer imwe party?

yohwe - 18 May 2017

I suspect Biti may be correct on this. I don't think he is playing politics here, simply describing the situation on the ground.

david taylor - 18 May 2017

Ah Biti ma Apetito akuku vhiringa musoro iwe aticha ziva paumire next thing Tsvangira aka tengesa 2013 the next thing you were on SABC in 2008 claiming MDC defeated ZANU PF to the extent of dishing out results that were pasted on poling stations

MAPETITO - 18 May 2017

Biti is right, and that is what Zimbabwe needs right now anyway, a post Mugabe transition with a leader from within Zanu Pf for stability purposes, someone who the security forces respect

Moses - 18 May 2017

It appears as though Tendai Biti is a ZANU PF agent on a special mission. If members of the Coalition are going to be successful in bringing about positive change in Zimbabwe through democratic means they should be warned to have nothing to do with Biti and his PDP.

Sekuru Ndoronga - 18 May 2017

Biti ucharoverwa mahara.

selele - 18 May 2017

It's not gonna happen as long as Jonathan Moyo is still alive. Who wants to bet?

Tozvireva - 18 May 2017

I see Jonathan Moyo is no longer penning articles at the Daily News. Did you have a falling out?

Guy - 18 May 2017

What Biti is saying is true especially to those who now understand the dynamics of our politics. As much as we love democracy and opposition politics, the current situation we have as a country needs someone who understands all the bad...( corruption, and massive looting which has been taking place) and how to address it to the root. We need someone who can influence and control those who have been denying us our democratic rights ( security service chiefs) in a more reasonable way; someone who is tough to handle challenging forces, a leader who is reserved and composed, a leader with a sound understanding of pragmatic economic requirements for Zimbabwe's turnaround...... though I know Mnangagwa has been discribed as ruthless by nature, he promises to be the tough guy we may need for transitional leadership torwards a successful and democratic Zimbabwe.

Manhundu - 18 May 2017

As editor of Gravitas, I am dismayed that the Daily News exhibits same propaganda behaviour as the People's Voice. Biti's article never predicts a Mnangagwa Presidency, but actually criticises it. The full article is found on the Gravitas line and unfortunately your platform is not allowing me to paste the link. It would have benefited your readers.

Tamuka Charles Chirimambowa - 19 May 2017

unfortunately, biti is simply telling us the hard truth. we may all want democracy but our country needs to through a transtion to democracy..understanding the root of corruption..gaining respect of the security chiefs, political stability, and having grassroots history. until mdc has established its entity along those lines, only then can we talk of shift of power. but for now zanupf jus needs to address their factional fights and succession issue and remain the party of choice.

mennox - 19 May 2017

The simple truth is that Tsvangirai not that type of the calibre of leaders who can take us to canaan,not intelligent &wise enough for the task-no leadership acumen but itz at the same time that we must remove ZANU PF &Mugabe.His candidacy to the presidency given his leadership track record at the MDC is glumy &unpredictable

addmore gudo - 19 May 2017

seems everyone who talks sense is perceived zanu pf, Biti just hit the nail on the head and the blind loyalists are out with knives at him. as it stands zanu is not going anywhere until there is a radical shift by the clueless opposition

Welly - 19 May 2017

First 37 years a Malawian/Mozambican president, next 20 years a Zambian, ......

Sharia - 19 May 2017

I think its true,ZANU is not going anywhere.The only way ZANU can go is war,right now they are enjoying the softness of Tsvangirai,, I don't mean that Tsvangirai is wrong by being soft no,Tsvangirai is a true leader with Mandela qualities & if God really intervene &Tsvangirai will be given a chance truly Zimbabwe will be a great country again.I think what biti is trying to say is,because of ZANU attitude so far there is no one can take it out of power because the only way is to fight them&fighting them means war.Tsvangirai is a peace gentleman with no intention to kill anyone in order to gain power.

Matsotsi - 19 May 2017

I cannot imagine Zim beyond 2018 up to 2024 under bob and

chibinge wedemocracy - 22 May 2017

we shouldnt be fighting to get zanu out of power its a never going to happen anytime soon. revolutionary parties go through their entire generation until power is given up. we should be fighting to revolutionise the party from within.. pushing for accountability and corruption. we still have generatin yanaLAcoste imbotongawo.. thats another 20yrs before opposition can dream of the highest office.. we need an S.A approach, were corruption and accountability is fought from within and on an ongoing basis

mennox - 22 May 2017

Biti you are corrupt why uchida kuvhiringidza vanhu iwe , inda kuZANU PF hapana anokurambidza

makeke - 25 May 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.