Mugabe to engage Mnangagwa

HARARE - Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga last night said former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will return to the country shortly for talks with President Robert Mugabe to resolve the current impasse.

Mugabe and Mnangagwa have been in contact, according to Chiwenga, who said the nation would soon be appraised on the talks under the takeover code-named “Operation Restore Legacy.”

“The Zimbabwe Defence and Security Services are encouraged by new developments which include contact between the president and former vice president . . . Mnangagwa who is expected in the country shortly. Thereafter, the nation will be advised on the outcome of the talks between the two.

“In the meantime, His Excellency and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,  . . . Mugabe has started processes towards a definitive solution and roadmap for the country,” Chiwenga said in the company of other service chiefs.

“Following the address to the nation by His Excellency the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander-in–chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces last night, we have made further consultations with the president to agree on a roadmap on the prevailing situation in the country.”

Mugabe shocked jubilant Zimbabweans in a televised address on Sunday night by skirting a widely expected announcement of his resignation, disregarding a resolution of his own Zanu PF party, which had fired him hours earlier, and tens of thousands of protesters who had marched in the capital demanding his ouster.

Chiwenga said Zimbabweans should remain calm and not take any action that might compromise the country’s peace.

“As this happens, we as the Zimbabwe Defence and Security Services urge Zimbabweans to remain calm and patient, fully observing and respecting the laws of the country for the sustenance of the precious peace we should never lose.

“The Zimbabwe Defence and Security Services further urge other political players including members of the ruling Zanu PF, the veterans of the liberation struggle, opposition groups, students and generality of our people to refrain from any actions or activities that would threaten peace, life and property.

“Students at the country’s various institutions are encouraged to be calm and to proceed with their educational programmes as scheduled. They need to remember that, one day of education lost is difficult to recover,” Chiwenga said, apparently referring to thousands of University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students who laid siege to vice chancellor Levi Nyagura’s offices yesterday demanding his resignation.

The students also demanded that Nyagura revokes First Lady Grace Mugabe’s doctorate.

The students, who had been scheduled to begin their first and second semester examinations yesterday, declined to  sit for their exams demanding to see the back of Nyagura for a host of misdemeanours, including granting Grace a bogus doctorate inside three months. They also refused to sit for exams until Mugabe was gone.

Chiwenga said their meetings with the president have gone on in an atmosphere of mutual respect and said several unnamed guarantees had been made.

Mugabe fired Mnangagwa on November 6 as his vice president — in a move widely seen as an attempt to pave the way for his garrulous and deeply unpopular wife Grace to succeed him — prompting the army to intervene. The Midlands godfather later skipped the country saying he feared for his life. Mnangagwa was reportedly axed for conduct that had allegedly become inconsistent with his responsibilities, exhibiting traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability and allegedly demonstrating little probity in the execution of his duties.

Mnangagwa had been Mugabe’s aide for over five decades and many were beginning to see him as a shoo-in to succeed the Zanu PF leader.

Since the beginning of the year, it had become evident that their relationship had become untenable as Mnangagwa’s name became mired in the deadly factional fights over Mugabe’s succession.

In the past few weeks, the first lady had cranked the heat on Mnangagwa, accusing him of fanning factionalism, being a coward and also occupying a position that should be reserved for a woman.

As such, Grace and her allies have been baying for his head before the party’s special congress due to be held in Harare from December 12 to 17.

Soon after skipping the country, Mnangagwa issued a scathing statement in which he attacked Mugabe and his powerful wife Grace, mockingly asserting that it was the First Family and their followers who would ultimately leave Zanu PF, not him — adding that he would soon be back in the country to lead Zimbabwe into prosperity and free long-suffering Zimbabweans from Mugabe’s alleged misrule.

The 75-year-old former long-serving aide to Mugabe was allegedly poisoned in August by his political enemies, with his loyalists in the now retreating Team Lacoste Zanu PF faction pointing fingers at rivals in the G40 camp, and consequently invoking the wrath of Mugabe and Grace.

Mnangagwa, who is said to have “deep pockets”, was reportedly said to have set base in neighbouring South Africa — a country that has for long been closely monitoring the fast unravelling political situation in Zimbabwe.

The regional bloc Sadc is set to meet in Angola today to discuss the military intervention.

Last week, the military placed Mugabe under house arrest following their seizure of power, suggesting the country could be on the verge of a transition whose structure remains unclear.

That Mugabe, who has ruled the country since independence in 1980, has been confined to his residence in the leafy Borrowdale suburb, is indicative of the army’s desire to use his curtailed freedom to negotiate a deal favourable to its interests.

Comments (4)

Imi sekuru Mugabe regai kutyisidzirwa ne vanhu vaikupushirayi mberi to take all the bullets, ivo vachiba hupfumi hwenyika. You do what they call positional engagement or negotiation, mese makashanda nyika kuti iparare, so hapana zvekutyisidzirana. I know that you want to go, you have been wanting to go since 2008, Zanu yaka kurambidzai, saka kana muchienda hamungaendi moga nekuti vanhu venyu munovaziva kuti imbavha dzoga dzoga, vadhonzei as you go down the cliff because hapana munhu ari normal achada Zanu mu Zimbabwe.

Tongogara - 21 November 2017

The fact that makafamba mese na ED kubva Mozambique, ne ose magame amaitamba mese, imi munoaziva,, it basically means muri muzero mumwe chete. Saka problem yatiinayo isu vana ve Zimbabwe i issue ye age, we need a young and vibrant leadership, preferably people born from 1960 zvichienda mberi ndo age ye leadership yakudikanwa mu Zimbabwe considering the damage. Dai zvaibvira ma Zimbabweans taitoita zvekusarudza specific people vatiri kuda in ministries and other strategic areas kuti nyila imuke. Even vanhu vasiri ma politicians sa Shingi Munyeza (Minister of Tourism), Strive Masiyiwa (Minister of Trade and Industry), Thokozani Khupe (President or Vice President or minister in one of the strategic ministries) etc. You see we need people we can trust kuti they have something to give Zimbabwe, not to take take all the time. Trust ndiyo yatinetsa when it comes to Zanu PF. Respect the will of the people Cde Mugabe, I know somewhere in your old brain, you still have it in you, the will to see Zimbabweans better. Do the right thing, step down but if the constitution allows you, do the best, the right thing for Zimbabwe, make sure you restore your legacy which is now at stake. If really you believed in the G40 then you saw right that Zimbabwe needs people in their 40s, but real Zimbabweans with the great interests of our country at heart not your Zanu-G40 but the real deal, which you know deep in your frail heart.

Tongogara - 21 November 2017

I wish the economy of Zimbabwe can be built around the black businesses. Me as a South African, I would like my country to learn a lot from what Zimbabwe will do

Justinus - 21 November 2017

If the ZDF were sincere, they would undertake to ensure at least 5 things happen:- 1. Clearly indicate that everyone in Zanu (RF) has failed, not only the prez. 2. Admit to the wrongs of the past Gukurahundi, preventing voters from freely exercising their rights, murders, assaults, arson etc 3. Apologize for foisting RGM on voters in 2008 after he had lost. ... and so show willingness to restore MT as the legitimate president in the interim. 4. Give an undertaking that all crimes committed between 1980 to date will be fully investigated and a TRC established to deal with that. 5. electoral laws are aligned to the 2013 constitution before the next elections, RG & ZEC to be reconstituted, political field to be level. It is my humble submission that the country can then move forward as it is, the agenda is limited to individuals not reforming systems and bound to fail sooner rather than later.

Sagitarr - 21 November 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.