Who Is In Deeper Trouble, Mnangagwa Or Mugabe?

Who Is In Deeper Trouble, Mnangagwa Or Mugabe?
Published: 2016 July 31 09:17:08 (3177 Views)

Zimbabwean Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa has found himself fighting off a war of survival after war vets openly denounced President Robert Mugabe and offered their support to the ascension of Mnangagwa to be the next president.

Mnangagwa has refuted having ties with the war vet announcement of disowning Mugabe, as both party president and the next presidential candidate for Zanu PF.

Alex Magaisa, a former advisor to ex-prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said the move by war veterans and Chimene’s outburst had left Mnangagwa between a rock and a hard place.

“It is plain that Mnangagwa is facing the biggest crisis of his political career,” he said.

“While he disassociated himself from the war veterans’ statement which hit out at Mugabe, it is known that they are his allies and detractors have already found him guilty by association.

“The dilemma he faces is: if he defends his allies who are accused of plotting against Mugabe, he would have shown his hand — something his opponents are keen to see happen.

“But if he does not stand up, his support base will continue to be depleted,” he added.

Magaisa believes Mugabe is using the same tactics he used against Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Joice Mujuru only two years ago.

Ironically, the Zanu PF leader used war veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, who was a deputy Foreign Affairs minister at the time, to initiate attacks against Mujuru.

After First Lady Grace Mugabe joined the fray, the floodgates were opened against Zimbabwe’s first woman vice-president until she threw in the towel in December 2014.

In a repeat of the script, Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka started the onslaught against Mnangagwa in May followed by the First Lady at a rally in Chiweshe and Chimene’s below the belt blows against the VP on Wednesday.

Mutsvangwa was fired from Cabinet and Zanu PF for allegedly working with Mnangagwa

The strategy to remove Mnangagwa remains unclear and some attribute this to the VP’s connections to the military establishment.

Some analysts say Mugabe would be cautious in dealing with his rival to avoid unrest, while Zanu PF insiders claim a motion is already underway to neutralise him.

The Zanu PF sources say Mnangagwa’s rivals are targeting December for a final push against the veteran politician from Midlands at the Zanu PF conference.

G40 kingpins are already pressing for an extraordinary congress to deal with the succession imbroglio and there is speculation that the youth, women and war veterans would hold special congresses in the coming months to put pressure on Mugabe to call for the extraordinary congress for the party’s main wing.

Harare-based legal expert Dereck Matyszak said it was likely that Mnangagwa’s rivals would push for constitutional amendments that would see the VP’s seat in the presidium being reserved for a woman.

Zanu PF amended its constitution at the 2014 congress and cast away the clause that ensured the women’s league had a seat in the presidium.

“Until these amendments, the party constitution provided that the vice-presidents were elected by congress, held every five years, after receiving nomination by at least six of the 10 provinces,” Matyszak said.

“This provision was amended to provide [in section 40] that ‘soon after’ the election of the president and central committee at each congress, the president must ‘during the sitting of the congress, appoint from the newly elected central committee, two vice-presidents and second secretaries.’”

But the constitution may not be a stumbling block for Mugabe if he gathers enough courage to ditch his long-time ally.

“Mnangagwa may be justified in feeling nervous ahead of Zanu PF’s December 2016 conference,” he said.

“The need for the vice-presidents to be appointed during the sitting of congress was breached by Mugabe within days of the introduction of the requirement, with both party vice-presidents appointed several days after the congress had ended.”

Meanwhile, Ricky Mukonza, a political analyst, believes Mnangagwa would survive the turbulence like he did in 2004 when six Zanu PF chairpersons tried to push him into the presidium ahead of Mujuru.

The plot, now known as the Tsholotsho Declaration, infuriated Mugabe and led to the VP’s demotion to an obscure ministry.

“I think Mnangagwa will weather the storm because he does not hesitate to sacrifice his backers when his survival is under threat. One needs to look no further than the Tsholotsho debacle,” Mukonza said.

“This is what Joice Mujuru could not do when she was sacked from the party in 2014.

“Having been in the Zanu PF system for a long time, more so working very close to President Mugabe, Mnangagwa seems to have mastered the art of surviving in the turbulent times within the party.”

He, however admitted that the VP would not emerge the same from the fallout.

“I think that going forward, he will be a lame duck because his potential backers will be scared to come out in support of him as they know they will be sacrificed,” he said.

“This situation augurs well for Mugabe who, despite his advanced age, still wants to continue at the helm of the party without anyone posing danger to his power.”

Mnangagwa has denied that he has presidential ambitious, while Mugabe is said to strongly believe that the VP cannot win an election as a Zanu PF leader.

The Justice minister is hugely unpopular in Matabeleland for his alleged role in the Gukurahundi atrocities that left an estimated 20 000 civilians dead soon after independence.

- The Standard

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Anonymous user 2016 August 01 07:47:55
There must be a plan in ruling: That's whay there is a lot of confusion in the party. The part lost Gold for Silver meaning good successer are no longer there for Mugabe who is facing the rebels therefore he must give it To Munangagwa or else the part split.

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