Mugove Tafirenyika 6 November 2017
HARARE – It never rains but pours for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Hardly a day after President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, blasted
the 74-year-old politician for allegedly fomenting divisions in Zanu PF,
the first lady fired another salvo yesterday.
In her address to thousands of apostolic church members in Harare, Grace
took her tirade against the embattled vice president a step further,
describing him as “a snake” whose head must be crushed.
She implored on Zanu PF supporters to “finish off” the vice president,
claiming he has harboured ambitions to grab power from Mugabe from as far
back as 1980.
“When I realised that there are others who are obsessed with expelling
others I complained saying, no, we must deal with the root cause; we must
deal with a snake by crushing its head.
“Kana munhu anetsa batai munhu, tsonda musoro (if someone is becoming a
nuisance, manhandle him/her and crushing the head),” said Grace, taking a
line from popular sungura musician, Suluman Chimbetu’s song, Sean Timba.
The song, which topped the music charts in 2012, was part of Chimbetu’s
hugely popular album, Syllabus. Sean Timba was criticised for promoting
violence and revenge as a way of solving conflict.
Grace said Mnangagwa deserved harsh censure because he was fighting to
unseat a president ordained by God.
“If you are a man who fights those that are anointed by God, you are as
good as dead. You are a dead man walking. You are finished. You might
still be walking but you are dead. You may have eyes but you don’t see.
You may have ears but you can’t hear,” said the first lady.
She claimed to be privy to details about Mnangagwa’s attempt to forcibly
take over power from Mugabe during the transition to independence in 1980.
Describing Mnangagwa as a “liquidator” and “ravisher”, Grace said the
Midlands godfather was “dangerously envious” of Mugabe.
“Makhosini (Hlongwane), that man is a liquidator, ravisher; he is
dangerous that person and you can see his envious look at the president.
He is so jealousy that he can even kill someone,” she said.
Hlongwane is the minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.
The increasingly powerful Zanu PF women’s league secretary revealed that
after the 1980 elections, Mnangagwa misled Mugabe into believing that the
Ian Smith government wanted to eliminate him.
He is alleged to have advised Mugabe to skip the country into neighbouring
Mozambique, ostensibly to give himself time to stage a palace coup.
“Since 1980, there are a lot of things that happened that we know and you
ought to know as Zimbabweans. In 1980, this person called Mnangagwa wanted
to stage a coup to grab power,” she claimed.
“I am telling you what I know. I am in a privileged position. I know a lot
of information. He actually wanted to wrest power from the president.
“Let me tell you (that) after the 1980 elections, he told the president
that `there were whites who wanted to kill you so you and (Maurice)
Nyagumbo and (Enos) Nkala should skip the country immediately to
“When the president told Samora Machel upon arrival he was ordered back
but when he called Mnangagwa to tell him that he wanted to come back,
Mnangagwa told him not to return because he wanted to stage a coup. So
this person has always wanted to take over power through illegal means,”
said the first lady.
She said when she heard about the Team Lacoste and Generation 40 factions,
she failed to get any information about the latter.
She said she was, however, able to gather that Mnangagwa was the one
associated with the name Lacoste and went on to confront him in politburo
meetings, asking him why he was letting this demon of factionalism confuse
“After the Mashonaland Central interface rally, Mnangagwa approached the
president complaining about my remarks on him about factionalism but the
president told him that I am a truthful person.
“Mnangagwa could not defend himself, he did not say a thing, and he is a
coward that man”.
Grace also accused Mnangagwa of dancing while pointing to himself when Jah
Prayzah’s song, Mudhara vachauya was played, saying “he thinks we do not
She said his behaviour caused Mugabe to warn him on Saturday that he
risked being fired as soon as tomorrow.
Mnangagwa was also accused by Grace of hijacking “her” Command Agriculture
programme, saying he was claiming credit for her initiative.
“I came up with the idea of giving people farming inputs under the
programme that you have heard being called by a silly name, Command
“I am the one who came up with the idea and it was hijacked by others whom
we know have never done anything fruitful.
“It was the president who first realised that Mnangagwa was claiming
credit for the programme and sought to clarify at one of the interface
rallies that it was actually my initiative.
“Journalists are paid not to write about my achievements because they say
it will raise my profile; they are afraid of me, all the big men you see,
they are afraid”.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since the advent of majority rule in 1980,
has been avoiding directly attacking his aide of more than 50 years in the
wake of serious infighting in his party over his succession.
But on Saturday he cast aside diplomacy before a capacity crowd at White
City Stadium in Bulawayo, telling his audience how Mnangagwa has become a
destabilising factor in Zanu PF.