Tendai Kamhungira 31 January 2017
HARARE – Prominent Zanu PF supporter, Energy Mutodi, has warned President
Robert Mugabe that he not only risks being defeated by an opposition
coalition led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai in next year’s
eagerly-awaited national elections, but also that this could have dire
consequences for him and his family.
The maverick musician-turned-businessman, and an avowed follower of Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also claimed yesterday that Mugabe’s failure
to manage his succession was likely to backfire against the soon-to-be
93-year-old, as his future could not be guaranteed under a new political
dispensation involving Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
“The opposition leader is a victim of political violence under
under Mugabe’s rule and will not forgive Mugabe and his corrupt ministers
“A grand coalition that is shaping up between his (Mugabe’s) former deputy
… Mujuru and former prime minister … Tsvangirai may end his rule,
making him vulnerable to prosecution for crimes against humanity allegedly
committed during his long iron fist rule,” the eccentric Mutodi wrote on
his Facebook page.
Tsvangirai, the only opposition leader to have defeated Mugabe in an
election – in the 2008 polls – has been holding secret talks with Mujuru
and other opposition leaders, as he doggedly works to knit together the
much-talked about grand alliance which is scheduled to be in place before
the end of this year.
And since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him on the
streets of Gweru in August last year – in a rare public display of unity
among the opposition – there have been growing calls by fed up citizens
for the formation of the grand opposition alliance ahead of 2018.
Analysts have also consistently said that a united opposition, fighting
with one purpose, would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule – especially at
this time when the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail
nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.
The ruling party is deeply divided mainly over its unresolved succession
riddle, which has split the former liberation movement right through the
middle – with the Team Lacoste faction rallying behind Mnangagwa’s mooted
presidential aspirations, and the Generation 40 (G40) group rabidly
opposed to the Midlands godfather succeeding Mugabe.
Mutodi’s latest Facebook posting is not the first time that he has
controversially tackled Zanu PF’s succession problems. The
highly-opinionated party cadre recently threw the cat among the pigeons
when he challenged the former liberation movement to hold an
extra-ordinary congress to choose Mugabe’s successor.
He claimed then that Mugabe had become so unpopular in Zanu PF that “99
percent” of the party’s members now wanted him to resign before the
eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, as there was allegedly no way
that the nonagenarian could win elections against the popular Tsvangirai.
“Mugabe must retire. What we must be discussing now is how we share power
in Zanu PF post-Mugabe.
“It’s up to Mugabe himself to be really thankful to his loyalists who have
helped him to remain in power for this long and not the opportunists who
praise him during the day and denigrate him during the night,” Mutodi
Yesterday, he repeated his calls for Mugabe to pave way for Mnangagwa,
whom he argued would look after the nonagenarian and safeguard his
“Only … Mnangagwa will guarantee Mugabe’s safety after leaving office.
“He (Mugabe) has played different factions angling to succeed him against
each other to his own advantage. However, time is running out for him. He
risks losing control of his own succession.
“Some members of his family suggest he believes in natural succession as
dictated and guided by spirit mediums.
“Mugabe therefore needs to manage his succession properly by either
calling for an extraordinary congress that will elect his successor or by
nominating his choice through a politburo resolution,” Mutodi wrote on his
Despite the increasing pressure by Mnangagwa’s supporters for Mugabe to
nominate his successor, the nonagenarian has studiously refused to do so,
arguing that his party should rather follow what he sees as a more
democratic process – managing his succession via a congress.
But as the years and decades have gone by, this has appeared to stoke Zanu
PF’s ugly infighting, which has escalated over the past few weeks as both
the G40 and Team Lacoste have gone at each other hammer and tongs,
particularly since the release of images showing Mnangagwa holding a
coffee mug inscribed with the words “I am the Boss” during a festive
season gathering at his Zvishavane rural home.
The coffee mug saga was re-ignited last week when it was claimed that the
G40 planned to transport thousands of party supporters to Harare
International Airport, to welcome back the nonagenarian and his family
from their month-long Far East holiday.
This led the disaffected leadership of the Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) to threaten bloodshed if the G40 went
ahead with their plans to embarrass Mnangagwa at the airport for
hobnobbing with sacked Zanu PF officials.
“We want to warn them (G40 kingpins and their supporters) that they are
going too far. Kana vachienda kunogamuchira Mugabe ngavaende vanogamuchira
Mugabe (If they want to go and welcome Mugabe, then they should do just
that),” warned combative ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda.
“Vakada kusimudza maplacards ekunyomba (if they wave placards to embarrass
and provoke) VP Mnangagwa, we as the group from the liberation struggle
will fight back, not because we are saying Mugabe is not the president,
but because we are fighting on behalf of a fellow comrade.
“We know that they are making placards and we have put our people on
standby. Ngavafambe nawo maplacards acho tivone. Tinodzigura zviuno
chembere idzodzo. Vakangofamba nemaplacards vachiti Ngwena kudii-dii
tinovadira. Ende kumajere kwacho tavakukuziva tinokudzokera (Let them wave
their placards against Mnangagwa and we will teach them a hard lesson. We
will beat them up. We are not afraid to go back to jail),” he added.
But Mugabe quietly sneaked into the country when he returned home,
neutralising in the process the dangerous gamesmanship that had been
threatened by the two factions which had been quarrelling during his
And in the process, he outwitted both factions hands down by ignoring
their infantile but dangerous clamour for his attention.
However, it has since been claimed again that the G40 faction is planning
to revive its attack on Mnangagwa at the Harare International Airport upon
Mugabe’s return from Addis Ababa today, where he has been attending the
African Union summit.