Source: ‘Mnangagwa pulling ahead’ – DailyNews Live 23 January 2017
HARARE – United Kingdom-based politics expert, Stephen Chan, says Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is steaming ahead in the nasty Zanu PF race
to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
The respected professor of international relations at the University of
London’s School of Oriental and African Studies told the Daily News
yesterday that Mnangagwa was charging ahead because the Zanu PF group
which is rabidly opposed to him succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40)
faction, had no candidate within its ranks to rival him.
The G40, and Mnangagwa allies, Team Lacoste, have been fighting hammer and
tongs over the past two years, over who will succeed Mugabe, who turns a
mature 93 next month.
Chan said because Mnangagwa was in pole position at the moment, he was
attracting significant international attention as the most likely
candidate to succeed Mugabe.
“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.
Mnangagwa has been under the cosh in recent days for hosting sacked Zanu
PF officials at his rural home during the festive season, with his party
foes alleging that this was in fact a meeting organised to plot the ouster
of Mugabe from power.
Since the images of him holding a coffee mug inscribed with the words “I
Am the Boss” emerged in the public domain, Mnangagwa’s foes have also gone
to town about the issue, interpreting it as his open statement that he has
unbridled presidential ambitions.
But Chan said he saw nothing wrong with Mnangagwa drinking from such a
“This was stupid (the furore over the coffee mug). I myself had a coffee
mug with the same words on it. It’s just a personal joke to drink out of
such a mug first thing in the morning when the world looks impossible.
“If people are quarrelling about this, it makes policy outlooks even more
remote. If the mug had the words, `I will print money’ on it, then there
would at least have been a debate on fiscal policy,” he quipped.
Since the “Cupgate” saga, Mnangagwa’s allies, particularly a large
cross-section of war veterans, have escalated their loud calls for Mugabe
to retire and pave the way for his long time aide to take over the reins
at both party and government levels.
Expelled former Mashonaland Central youth chairperson, Godfrey Tsenengamu,
recently joined this growing chorus by Team Lacoste to have Mnangagwa
Former Cabinet minister and war veterans’ leader, Christopher Mutsvangwa,
together with his executive, have also stepped up their efforts to force
Mugabe to step down, accusing the increasingly frail nonagenarian of being
at the centre of the country’s rot.
Businessman-cum-politician, and an avowed Mnangagwa loyalist, Energy
Mutodi, has also vented along similar lines, imploring Zanu PF to hold an
extraordinary congress to choose Mugabe’s successor.
He claimed 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 popular opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
And like Tsenengamu, Mutodi and Mutsvangwa, former Zanu PF chairperson for
Mashonaland West province, Temba Mliswa, has also recently suggested that
Mugabe should hand over power to Mnangagwa, as the ruling party’s deadly
tribal, factional and succession wars burn ever hotter.
Mugabe has studiously refused to name a successor, arguing that his party
should rather follow what he sees as a more democratic process, to manage
his succession via a congress.