via Mutasa mocks Mnangagwa – DailyNews Live Fungi Kwaramba • 20 December 2015
HARARE – With Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies under the cosh in the warring post-congress Zanu PF, erstwhile comrades of the embattled VP are rubbing it in by inviting him to join the “original” Zanu PF that uses the slogan People First.
Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that it appeared “all over bar the shouting” for Mnangagwa in the brawling ruling party — further advising the Midlands godfather to “smell the coffee, repent and join People First while there is still an opportunity”.
Mutasa, who was expelled from the post-congress Zanu PF, along with other liberation struggle stalwarts such as Rugare Gumbo and former Vice President Joice Mujuru, also said sarcastically that “what goes around comes around” — accusing Mnangagwa of having master-minded the ruling party’s constitutional amendments that precipitated last year’s chaos in the former liberation movement.
Zanu PF insiders who have previously spoken to the Daily News on Sunday have also said it was Mnangagwa, as the party’s then legal secretary, who foisted on the former liberation movement its new constitution which gives President Robert Mugabe unfettered powers, including appointing his deputies.
Before last year’s brutal purges of senior officials, members of the party’s presidium were put forward by provinces and not all powers were vested in the now “imperial office” of its first secretary, Mugabe.
Tracing the history of Zanu PF’s factional wars, which continue to haunt the ruling party despite the expulsion of Mujuru and her allies last year, Mutasa fingered “unbridled ambition” by some senior officials “who consistently lie” to Mugabe.
“There is a very beautiful hierarchy in the original Zanu PF. There is the first secretary, the second secretary, chairman and the secretary for administration.
“It is there in the constitution and when this was removed it was every man for himself and God for us all. That is why there is all this hullabaloo,” Mutasa said.
Asked if People First stalwarts could work with Mnangagwa, whom they accused of being one of the key authors of the post-congress Zanu PF’s purges, a beaming Mutasa said “yes”.
“We would welcome him to People First because I don’t see him surviving there now. In People First, we have a place for everyone. Every Zimbabwean has a place in People First,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
The post-congress Zanu PF is currently split between two major antagonistic factions, one aligned to Mnangagwa and the other comprising so-called Young Turks known as the Generation 40, and that allegedly include the party’s political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao and politburo member Jonathan Moyo.
When Mujuru was expelled from the ruling party, Mnangagwa became the crown prince and odds-on favourite to succeed Mugabe. But in a short space of less than a year, the honeymoon is over and the VP and his allies are on the verge of suffering the Mujuru camp’s fate of being ruthlessly and systematically kicked out of the former liberation movement.
Just last weekend, the G40, working in cahoots with the party’s women’s league, officially petitioned Mugabe to appoint a woman vice president in 2016, on the face of it ostensibly to achieve gender parity within Zanu PF, but in reality to derail Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Commenting on all these dizzying developments, Mutasa — a close confidante of Mugabe’s for decades — said judging by some events of the past few months, it appeared that the nonagenarian wanted to make his wife Grace one of his deputies.
“I should not comment about these things, but as a member of the original Zanu PF I think I can have a say. Factionalism has always been there.
“Initially, they were saying there is a faction led by Mai Mujuru and another by Mnangagwa and we were saying to the president no, Mai Mujuru is part of the presidium so she is behind you, she stands for you.
“But he removed all that and expelled Mai Mujuru and all the others. Now people want to know the reason they were expelled. It would appear that the president wants to make his wife the vice president and in my opinion Emmerson is not going to last long,” Mutasa observed.
Probed further to elaborate on his claim that Mnangagwa had worked secretly and alone to effect Zanu PF’s constitutional changes last year, he claimed that this was “public information”.
“I was not aware of the constitutional changes. Emmerson is now being hoisted by his own petard. He is the one who wrote the constitution and he has himself to blame.
“I wish him well, but his problem is he likes to bury his head in the sand like an ostrich,” Mutasa said with a smirk on his face, adding “Haanzwi. Dai achibvunza vamwe (He does not listen to others. If he asked others) we would tell him what to do”.
“He should have asked those who were in that situation before him. That is what an astute leader does. Not to just say I will only listen to July (Moyo — Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration and his key ally).
“He should think about the people he went to the struggle with, those he shared prison with. If I was him I would have consulted others,” Mutasa said.
In the meantime, post-congress Zanu PF insiders say Mugabe finds himself between a rock and a hard place after Zanu PF members opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding him, agitated last weekend for a firm timetable on the appointment of a woman to the ruling party’s presidium.
This means that Mugabe is now under severe pressure to ensure that one of his two deputies is a woman, a move which the insiders say is “a fait accompli” (done deal) which is likely to see Mnangagwa demoted to a lower position — and which in turn would blight the Midlands godfather’s chances of becoming the next Zanu PF leader.