via SA prefers Mujuru to Grace, Mnangagwa – DailyNews Live 10 October 2014
HARARE – The South African government is keeping a close eye on political developments in Zimbabwe, and apparently favours Vice President Joice Mujuru to take over from President Robert Mugabe rather than his wife Grace and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
This is according to a respected South African foreign affairs analyst, who also says authoritatively that Pretoria believes that Zimbabwe cannot be saved while Mugabe remains at the helm of the country as he is seen as an insurmountable deterrent to critically-needed foreign investment to re-float the country’s collapsing economy.
“It follows that Pretoria therefore also seems to favour Mujuru as Mugabe’s successor because she seems much more likely than Mnangagwa would be to break with Mugabe’s fatal legacy and to … repair relations with the world.
“It is (however) likely that Mugabe would prefer to be succeeded by Mnangagwa than by Mujuru, to protect his legacy,” renowned writer Peter Fabricius said in an opinion piece he wrote for the SA Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Fabricius, who pooh-poohed Grace’s chances of succeeding Mugabe, said Pretoria also believes that if the First Lady “really does have the large ambition to succeed her husband, she doesn’t have a hope in hell”.
“According to a government official, South Africa believes that ‘Zanu-PF is a serious party,’ and would not make such a frivolous decision as to elevate the untested First Lady — with no proven constituency of her own — to the top position. Pretoria seems to see a rather different scenario from other analysts, believing the pertinent question is not who is backing Grace Mugabe’s political ambition, but whose political ambition she is backing.
“’It’s going to depend on which side — Mujuru’s or Mnangagwa’s — Grace throws her weight, and whether she can develop a political constituency,’ the official said. The implication of this interpretation is that Grace — presumably coached by Robert — is trying to position herself to be an indispensable ally of whoever is in power when his wanes,” Fabricius said.
He added that whether one chose the more flamboyant dynastic interpretation — that Grace Mugabe cherished her own presidential ambition — or took the more mundane view that she was backing Mnangagwa’s ambition, the result could be much the same: to safeguard Mugabe’s legacy.
“That being so, the more Grace Mugabe succeeds, the more Zimbabwe will fail,” Fabricius concluded.