Mujuru or Mnangagwa – take your pick by Vince Musewe

via Mujuru or Mnangagwa – take your pick | The Zimbabwean 22.05.14 by Vince Musewe

I have found it most intriguing and entertaining that almost every political development in Zimbabwe must for some reason emanate from either the Mujuru camp’s machinations to ascend to the throne or the Mnangagwa camp’s attempts to derail this effort.

The tragedy of it all is that while this happens, the economy is regressing with no sustainable solution in sight. But Zimbabweans have learnt to ignore those things they think they can’t change and have chosen to focus on their daily survival.

It is rather a narrow view of the future but we cannot be stopped from speculating. Whether they are right or not of course does not matter because our people thirst for change. They now occupy their minds with what is likely to happen until December 2014, the date set for the next Zanu (PF) congress.

I for one do not expect the anticipated fireworks at that Congress, as this has happened over and over again. We always have high expectations of significant political changes and we then end up with boring ceremonies from Mugabe and no significant leadership changes.

But I do think the rise of Mnangagwa could be good for the country. This is, of course, because of the singular lack of choice facing us – which is regrettable. However, ignore his past for a moment and consider what kind of leader he could be.

What is important is that he has the respect and probable support of the security forces. This creates a high possibility of stability, as he is likely to protect their interests. We need peace and stability before we can begin to tackle our economic problems. I know this is high on the agenda of regional interests.

He also could instil some lost discipline in the public service and possibly reign in corruption and improve our risk factor – thus attracting foreign direct investment. Mnangagwa could buck the trend and begin to establish some sort of accountability in government and open up the economic opportunity space – especially the emergence of a black bourgeoisie class to drive economic revival.

I suspect he fully understands the issues in agriculture and that they have to be resolved no matter what. Mujuru, on the other hand, would maintain the status quo. But there could be some issues with regard to the respect and support she would get from the security forces. We cannot ignore that the security forces will continue to play a central role in the state for the foreseeable future.

I do not think she has the depth of intellect required to turn our country onto a new developmental trajectory. I do not think that she will get the respect she may deserve from our business sector as I do not see her as pro-business. She will also have serious conflicts on interest based on the investment portfolio she inherited from the late Solomon.

Having said the above, I have quickly learnt that in politics it is best to predict the future once it has already happened. We could get Sidney Sekeramayi ascending to the throne as means to immunise the potential tensions that will obviously arise if one of the two camps prevails at the expense of the other. I must confess that I have no clue what he stands for or how he thinks. He strikes me as a calculating and rather secretive individual. I think he could make a good president as long as he works hard to change the rhetoric and the old victim narrative. But I could be wrong.

Of course there are other emerging alternatives, but I am not keen to speculate on those and am rather distressed at some of the names being bandied around – especially given their history.

Our political discourse has become rather boring for me because every conversation invariably ends up being thrown into one of two boxes – Mujuru or Mnangagwa camp. The interesting thing is that even the interpretation of the MDC-T split has now suffered the same fate. The international community has also been split into these two camps, with Europe preferring that Mujuru prevails and China reported to be siding with Mnangagwa. The media and the public service have also suffered this dichotomy of political discourse and power play.

I also know that after reading my thoughts here, many readers will attempt to define my views by which camp I may belong to. Let me be very clear I think that Zanu (PF) has done irreparable damage to Zimbabwe and its people. I will work for change – but until we can have reforms and free and fair elections, our best option is to work with someone from Zanu (PF) who can at least save our country.

From the two limited choices we may have, I prefer Mnangagwa. But I worry about the alleged Chinese connection. However I have no problem with eating humble pie if things go otherwise.

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on


  • comment-avatar
    Ruramai 8 years ago

    What an uninspiring analysis! It is not clear on what basis Musewe believes Munangagwa should be rated higher than Mujuru. Apart from the fact that Munangagwa has the respect of the security chiefs, it is difficult to understand how anyone can come to the conclusion that he understands issues in agriculture and could instil discipline to the public service.

    Like Mujuru, Munangagwa served in various ministerial portfolios and in 34 years there is no evidence that he instilled any discipline in those ministries. Why would he all of a sudden start to believe in a disciplined public service? He never excelled in any of his ministries. In stead, he was part of the rot and as the man in charge of the finances of Zanu P.F. companies he was fingered in the mismanagement that sees Zanu p.f. forcing ordinary Zimbabweans to fund ruling party activities. Mnangagwa has ensured that Zanu p.f. companies do not pay taxes.

    Why does Musewe believe Mujuru would maintain the status quo?

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    obert 8 years ago

    Musewe was bought that’s why he is writing like this. Its a ploy to sideline Gono by not even mentioning him yet we all know that Mugabe is getting fond of Gono and tired of Mnangagwa and Mujuru.

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    I urge Vince to listen to the song ” Ndiwe wakazvikanyira wega” by the late legendary Sytem Tazvida.You said people are fools and im telling you Vince, no one will see positive from anything you say.You can either apologise or continue without apologising thereby people saying fool whenever they see you
    If you don’t apologise then you are just like Mugabe who never says sorry to anyone.Remember Mugabe never says sorry for no fuel, for no food, for no health, for poor education

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    A choice between the goose and the gander. Choose neither. They have both basked with RGM for too long. They have licked and scrubbed and kissed one too many times to remain untainted. I cannot believe that anywhere inside their heads sits a fresh idea to save Zimbabwe, worth listening to. If they had surely they would have said it instead of regurgitating everything RGM spits into their heads.When was the last time anyone ever heard these two say something original? Neither of them will take Zimbabwe forward. They are terrified of the future. They can only look back.They swim in nostalgia. Not the sort of leaders Zimbabwe needs.

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Vince is the new generation of ZANU apologist. We do not want ZANU. To discuss who is better in ZANU is to legitimize the illegitimate. All of ZANU is illegitimate. They have committed crimes against the people of this country and are in power because of a rigged election. They must go.

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    No Vince! I really love and respect you. But I cannot get my head around this article. Mnanagagwa. He must confess and repent from his involvement in the 1980’s. No one trusts him. No one trusts anything that is ZPF. Truly, I pray for God’s wisdom and for God’s hand to move. We are in a deep dark place. May God raise up a leader to lead this nation. Please. The suffering and despair are terrible. Where is the church at this time. Why are we not preaching repentance? Why are we not being a prophetic voice to the nation. ZPF needs to take a long hard look at itself and so does the church. We must pray. God’s judgment is falling. Repentance! No repentance no restoration!

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    Mandevu 8 years ago

    I understand Vince’s comment that we need peace and stability bfore we can begin to tackle our economic woes, and I respect Vince’s views expressed in this article. My fear is that we perpetuate the status quo by going with ZPF in ANY form. I believe a comprehensive “civil society” (up)rising is the only way we can get to a place where we have the right sort of stablity to start repairing the incredible mess that ZPF has created – and this is not a call to arms, it is simply about citizens ascerting their rights and demanding change

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    Saddened 8 years ago

    Hobson’s choice!!!

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    Mseyamwa 8 years ago

    Vince spins so fast one can never tell which direction he is going. I’m surptised at how fast he has abandoned the Mangoma push straight to considering who might be better between two devils.

    Whether it be Mujuru ot Mnangagwa who makes it, the country will remain screwed. Mnangagwa has been involved in a lot of looting from the collapse of Boka’s bank, the DRC to being the force behind the carnage of March to June 2008. With all the looting though, he is not known for his prowess in business on the local scene. Does he loot entirely for immediate consumption? How would someone like that run a country’s economy yet unable to invest properly for himself?

    Both have dirty hands. The whole party is just not what Zimbabwe needs if the economy is of any importanceto citizenry. I say ZANU may pick whoever they want but the results are likely to be the continuance of the same economywise.

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    Petal 8 years ago

    read an article where these two and Obert Mpofu are squabbling with each other over Air Zim ???

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    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    My pick is Professor Welshman Ncube. Why should my choice be restricted to Gukurahundis?

    Tell me, why, why why??

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    @Mseyamwa Your comment is great and makes a lot of sense. Any future Governments that are legitimate must prosecute the offenders of their crimes whether they are alive or not. Zimbabwe will not know peace until the ghosts of those that died have their stories told. The relatives of all those that lie in graves and were murdered need closure. Those that live must be prosecuted and sentenced. There can be no forgiveness until there are confessions. There can be no confessions until there are public trails. Only then can the wounds star to heal. The scars will remain forever lest we forget.

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    Parangeta 8 years ago

    What does all this matter?

    Mugarbage and ZANU-PF are finished.
    2018 will NEVER allow another 2013

    The International community, people of
    Zimbabwe and the Diaspora will NEVER
    allow Nikuv or the Ching-Chongs to run
    our Elections again.

    “Once fooled, fool you,
    Twice fooled, fool me”!

    Cry my Beloved Zimdesia……..

  • comment-avatar 8 years ago

    It is really a trick situation. These two are totally different. However what is crucial is a leader who values stability and the life of the ordinary people. It is something which is doubtful with Mnangagwa as compared to Amai Mujuru. Maybe i am biased because she is a mother. Mnangagwa has his history which is rather scary. He is someone whom I am not so confident with. However I agree with the author on realigning the rampant parastatal bosses who have are still draining the country. However between the two there may not be the president either. The man at the helm is unpredictable worse still with the advanced age judgment may be flowed. It’s a wait and see game since debates are prohibited. The congress is another platform where money and the latest machines are called to be sho cased. Nothing really exciting is going to happen. History will repeat itself. Life has to go on.