via Mnangagwa tipped to succeed Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 4, 2015
ZANU PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has hinted that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa could succeed President Robert Mugabe, saying he is the most trusted by the 91-year-old leader.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Mugabe has kept his cards close to his chest on who he wants to succeed him.
Speaking in Mutare on Tuesday at a campaign rally to drum up support for Zanu PF Dangamvura-Chikanga candidate Esau Mupfumi at St Mary’s Secondary School, Kasukuwere said Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s most trusted lieutenant.
“In December, President Robert Mugabe announced his deputies and Vice-President Mnangagwa was appointed,” he said.
“It was not a mistake because this position is given to those people who are clean. He is trusted most by President Robert Mugabe and he is loyal to the Head of State. He is the commander of commanders.”
Kasukuwere continued to gush praises of the VP, saying in Mugabe’s absence, Mnangagwa was in charge.
Before calling on Mnangagwa to address the rally, Kasukuwere invited musician Tocky Vibes to perform his popular song Tocky Aenda Nenyika, with some saying this was an indication that the political commissar endorsed the Vice-President’s rise.
Tocky Vibes was among a host of musicians, who entertained the thousands, who attended the rally including Hosiah Chipanga and Sulumani Chimbetu.
Kasukuwere said Mnangagwa had been involved in the greater part of Mugabe’s political life and was close to the veteran leader.
“For those who read our history, VP Mnangagwa was always at all major events with the President,” he said.
“He was everywhere, he was in jail for almost 10 years and was regarded as dangerous by the white people because he was good to the black people. He was almost executed during the liberation struggle.
“In 1980, if you look closely, when President Mugabe entered Zimbabwe Grounds for our independence celebrations, VP Mnangagwa was walking close to the President as the security and intelligence man.”
The unrestrained Kasukuwere then chronicled a few of Mnangagwa’s government appointments.
“He was appointed the Minister of National Security in 1980 to deal with whites who were stubborn,” he continued.
“He was the leader of Parliament from 2000 to 2005. He offered big service to the country and has been standing close to President Mugabe.”
While Kasukuwere did not directly endorse Mnangagwa, his statements all but contradict those of Information minister, Jonathan Moyo that it was not
automatic that the Vice-President was Mugabe’s heir apparent.
The Zanu PF succession puzzle has sharply divided the ruling party and the divisions have already claimed the scalp of several officials including former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, who were expelled on allegations of plotting to topple Mugabe.