Home » Governance » Acting Mnangagwa Has Presidency Sealed?

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe left the country last Thursday on yet another of his numerous trips abroad.

And for the umpteenth time, he left Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as acting President at the expense of co-VP, Phekelezela Mphoko.

The two are said to be equals after the “first and second vice presidents” labels were scrapped on their simultaneous appointment.

Said outspoken academic and political commentator Ibbo Mandaza: “We are all duped.

“l think Mnangagwa has always been the chosen one and l think his (Mugabe’s) difficulty has had all the years was how to sell Mnangagwa.”

“What he is doing now is trying to leverage for Mnangagwa, helping him to settle in the saddle but the untidiness of the congress process makes things difficult for Emmerson.”

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached to explain the anomaly while information minister Jonathan Moyo was not picking his mobile.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, on his part, said he does not comment on issues that encroach into the domain of the president’s office.

“It’s not me who does those appointments, it’s not me who decides who should act, it’s a question that should be directed to the president’s office,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s Constitution says in the event of the sudden death or incapacitation of the incumbent, the last acting president during such occurrence assumes the reigns.

Critics say, at 91, Mugabe is well aware of his biological limitations and in leaving Mnangagwa on the controls, he has done his homework.

Mnangagwa has acted for six weeks when the Mugabes left for their annual holiday in the Far East January this year.

He also acted when President Mugabe left for nearly a week for an African Union summit in Addis Ababa where he assumed the continental body’s chairmanship.

Mnangagwa has also acted in instances where Mugabe has left briefly to attend the inauguration of Zambian leader Edgar Lungu and during the time he left the country ostensibly to collect his wife in Singapore.

The cunning politician ascended to his current job in December last year on the back of an intense purge on party rivals linked to former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

To many, Mugabe sent the biggest clue yet on how he intended to solve the succession question and his continuous delegating of Mnangagwa as acting president has buttressed the claims.

But Mandaza still feels Mnangagwa would not have it easy.

“In the event that Mugabe meets his exit either naturally or otherwise, Emmerson will have difficulty in selling himself to the nation he will have difficulty in developing legitimacy.”

Mandaza added: “Its clear Mugabe would have loved him to get in constitutionally and legally.

“He could not all these years, so he imposes him through a sham of a congress and now Emmerson has to face the music, how does he sell himself after Mugabe is gone, and to all intents and purposes Mugabe is gone now.

“It’s clear now that Grace either she is not well or she has been told to keep quiet to allow Emmerson room. It’s a tough situation. The dynamics are profound.”

Source : New Zimbabwe