Home » Governance » Is Mnangagwa the Successor? [opinion]

IS VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa the successor? If regard is had to the opinion of one of the members of the Mazoe Crush Project, Mr. Patrick Zhuwao, as expressed in his article entitled “Bad leaders must be kicked out – now!” published by the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper on 23 November 2014, the answer is an affirmative NO.

In the said article http:www.sundaymail.co.zw?p=19907, that was published before the Zanu PF congress, the dismissal of former VP Mujuru and the appointment of Mnangagwa as one of the VPs of Zanu PF appears to have been written to lobby the President to dismiss both Mujuru and Mnangagwa from the party and government. The content and context of the debate on succession that Hon. Professor Moyo, Charamba and Zhuwao have weighed in on has to be understood against a backdrop of the sentiments contained in Zhuwao’s above-referenced article.

According to Zhuwao, both Mujuru and Mnangagwa were deemed to be unfit to govern. He made the point that: “For implementation of Zim-Asset to be accelerated, non-performing minister and Zanu PF Politburo members must be fired.” The thrust of his article is that both Mujuru and Mnangagwa had compromised themselves and, therefore, constructively disqualified themselves from consideration as potential leaders of the post-congress Zanu PF principally because their credentials had allegedly been contaminated by their perceived association with what he terms: “Speculative Political Entrepreneurs (“SPE”.”

With respect to Mujuru, Zhuwao identified Hon. Kaukonde as the relevant SPE who allegedly “abused access to political influence to bully the business community and went on an acquisition trail”. He made the point that Kaukonde, who is presumed to have tarnished the name of Mujuru, “attracted the attention of white monopoly capital and sought to derail and destabilize the indigenisation programme”. He blamed Kaukonde and Mujuru for allegedly strengthening the grip of Innscor that he refers to as “white monopoly capital” on the retail and food sectors.

Zhuwao also blamed Kaukonde and Mujuru for assisting in generating “trumped up charges” against Zimbabwean produced diamonds and “hijacking diamond sales proceeds”. He defined an SPE as “a commercial and business oriented individual who seeks to abuse access to political influence for personal and individual commercial and business benefits irrespective of the political andor ideological damage that they inflict. He went further to state that: “An SPE is ideologically bankrupt, and devoid of ethics, morality and decency.

Mnangagwa was equally attacked by Zhuwao. Zhuwao asserted that whereas Mujuru had Kaukonde as her SPE, Mnangagwa’s SPE was me. To bolster his argument that Mnangagwa was equally deserving of being flushed out from the party, he stated the following as fact:

With the assistance of Mnangagwa, I was able to allegedly secure a government guarantee to buy SMM Holdings Limited (“SMM”)

With the assistance of Mnangagwa, I was offered a very senior position within one of Zanu -PF’s Provincial (Masvingo) Executive Committee I declined the post

Around 2002 and with the assistance of Mnangagwa, I created a “dubious” agricultural company, FSI Agricom, whose modus operandi allegedly included “reinstalling evicted white farmers under the guise of engaging them as consultants

With the assistance of Mnangagwa, I was allegedly working against the tenets of the Land Reform Programme

With the assistance of Mnangagwa, FSI Agricom, corruptly accessed Z$5 billion out of the Z$7 billion facility created for A2 farmers

The association of Mnangagwa with me allegedly led to a decline of Mnangagwa’s political fortunes and may explain why Mnangagwa’s journey to top leadership has been complex and difficult.

By association with me, Mnangagwa’s commitment to the total liberation project is questionable. Mnangagwa “akadziya moto wembava”

There can be no doubt that Zhuwao expected President Mugabe to heed his analysis and conclusion that both Mujuru and Mnangagwa were equally culpable and ought to have been subjected to the same medicine.

By appointing Mnangagwa as VP, it would appear that President Mugabe did not listen to Zhuwao’s expert opinion. Indeed, prior to the congress, it was Zhuwao’s contention that: “As the Mazoe Movement is gaining currency in Zimbabwe, it is imperative that Zanu PF institutes mechanisms that will thwart the emergence of a possible third major national SPE.” The events of the congress have seen only Mujuru being expelled suggesting that Mnangagwa has been absolved for now of all the alleged sins.

It is significant that my name was invoked by Zhuwao without my knowledge and consent. Zhuwao is not the first person to finger Mnangagwa in the affairs of SMM. What is clear is that Mnangagwa, like Mujuru, stands accused of corruptly using his office in government to promote the business and personal interests of an SPE yet no attempt has been made to investigate the veracity of the serious allegations against him.

It is worth highlighting that in another article authored by Zhuwao and published by the Sunday Mail on 21 December entitled: “Appointments of VPs are not about succession,” http:www.sundaymail.co.zw?p=22056 he exposed his lingering objection to Mnangagwa’s elevation by now seeking to make a new point that for Mnangagwa to qualify for succession, he will necessarily have to be subjected to a test. It is evident that Zhuwao could not have been pleased with the appointment of Mnangagwa as VP, a man he obviously considers to be corrupt by virtue of his association with me.

Apart from the tribal and other considerations, it is clear that Zhuwao, and presumably his team in the Mazoe Crush movement, believes that Mnangagwa is not fit to govern and that Zanu PF cannot be renewed unless such characters suffer the fate of Mujuru amp Co. Notwithstanding his views on Mnangagwa’s role in allegedly aiding and abetting state corruption in respect of SMM and related companies, he congratulated the newly appointed VPs and made the following bizarre comment that is inconsistent with the position that Mnangagwa must be removed:

“The Zhuwao Brief congratulates Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko on their appointments by President Mugabe as the two VPs of Zimbabwe after having been appointed as the VPs and Second Secretaries for their skill, experience, integrity and commitment to the party, its ideology, values, principles and policies” as required by s 35(1)(b) of the ruling party’s constitution as amended in 2014.”

Any rational person would be confused that between 23 November and 21 December 2014, a person who was described as lacking integrity and undermining the ideology, values, principles and policies of Zanu PF could have changed to become a trustworthy person to deputize the President.

It is self-evident that for President Mugabe to come to the conclusion that Mnangagwa and not Mujuru was qualified to assume the position of VP of the party and to overcome the limitations imposed by s 35(1)(b) of the Zanu PF constitution no investigation was done to determine the veracity of the serious allegations made by Zhuwao against Mnangagwa and his alleged SPE. Subsequent to the publication of the article of 23 November 2014, I met with Zhuwao to register my displeasure at the unfounded allegations made against me. Notwithstanding, he has refused or neglected to apologize for the defamatory statements made against me. On the contrary, on 30 November 2014, he sought to make a muted apology in the following convoluted terms:

“Allow me to conclude by recounting a conversation with Mr. Mutumwa Mawere on the subject of Speculative Political Entrepreneurs. Mr. Mawere was aggrieved by my previous article which, he felt, painted him as a Speculative Political Entrepreneur. Mr. Mawere made submissions arguing that his acquisition of SMM was without the benefit of access to political influence.

“Although, I have not sought to personally verify the fact submitted to me by Mr. Mawere, I am duty-bound to report his submissions that his business activities in Zimbabwe were not politically linked or aligned to any political person or political institution.”

As can be seen above, Zhuwao refused to use the word “apology” and his failure to do so reveals more than it conceals. It is clear that Zhuwao, even in possession of the correct factual information that SMM was not purchased with the support of a government guarantee and more importantly that Mnangagwa did not play the role that he is alleged to have played, it is the politically expedient view of Zhuwao that Mnangagwa is guilty as alleged.

What is remarkable is that whereas Zhuwao confirmed speaking to his uncle, President Mugabe, about our meeting and discussions, it would appear that allegations made against me only take a political context if Mnangagwa’s involvement is common cause yet no attempt has been made to investigate Mnangagwa’s alleged role in the affairs of SMM so that this matter can be buried permanently.

In this case, one finds that Mnangagwa, a person whose hands are presumed to be dirty, would find it acceptable to talk about dealing with corruption when he is being accused by his colleagues of being as guilty as Mujuru. It is clear that Zhuwao’s allegations that are in the public domain have so far not compelled Mnangagwa to pre-emptively seek to clear his name.

It is my contention that the cloud over Mnangagwa will not go away hence the need to have a Commission of Inquiry to verify the validity of the allegations made. To the extent that my name is implicated in the murky politics of Zanu PF, a club that I am not a member of, I believe that it is in the interests of Mnangagwa to nip this irresponsible abuse of the state media to peddle falsehoods in the name of intellectual discourse.

Mnangagwa has to be warned that the demise of Mujuru started with incredible allegations that took a life of their own. The allegations against Mujuru and her perceived SPE could have been dealt with had Mujuru understood the corrosive power of the media. The fact that Mnangagwa can talk of corruption yet fail to deal with serious allegations made against him gives the courage to his political enemies that the Mujuru medicine awaits him at the next political toll date. Indeed, the barbarians are waiting for him hence the contention that his appointment as VP has nothing to do with succession.

Source : New Zimbabwe

Archives