Home » Governance » Mugabe Fires VP Over Evidence of Tadpoles [opinion]

With decades of economic sanctions and a stagnant regime behind its rich history, Old Harare still wobbles with a President who is fast approaching his 100th birthday. But even with such a not-so-flattering international image, Zimbabwe still exudes humour tinged with a belief in the power of the sangoma.

The potency of the sangoma in this Southern African country with 34 years of independence behind it, only rivals that of President Robert Mugabe. The First Lady, also named the ‘First Shopper’ of the Gucci-type, is the third most powerful person. She came this far after the conspiracy of the First Family hunted the Vice President out of office.

The bedside conspiracy had the thinking that Grace Mugabe, the President’s former secretary turned spouse, would not sit pretty with another woman as VP. The apex of power would be crowded with one woman too many. This other woman, Joice Mujuru, Mugabe’s VP of 10 years, had to be ejected. So, they created a tale of fighting tadpoles to make this possible.

The Mugabe murder conspiracy was cooked up to kill two birds with one stone: To get rid of the VP and to station Grace closer to power in the succession gamble.

The family duty fell on Grace to lead the onslaught against the evicted Mujuru. They accused her of offences largely calculated to plot a roadmap for her dismissal. She had to be made to feel guilty before being shoved aside to create room for the President’s bedmate in the party hierarchy.

Grace accused Mujuru of corruption and even plotting to assassinate Mugabe. Not that the VP had a death squad physically trailing the heavily protected President. No, the plotters had to come up with the ‘evidence’ of the tadpoles.

Grace pushed the corruption angle, charging the VP was also showing excessive ambition for her husband’s position. But it was the President who introduced the ritual of the sangoma and tadpoles in the murder plot.

The President told a charged rally that one of the officials allied to the VP took two tadpoles – one named President Mugabe and another called VP Mujuru to a sangoma. The witchdoctor was supposed to execute the amphibian assassination.

“One of the witchdoctors said, look for two tadpoles of different colours one should be named President Mugabe and the other should be called Ms Mujuru and put them in water. That’s what happened.”

The President said: “The tadpoles were made to fight and if President Mugabe’s tadpole died, then Ms Mujuru would rule.” Nothing is known beyond this on the fate of the VIP tadpoles. But Mugabe is still alive and Mujuru was ejected last week.

President Mugabe took the joke further: Now that Mujuru was haunted and sacked, the President told his supporters, he assumed the tadpole named Mujuru may have died during the ritual. The VP was sacked alongside eight ministers who are said to be supporting her treasonous ambition.

Mujuru’s replacement is a former Justice minister Emerson Mnangagwa. He is nicknamed ‘Crocodile’ for his notoriety and ruthlessness in defending Mugabe errors.

The new VP was also the victim of a Mugabe purge in 2004. He was then accused of showing ‘excessive ambition’ for the vice presidency, which was then given to Mujuru. Now it is Mujuru who must leave the VP perch for exhibiting ‘excessive ambition’.

The dismissal paved way for the selection of the First Lady as the leader of the ruling part Zanu-PF women’s wing. Which means Grace now occupies the front lane in the Mugabe Succession should the Old Crocodile fall.

The thinking is that the First Family would need protection when Mugabe leaves office. After 34 years of vice-like grip on Zimbabwe, the Mugabe family would need protection from its past.

Mugabe and family are major landowners. Much of the land was forcefully seized from white farmers during the controversial acquisition to Zimbabwenise agriculture. The so-called era of land reforms in the 1990s saw large swathes of white-owned land handed over to Mugabe’s party honchos.

The land seizures still continue. All it takes is for a member of the First Family to identify an appetising piece of land worth grabbing. Some Western countries, including Britain, imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, to protect white landowners.

At 91, which is his official age, the Old Crocodile is not about to leave State House. He takes offence, and is fast to act against those who imagine he is about to fall out.

Mugabe considers it treasonous for anyone to base his ambition on the imagination that fatigue could soon take toll on the former guerrilla leader. His official position to those who think he is about to surrender is this: “I am there as long as I still have strength in me.”

Source : The Star