When Grace Mugabe went around the country denigrating Joyce Mujuru in 2014 , she was seeking consent from the party structures to legitimize a plan that had been conceived at the highest military level ( as admitted by Jonathan Moyo). Note that Mugabe never went to a single rally where Mujuru was denigrated. He stayed home as Grace did the demolition job.
So ask yourself why this objective was able to be met without Mugabe not getting directly involved. Who was enforcing? Was Grace really the force behind that demolition job? Why has Mugabe now come out personally to do the demolition job and is he succeeding?What has changed?
Grace Mugabe then entered into the second round of her rallies and attempted the same with Mnangagwa now the victim. The rallies came to a grinding halt in Chiweshe forcing Mugabe to make a state of the nation address on TV denouncing what had happened in Chiweshe.
Mugabe then resumed the rallies which were packaged as meet the youth rallies but which have now taken a familiar twist of denigrating Mnangagwa. So the attacks have escalated and the questions are is Mnangagwa finished? what next?
As a perceived Mnangagwa ‘loyalist’ my inbox is full awith questions such as so what will now happen to Ngwena what what what. The familiar line is cde Ngwena apedzwa manje. The tone mostly is that of concern disguised as small talk. Deep down many people I have encountered sympathise with Ngwena not because of his leadership qualities but because they are tired of Mugabe. .
I have had the luxury of befriending brilliant political analysts so I have a consistent way of seeing the succession issue in Zanu PF. I concede and declare my ‘bias’ that I do not think G40 would be good for this country. They are small little charlatans now and I shudder to think what they would do if they get their hands near state power. In my opinion they must stay away from state power.
My view is the same.
Is Mnangagwa finished?
It depends what you look at to analyse power in the ruling party. Yes the rallies have succeeded in embarrassing Mnangagwa publicly but have they caused any power shifts? I would argue that they are also turning Mnangagwa into a matyre. People tend to gravitate towards people who are victimized and vilified by Mugabe.All this talk of poison is turning him into a hero and Mugabe into a villain.Mugabe’s rallies are great for the national election in 2018 but useless in changing dynamics in the party.
Now back to the matter , Mujuru had been elected by congress so she could be removed at congress. The chairmen loyal to her could be removed through these rallies. So this is why the rallies also happened simultaneously with the purging of her people in provincial structures. The current rallies are not reorganizing the party in any way. The structures remain intact. Mugabe is addressing are ordinary supporters who can only vote in 2018. The structures remain intact. Saviour Kasukuwere’s job was to demolish these structures and he failed on that end.
Fundamentally Mugabe is the person who decides what will happen to Mnangagwa because he is the center of power and the appointing authority. What we are seeing is Mugabe trying to drum up support and legitimacy for a decision he has already decided to take.
He can make that decision with the stroke of a pen. The ramifications to the party though are not as straight forward. Mugabe will not be left with an intact party afterwards and a bhora musango though far fetched is likely. Bhora musango though would jeopardise the interests of the military.
Mugabe will also need to explain why Kasukuwere cannot be removed via the consensus of the provinces but Mnangagwa can. Surely if 9/10 provinces could not overide Mugabe and have Kasukuwere removed no amount of rallies also should be a basis for removing Mnagagwa. However Mugabe is not anticipating that he will be made to account for this. Time will tell.
So in short, no Mnangagwa will NOT go the Mujuru way because circumstances are different but Mugabe CAN still fire him if he wants and if he has the guts.
Finally if we agree that the coercive machinery is the main ingredient in Mugabe’s hold on power we must agree also that which ever thing that has no buy in of the military will fail. Mugabe’s attempts to reinvent himself as a champion of the people will end in tears.
Please note that Mugabe’s new found confidence to dump the coercive machinery is based on the belief that the opposition is too weak to cause any trouble to him. Mugabe is not a man known for any brilliant ideas but well known for persecuting opponents and using a hammer to get his way.
At the end of it all we must now brace ourselves for an extraordinary congress where Mugabe will announce that he is removing Mnangagwa which he has hinted at Women’s League event that appointing him was a mistake or an appointment of a third vice president…
Also keep your imaginations open and think about the unthinkable. The extraordinary congress could turn into an elective one where Mugabe will be challenged…