‘Don’t rule out Mujuru in Mugabe succession’ – Analyst

TOP academic Ibbo Mandaza has said people should not rule out the possibility of ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru bouncing back as leader of Zanu PF and the country despite her recent expulsion from the ruling party.

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BY MOSES MATENGA

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succession

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Mandaza’s prediction comes as more and more analysts warn that Zanu PF was headed for a bloodbath if President Robert Mugabe does not address the issue of his succession as age continues to take a toll on the 91-year-old leader.

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Mandaza said it would be folly to rule out Mujuru in the succession matrix now in the same way that it was not automatic that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa would take Mugabe’s crown on a silver platter.

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“Far from it (Mnangagwa’s automatic takeover), didn’t you hear Information minister Jonathan Moyo? He may be speaking for himself given his own ambition which is fair,” Mandaza said.

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“It’s not a given, look at the Constitution, it talks about an elected VP to take over. Currently, there is no elected VP. It says within 90 days, the ruling party must nominate somebody and give the name to the Speaker.”

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He said Zanu PF would go for a special congress to choose a leader in the event Mugabe dies or is incapacitated, warning “blood and thunder” should be expected.

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“It’s pointing to a congress within 90 days and a guru will emerge and they will be blood and thunder. Mnangagwa is a contender, (Vice-President Phelekezela) Mphoko is also interested, (Saviour) Kasukuwere also and Moyo have their own interests and the big elephant in the room, Mujuru,” said Mandaza.

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“The possibility that there will be a process towards a new congress and the possibility of her coming back is high given the unconstitutional manner in which the last congress was run and many numbers are in the cold including more than 109 MPs.”

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He added: “We have a complex situation and even Mnangagwa himself must know that this is daunting if not frightening for Zanu PF and the country. We have an untidy succession process with many dangers.”

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But Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland Central Dickson Mafios dismissed views that Mujuru had a strong political base and could easily bounce back in the event Mugabe leaves office.

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He said if Mujuru remained quiet the only position the former VP could take up was at village cell level, adding her perceived popularity was a creation of her faction.

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“Which people does she have? That is speculation. If that was true, we would have lost the Hwedza seat. We have been moving around restructuring and we have realised that people are solidly behind Zanu PF and not Mujuru as people want to believe,” Mafios said.

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“We have been going around and in ward meetings, we have not had less than 1 000 people attending per gathering. At one point we had more than 2 000 people, so what are they talking about? That is why she is quiet. Mujuru knows she has no people and if she remains quiet, she might later in life start at the village structure,” Mafios added.

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Mujuru together with several other former Zanu PF officials among then ex-secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and ex-spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, were dumped from the party for allegedly plotting to oust Mugabe using unconstitutional ways.

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Several officials were being touted as Mugabe’s successors among them Mnangagwa and Mphoko, secretary for commissariat Kasukuwere, Moyo, secretary for administration Ignatious Chombo and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga.

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Other analysts concurred that Mujuru still had a fair share of sympathisers in the party’s politburo, Parliament and among service chiefs. They say she could brew a shocker and return to Zanu PF as a potential candidate.

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Political analyst Charles Mangongera said judging from Moyo’s reaction during a BBC Hard talk interview last week, his group could be pushing for someone outside Mnangagwa.

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“If you watched Moyo’s interview with BBC and juxtapose that with recent developments in Harare East and utterances by the war veterans, you get a sense that this is a party at war,” he added.

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“I suspect that post-congress, after purging of Mujuru and others, the battle for control of the heart and soul of the party has intensified and will continue raging until the succession issue is solved.”

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Mangongera added: “What could be of interest is the question on what does Moyo stand for? Who is the power behind Moyo and Kasukuwere? Do we begin to see the role of military chiefs in the succession battle? It’s clear Moyo and company are convinced that Mnangagwa should not succeed Mugabe. Who do they want. Is it Amai (Grace Mugabe) or is it Chiwenga?” – NewsDay