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Story by Advocate Jonathan Chando

A lot of conspiracy theories have been thrown across the social media as it emerged that Mnangagwa was imminently going to get the boot and immediately after the boot.

Some have created false narratives concerning the armed forces and some consistently denying that he had been dropped.

Now that he is no longer the state VP, it may be reiterated that it was a long expected event to those who have studied and comprehended Mugabe’s modus operandi.

When Joice Mujuru was hounded out of office in 2014, the writing was on the wall that Mnangagwa’s rise was nothing but a false take off which would result in a deadly crash landing. Then, Mnangagwa and his backers were very ecstatic, but so naive that they saw it as a grand opportunity to rise to become the imminent successor to Mugabe.

A lot of narratives were thrown around by his backers and supporters alike. Some touted his loyalty to Mugabe since the days they were in jail. Some brought about the closeness in Mozambique since he was Mugabe’s aide. This was all a mere misinterpretation of Mugabe’s character and Mnangagwa’s status in the eyes of Mugabe.

Mugabe has no friends or close allies whatsoever, not even his current wife, Grace. He is a very selfish and solitary operator whose plans and tactics he keeps to his chest. He only releases information that is relevant and useful to enable him to use a particular person so as to achieve his goal.

What many did not, or refused to admit, was that Mnangagwa would not have joined the war had it not been Mugabe who personally recruited him from Zambia to come to Mozambique. Mnangagwa had been Advocate Dumbutshena’s paralegal in Lusaka and was not in any way involved in the revolution after his release from prison and fleeing to Zambia. He had not visited any ZANLA or ZIPRA camp in Zambia before Mugabe fished him into Mozambique. He had not visited or contacted any party official in Zambia and had kept himself away from the revolution. So for anyone to profess the so called revolutionary traits on Mnangagwa is actually miswriting the history of the revolution. Yes he did participate in the war and may be called a war veteran, but he never saw the combat zone, and was not as senior as largely touted. And that he was Mugabe’s recruit made him vulnerable to Mugabe’s manipulation.


Since he assumed the helm of ZANU PF, Mugabe ironically has consistently used the same modus operandi, albeit changing tactics and targets as he manoeuvred his way through power. Expecting any party member to stand up to Mugabe is rather expecting to see the sun rise from the west and setting in the east.
History has shown that every cadre who, despite their position in the party, has gone against Mugabe has ruthlessly and efficiently been decimated, to a point of no return, unless he decides to forgive on his own accord. It must be borne in mind that Mugabe does not forgive, but can bring back his enemy only to keep a close watch on their actions.

But what is this trump card that Mugabe has used and continues to use all along?

Before 1977, ZANU PF had mechanisms that controlled the behaviour and discipline of its cadres in the form of both the military code of conduct ( Nzira dzemasoja), and the leadership code( which was then not in written form, but effective), which reigned in those who went astray in as far as corruption was concerned. This kept the revolution in check and disciplined, among both civilian and military cadres.

When Mugabe took over the leadership in 1977, these mechanisms were slowly phased out by him and this was rather deliberate on Mugabe’s part. The leadership slowly slided into corrupt practices and began the rot within the party structures.
Some may not agree, but the revolts by some senior commanders (the Vashandi group in 1977 and the Hamadziripi and Gumbo later) were aimed at stopping Mugabe from his selfish execution of power grabbing through these manipulations.
After independence, the leadership code was formally introduced, after consistent pushing by some in the party leadership like Edgar Tekere, but this did not last.
Mugabe had a grand plan which would entrench his power irreversibly. He deliberately allowed corruption to settle within the leadership both of ZANU and in government.

The Willowgate scandal became the first indication of entrenched corrupt tendencies in the party and government. Mugabe set up the Sandura Commission to investigate, report and provide recommendations on the course of action, but he knew it was going to end with no real effect on stamping out the scourge. Mugabe commissioned several other inquiries such as the GMB and the War Victims Compensation Scheme inquiries, but these were just smokescreens, whose real details were neither published nor acted upon in sincerity. Thus he has kept such details in check for his personal use as a trump card against the perpetrators.

Mugabe since then, has used corruption to keep a stranglehold on each of his fellow members. Tabs have been opened on every individual who takes up an appointment, be it in the party or government and he uses this as his trump card against any revolt.
He has kept tabs even on the military, police and intelligence services, and in essence, not one of them will be able to stand up to him and fail to see the doors of Chikurubi.
They’re all tainted and their dirty dealings are in Mugabe’s file, and he can open it at the first flick of disobedience.
Mnangagwa is well known for a host of underhand dealings from gold and diamonds in the DRC, to the destruction and looting of party assets when he was in charge of party companies such as ZIDCO and Jongwe, just to name a few.
He is also accused of being the mastermind of the deaths and disappearances of many senior party members and other citizens. These allegations, should they be true, mean that a tab is being kept and any attempt to hit back at Mugabe or his family will result in him being detained. Many who support or sympathise with him may not comprehend this but he is well aware of the consequences of such actions by him.

The military has been allowed to engage in underhand deals in the DRC and at home, where gold and diamonds have been a free pick for them. The generals have amassed and continue to amass filthy wealth under the watch of Mugabe and any slight indication of disobedience will trigger the opening of the Pandora’s box and resultant arrest and detention.
So it is very difficult for anyone who has been part of ZANU PF to have any real wit to challenge Mugabe, be it in the party, government and in the military.

So it is very difficult for anyone who has been part of ZANU PF to have any real wit to challenge Mugabe, be it in the party, government and in the military.
The grandstanding by the war veterans who are in support of Mnangagwa is nothing but toothless howling by the same people who have been the solid protectors of the autocratic rise of Mugabe. The same veterans either kept quiet or castigated other veterans who had been victimised by Mugabe all these years, including the likes of Tekere, Nyarayebani, Dongo, Mujuru, Sibanda etc. They were very vocal in castigating and denouncing their colleagues who had seen the light.
It is a mockery to the people of Zimbabwe for them to begin to grandstand and pretend to be the guardians of the revolution. They threw away the revolution long ago when they consistently protected and propped up Mugabe’s power grab, against the values and principles of the revolution.

So what may be the solution against Mugabe?

It has now come a time, when all citizens must come together as a nation, join hands and face the automatic Mugabe and his rabid wife. The war veterans must climb down, apologise profusely for having lost the plot, groomed and supported dictatorship. They must now admit their miscalculation and go back to the masses and the opposition, join hands and fight the regime. Mnangagwa must humble himself, apologise to the people of Zimbabwe and join the opposition as a humble cadre rather than stooping high and pretend to be of high value. The people will place him where he deserves



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