Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly pondering his future in government after Friday’s vicious attack by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
OBEY MANAYITI/KENNETH NYANGANI
Grace at a Zanu PF rally in Chiweshe on Friday referred to Mnangagwa by his alleged factional nickname ”Team Lacoste”, leaving thousands of supporters astounded.
Sources close to Mnangagwa said as soon as Grace made the remarks, his loyalists trooped to the embattled VP’s side to console and convince him to quit so that he does not go down the former vice-president Joice Mujuru way.
Mujuru was sacked from both government and Zanu PF for allegedly trying to topple Mugabe from power.
“The writing is on the wall that they want him fired. As soon as it was made clear at the Chiweshe rally, people said to him [Mnangagwa] that you cannot risk public humiliation and false allegations,” said a close source.
“The general feeling among his loyalists is that he should quit. There is much more dignity in that as compared to being fired.
“I don’t think Mnangagwa himself will have problems with that, but others are saying we cannot be pushed by the First Lady.”
Another source said Mnangagwa’s faction was waiting to hear from Mugabe on the matter.
Speaker after speaker at the Chiweshe rally chanted slogans denouncing those wanting to usurp Mugabe’s power and those allegedly consulting witchdoctors in order to kill Mugabe.
Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa enjoyed the support of war veterans leaders and in Mujuru’s case, Jabulani Sibanda was later fired for stating that a bedroom coup would not be allowed with regards to how Grace was purging party members.
Political analysts said the stage was now set for Mnangagwa’s ouster.
“Clearly, this is a repeat of history in a short space of time. It’s barely two years after Mujuru was disposed using the same methods and the results will be the same,” University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said.
Former Zanu PF Hurungwe West legislator Themba Mliswa urged Mnangagwa to resign to save his skin and avoid further humiliation.
“He [Mugabe] must be a man of integrity and just fire him [Mnangagwa] and appoint the First lady as VP,” Mliswa said.
He said the G40 faction in Zanu PF had a mammoth task ahead of the 2018 elections and predicted Mugabe would die in office.