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‘Mugabe grooming successor’

VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has emerged as the de facto executive prime-minister after Friday’s swearing in ceremony as he will dominate both the executive and the legislature, political analysts said.


Besides being the VP, Mnangagwa also wears four other powerful hats. He is Justice minister, leader of government business in parliament, a member of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee and Zanu PF co-chairman.

Political commentator Takura Zhangazha said: “For Mnangagwa this means he remains leader of government business in Parliament. With the combined powers of his new position and the old one, he is essentially a de facto prime minister.”

Mnangagwa’s ascendancy comes on the backdrop of the unceremonious sacking of Joice Mujuru from both her party and government positions.

His appointment for now puts him on the fore in the race to succeed Mugabe who turns 91 in two months.

Another political analyst Ricky Mukonza concurred that Mnangagwa now wielded more power than any other minister since independence in 1980.

“Broadly speaking, power that comes with all his positions gives some measure of control of both government and the party to Mnangagwa,” Mukonza said.

Another analyst who preferred anonymity said: “Mugabe is using this time to groom his successor while at the same time dealing with the scourge of multiple centres of power in the party.”

However, despite all the powers Mnangagwa now possesses, all the analysts agree that Mugabe still wields the authority in government and party.

They said Mugabe was still in charge as Mnangagwa only enjoyed delegated authority.

“I am more than convinced that Mugabe wants to die in office and with total control of both the party and the country,” Mukonza said.

Mnangagwa has weathered the political storm since his failure to land the vice-presidency in 2004. He rose in spectacular fashion from the “political Siberia” where he had been reduced to minister of Rural Housing and National Amenities to land the coveted “crown prince” post with the support of the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

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