Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has launched a scathing attack on Vice-President Emmerson Mnangangwa and his followers, saying their sense of entitlement shown in their push to have the Midlands strongman succeed President Robert Mugabe was not different from politics pursued by Joice Mujuru before her dismissal from government.
By Khanyile Mlotshwa
Moyo, accused by state media of being the brains behind a fresh push to dislodge Mnangagwa through a Zanu PF conference resolution to have a female vice-president, told journalists in Bulawayo on Friday that “successionists” in the ruling party had an “ideology of entitlement”.
The Zanu PF politburo member has named Mnangangwa, army commander General Constantino Chiwengwa and war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa as the alleged successionists. On Friday he said the Mnangagwa faction was still determined to oust Mugabe.
“Zanu PF only had two factions — the Mnangagwa and Mujuru factions — and both of them are successionist,” he said. “The Mujuru faction has transformed into a political party while the Mnangagwa faction remains within the party, but still in its traditional successionist mode and buoyed by the transformation of the Mujuru faction into a political party.
“Within Zanu PF, successionists arrogantly assert that they are entitled to power, entitled to rule and entitled to the country’s resources because they fought and died for these things.”
He said the faction did not care about elections as they believed that Mugabe should “just pass the baton to them”.
Moyo said the “successionists” had worked with Mugabe for a long time and were using that history as basis for their entitlement.
“They say we come a long way with the president and so it’s now our turn to take over from him. They say they are entitled to take over from him and they don’t care what the Constitution says or what the people want or may choose at an election,” the minister said.
“The entitlement makes successionists anti-youth. They see the youth or young people as enemies standing between them and the power they want to grab through unconstitutional and undemocratic means.”
He said there was no way young people and those who were considered to be new in the party could be successionists.
Moyo said it was absurd that those who claimed the existence of G40 only threw around two or three names of people affiliated to the alleged faction.
“You say G40 is Jonathan and Saviour Kasukuwere and occasionally you throw in Patrick Zhuwao,” he said. “In the last two months, it is always Moyo and Kasukuwere. Two is a duo and three is a trio, not a faction.
“A faction is many people. G40 will never become a faction, whether you have said it or not.”
Moyo said it was better to use the concepts of “successionists and loyalists” instead of factions in the battle to succeed Mugabe.
“Whenever there are successionists, you must ask yourself who is the rest. Who are the other people,” he said.
“Usually what a successionist wants is not to get power through an election. They want to be given [power]. The opposite of a successionist is a loyalist.”
He added: “There are others who are not concerned about succeeding but are loyalists. These are many, many in the party and many in the country, they are loyal to the leader and the legacy. They don’t regard leadership in individual terms, but see it as a collective.”
Moyo said loyalists were preoccupied with the national question.
“They are preoccupied with the question of who are we in this nation,” he said.
“That question has always been about unity and inclusivity. The national question is about all of us.
“If you look at the founding fathers, that was the question that pre-occupied them, that was the question that preoccupied the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo.
“When the national question has been resolved, the question of the wealth of the nation then comes up. This has to do with the land and the minerals.
“The majority of Zimbabweans are about that. When you start talking about factions and personalities, not only do you lose them, but you distort issues.”
Moyo said those who wanted to topple Mugabe were promoting chaos in the country in order for them to thrive.
“They have figured it out that one easiest way to power is through instability, through demonstrations,” he said.
“They want so much instability that a leader who is not strong can run away and then they create national transitional authorities and salvation committees. Successionists love disorder.”