Mugabe ‘anoints’ chosen successor

President Robert Mugabe could have given the biggest hint yet of his preferred successor after his first campaign event on Friday and a presentation by Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, a day earlier where he put forward Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi as one of the most qualified people to take over from the 93-year-old ruler.


Sydney Sekeramayi

Sydney Sekeramayi

Mugabe used a meeting organised by the Zanu PF youth league in Marondera on Friday to berate ruling party factions jostling for his post, in remarks that appeared targeted at Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction.

He rejected the notion among Lacoste supporters that it was now time for Karangas to rule, which would derail Sekeramayi’s ambitions. Mugabe insisted that the next leader would be chosen at congress.

At the Marondera rally, Sekeramayi was uncharacteristically given the rare opportunity to give a vote of thanks, which is usually reserved for Mugabe’s two deputies, Mnangagwa and his counterpart Phelekezela Mphoko.

Zanu PF youth chairperson Kudzanayi Chipanga also kept referring to the party’s “Look East policy”, in what insiders said meant the party’s leader will come from the east. Sekeramayi is the most senior party leader from Mashonaland East.

Analysts said Moyo’s utterances and the events at the Marondera rally were a clear indication that Mugabe might be finally making a move about his successor as concerns mount about his failing health.

Moyo — speaking in his personal capacity — at a Sapes Trust Policy Dialogue Forum on Thursday, said Sekeramayi was a far better candidate to succeed Mugabe than Mnangagwa who is linked to Team Lacoste.

Political analyst and Sapes director, Ibbo Mandaza said the Zanu PF strategist’s utterances were not accidental.

“I am sure so. There has been no contradiction of his position so far except from the expected quarters,” he said.

“It appears that they [G40] are fighting back and not that alone but maybe the succession issue is now resolved or is being resolved.”

G40, a Zanu PF faction linked to Moyo, has been at the receiving end for the past two months, with one of its key members, Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere under pressure from protestors who wanted him fired on allegations of plotting to overthrow Mugabe by allegedly forming parallel structures.

Two other key G40 members, Bulawayo provincial affairs minister, Eunice Sandi-Moyo and Hurungwe East MP, Sarah Mahoka were forced to resign from the Zanu PF women’s league where they were deputy secretary and treasurer respectively.

But Moyo, who has been quiet for the past few months, used the Sapes event to renew his attacks on Mnangagwa.

“The notion peddled by the so-called Team Lacoste that its leader is the only one who is above or senior to everyone else below President Mugabe is false and that falsehood should stop. There are others that are senior to the leader of the so-called Team Lacoste,” he said.

“One of them, by way of an important example, is Dr Sydney Sekeramayi whose loyalty to President Mugabe, the party and country; whose liberation credentials, experience, consensus-style of leadership, stature, commitment to the nationalist project and humility have no match.”

Legal expert Alex Magaisa also said Moyo appeared to have the backing of Mugabe or first lady Grace for him to throw Sekeramayi’s name into the ring.

“Sekeramayi has often been referred to as the ‘dark horse’ of the succession race. It is also important to consider the role of Mugabe’s hand in the latest developments,” Magaisa wrote on his blog yesterday.

“During his delivery, Moyo looked relaxed and confident, with the assurance of a man who knew what he was doing.

“He was ready and prepared to discuss the succession issue openly. It is hard to imagine that he threw in Sekeramayi’s name by accident.”

He said Moyo was clever enough to have known, or anticipated, the implications of deploying Sekeramayi’s name in the context of his stinging criticism and dismissal of Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.

Magaisa said there were striking similarities between Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa, both having been in influential positions since independence, including the ministry of and Defence.

The two are war veterans who have been working hard to keep Mugabe in power.

Youth and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao, who has been linked to G40 despite his repeated denials, yesterday sprang to Moyo’s defence on his remarks over the thorny Zanu PF succession issue while berating the state media for “flagging a dead horse”.

Zhuwao said an editorial in the state media which described him and Kasukuwere as Moyo’s cheerleaders for attending the Sapes forum was a childhood tactic meant to bully him into silence.

He claimed to have started participating and presenting at Sapes events when he was still in Form 4, over 30 years ago.

“The Herald’s editorial policy seeks to enforce an idiotic notion of command thinking under the foolishly mistaken notion propagated by the doomed successionist Team Lacoste’s paper tigers who are seeking to cow Zimbabweans into being submissive cowards. Hatisi mbwende dzino vhundutsirwa nezizi risina nyanga [We are not cowards who can easily be intimidated by pretenders],” Zhuwao said.

Zhuwao said he fully supported Moyo’s exhortation that “The time has come for the silent majority to stand up and speak up. Silence must not be an option for those who support the president”.

He alleged the state media was employing the Blue Ocean Strategy that chronicled how Team Lacoste would wipe off G40.

Zhuwao told The Standard that Moyo’s remarks were very credible as an academic analysis.

He said the state media, starting during the build-up to last year’s One Man Million March, has been critical about the youth league activities.

Zhuwao said he was surprised by another attempt by ZBC to try and tarnish Mugabe’s Youth Interface meetings last week.

“Even as we went towards the run up of this major event which is testimony to the organisational capability of our young people, you also find that the ZBC of Monday edition actually attempting to have a story of trying to call youths a lost generation, which is entirely nonsensical.”

He accused the state media of trying to prop up Team Lacoste, which he described as a dead horse, adding the alternative media had proved more relevant and objective.

In 2014, Mugabe saved Sekeremayi after he was identified as one of several senior ruling party officials that were sympathetic to former vice-president Joice Mujuru, who was accused of plotting to topple Mugabe.

The Defence minister is also one of the few Zanu PF leaders that have been consistently retained in Mugabe’s Cabinet since 1980.

16 Responses to Mugabe ‘anoints’ chosen successor

  1. Singa Pore June 4, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    I doubt team lacoste will take this laying down.Zimbabwe lets brace ourselves for a civil conflict of gigantic magnitude.

    • Gospel June 10, 2017 at 6:02 am #

      What conflict nhai hama? Conflict on what exactly?

  2. Dentaz June 4, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    From the word go Mugabe never wanted Ngwena to succeed him though he was telling him otherwise. As much as they might not like it, team lacoste should now accept that their trojan horse won’t win the race.

  3. Timothy June 4, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    I am a Karanga but I have to say it; Ngwena is unelectable and a pillager, pompous, vindictive, and undemocractic individual!! He destroyed Zimbabwe’s opportunity for change in 2008 together with his George Chiweshe.

    What Zimbabwe needs is national building not tribal building. So if there is a competent Ndebele and could be leader, so let it be.

    Zimbabwe is way bigger than these tribal sidings

  4. Immortal June 4, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    It’s clear that as long as the successor comes for ZANUPF, we are in for another 36yrs of terror. Moyo put the relevance of Dr Sekeramai in this order of priority: Loyal to Mugabe, Zanu PF, and Zimbabwe, sowing that in His mind, Mugabe comes first and the country last

    • Gospel June 10, 2017 at 6:08 am #

      Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa is a term used to refer to the same thing. You can say a state, country or nation but refering to the same thing, only using different terms more appropriate in the situation. That’s the same as in this case of these sides of the same coin. Still it’s the same coin denomination whichever the side of the coin.

  5. nom white June 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Great story ther Obey.unlike the rubbish in the sundaymail!

  6. dzasukwa June 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    Munogarira guyo sembwa vakomana vamugabe varikufira pachigagaro,mangwana munoti Lacosta ,kuswera mangwana hanzi G40,nhasi Sekeramayi .Mudhara is just buying time until death ,he said none of his comrades qualifies to rule the country.

  7. josphat mugadzaweta June 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    mudonhi haana kudonha here kuMarondera ikoko? talk of zezuru hegemony!!!

  8. Budie June 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    Ngwena haina mhaka inyerere a lot has been said about this guy but l see him as the most hardworking VP after Nkomo and Muzenda. His approach is practical and for the first time or second time in history l saw a VP committing time out of office in the field inspecting the much criticised command agric. The last time we were struck unexpectedly by drought was when the minister of agric had taken a nap in the helicopter and came back with a flowery report to the president resulting in the president coming on world forums tellings donors to keep their food otherwise they overfed Zim. Such flase representation to the highest office in our land made Ngwena to be on the ground and l hope all ministers had a leaf to take from this so called ambitious man. Everyone would want to be president and even me so l dont see anything wrong for a VP to want to be like his boss. He has his weaknesses just like anybody else but please spare this man. The barrage of missiles that he is quietly taking are not necessary. That explains why even the president does not comment on issues against him. As the appointing authority he could have fired him if he liked but he knows the horses that waffle and those that give the results. Otherwise shona idiom yekuti mombe inokweva inofira pa joki surely applies to Ngwena. Anything he does is seen from an ambitous point of wanting to take over the presidency. Nyika ingabudirira here? Let those who excel excel our president is no coward who would suppress people who want to take our great country to another level so Jona and company just shut up if yu have nothing better to offer. We want to hear sterm from yu not Robbin Wood character. We want to here medical breakthroughs otherwise our president would not need to fly to Singapore for treatment. As long as he flies out its a challenge to yu minister so look out.

  9. Grace jones June 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    Sekeramayi giving a vote of thanks is neither here nor there. he is the most senior member from the province mashonlnd central. It has nothing to do with succession

  10. vembuya June 5, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    Funny thing is the so called team lacoste is silent the noisy ones are the G40 so what does this rasta think he is. We don’t care who will succeed Mugabe because there is none since he will be ruling from Heroes Acre so what the hell are they talking about. There is no successor to Mugabe the body will be mummified and put in his office then ED and Mboko will take turns to act waiting for the day of resurrection.

  11. dzingi June 5, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    Misleading headline. It’s the Professor that has made the ‘anointing’. Not sure how powerful his anointing oil is though!!

  12. Peter June 5, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    Over our dead bodies will zanu succeeds itself, hahaha!!

  13. Wezhira wezhara June 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    Leaders are not imposed on people by failed dictators Mr reporter. Talk of any election in Zanu PF there is no one who can defeat Munangagwa, they all know that. For a leader of the party to be chosen at Congress, there must be substantive Provincial chairpersons first for all to agree with the result. G40 will never win any provincial election if you did not know because nobody can vote for thieving leaders. Mugabe is already known as the face of G40 and just to show you that he will not die in office, unless it happens before elections, a number of us have sworn that we will vote for a Zanu PF councilor, Zanu PF MP and any other Presidential candidate who is not Mugabe. It has already been shown in Masvingo that Munangagwa has the people and our sponsored candidate won. Call for fresh elections if you want again but this time you may even fail to garner 200 votes. A look at the 2008 elections, Masvingo, Midlands and Manicaland have the final say in any national election. The MDC swept in all the three and Tsvangirayi got more than 70 % but akabirwa neJunta who took one and half months to “meticulously verify” the numbers. Handeyi tione

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