PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday dismissed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa from Government after their relationship became untenable because of the latter’s propensity for disloyalty, dishonesty, deceit and lofty ambitions for power.
The President had warned his deputy time and again to desist from having grand designs to seize power unconstitutionally through a combination of the capture of strategic state institutions, running parallel structures within the ruling Zanu-PF party and fomenting divisions. But just like his predecessor, Dr Joice Mujuru, former VP Mnangagwa continued with his activities to the extent that his supporters had become daring, brazen and convinced that their man was destined for State House.
Their disdain for the First Family betrayed their hunger for power and it was clear they were prepared to stampede President Mugabe out of his position.
Time and again, some of former VP Mnangagwa’s excitable followers would do things that clearly undermined the authority of the President and their misguided actions exposed their faction’s shenanigans and put their leader in a compromising position.
President Mugabe is a patient man who does not rush into taking drastic decisions but he must have been tested to his wits’ end by the behaviour of hired yobos who disrupted the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, as she addressed the Bulawayo Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium on Saturday.
Exhibiting the highest level of indiscipline never seen in Zanu-PF, the rented crowd heckled Dr Mugabe with some shouting obscenities and trying to drown her speech. The First Lady was targeted probably because she has been calling out the former VP’s supporters and exposing their nefarious activities.
She has been consistent in urging Cde Mnangagwa to rein in his supporters who have been on a crusade to anoint him the President’s successor. Masvingo and the Midlands provinces have become hotbeds of factionalism with party leaders in the two areas owing their allegiance to the former VP and totally insubordinate to the national leadership structures.
This was clearly on show last week when they defied a party decision to suspended four officials from the two provinces on allegations of fomenting tribalism and divisions in the provinces. Provincial leaders in the Midlands and Masvingo stood by the suspended quartet and declared their suspensions a nullity even before their cases have been brought before the national disciplinary committee. So whose interests were they serving by wilfully violating the party’s internal processes?
Zanu-PF is a party of discipline but it appears some within the vanguard movement believe they are above censure and can do whatever they want as long as they are serving their preferred successor to President Mugabe. In their blind pursuit of power at all costs, former VP Mnangagwa’s supporters caused him to fall on his sword and history will judge him harshly for remaining silent while people who claimed to act on his behalf engaged in treasonous acts which have ultimately cost him his job.
Having been by President Mugabe’s side for close to five decades, former VP Mnangagwa should have known better than to plot against his boss whose patience he tested to the limit. As the clock slowly ticks towards an Extraordinary Congress in December, his position in the party will come under scrutiny as it has become untenable given the breakdown of trust between him and President Mugabe.
Addressing the crowd on Saturday, the President urged his deputy and his followers to leave Zanu-PF and form their own party instead of championing divisions, tribal hatred and factionalism.
The First Lady reiterated that message when she addressed apostolic sects in Harare on Sunday where she told the gathering that former VP Mnangagwa and his lieutenants must be expelled from Zanu-PF before the Special Congress for fanning divisions within the party.
Zanu-PF needs to be united ahead of elections next year and by getting rid of a divisive and polarising figure, the party would be enhancing its chances of winning the poll.
In firing former VP Mnangagwa from Government, President Mugabe acted to stop the unconstitutional usurping of his powers by his deputy who had not only become a liability but was increasingly getting dangerous.
Announcing the President’s decision at a Press conference in the capital yesterday, the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said it had become obvious that the former VP’s conduct in the discharge of his duties had become inconsistent with his official responsibilities. “The Vice President has consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability. He has also demonstrated little probity in the execution of his duties,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
We urge the country to rally behind the President’s decision which was taken after a lot of painstaking reflection and utmost consideration for the smooth governance of the country. Now more than ever, the nation needs to stand united.