Harare – Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is now all but set to officially takeover from President Robert Mugabe, as the country’s second republic president, amid reports from ruling party insiders that, First Lady Grace Mugabe, has now reportedly endorsed his presidency.
The revelation brings to an end a brutal factional tussle for power inside Zanu PF, as a rival faction known as G40 thought to have been scheming for a Grace Mugabe 2018 presidential candidacy has been decimated and left in tatters, following a storm of corruption and abuse of office allegations that have implicated key members believed to be the brains behind the faction, who also sit in cabinet.
So serious is the graft matter, that Mugabe is said to be considering to fire one of the minister who has been accused of pillaging state funds, while another might eventually be demoted for dipping their hands in the Marange diamond monies cookie jar. Spotlight Zimbabwe is also reliably informed that Mugabe is angry with the G40 confederacy, which is accused of misleading him and giving the ailing strongman misguided intelligence about the ruling party and its activities.
Mugabe in recent months had been forced into a tension filled relationship with Mnangagwa on the back of “suspicious information”, which he was being fed by the VP’s foes in the party, including allegations that Mnangagwa wanted to push him out of power using the military and war veterans, now proven to be untrue our sources said.
A leading Sunday private publication this week disclosed that Grace had dumped the struggling G40 oufit, and is now seeking to build her own base and faction, which could become a kingmaker when Mugabe exits power. Grace was said to be the G40 nominee for president to challenge and dethrone Mnangagwa’s prospects before the current fallout. Other senior members reported to be aligned to the faction include vice president, Phelekezela Mphoko, ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere.
“The First Lady’s eyes have been opened, and she’s now refusing to become a pawn in the succession and factionalism game,” said a member of the ruling party’s Women’s League. “This is why she has resolved to work with the vice president (Mnangagwa), instead of being trapped into fighting him by his enemies in the party. Amai (Grace) is now fully behind him, and in fact they met together with the president to resolve some party issues, before the VP visited Switzerland to attend the United Nations universal periodic review of member states human rights records, last month.”
Other sources said health matters could have also been a factor in influencing Grace, to turn a new page with the vice president, as she is concentrating on full recovery, and a Women’s league new bid for female representation in the presidium come 2018, although the first lady could even land the post earlier “if all goes accordingly”.
In March this year at the height of their bad blood, the first lady fired a broadside at Mnangagwa and senior security officials in Chiweshe, for attempting to instil fear in her, by allegedly conniving to bomb the family dairy business, in the hope that the first family will yield power, and vacate State House.
“Unoziva unongoti pindei kudaiso, wobva watogarisa iwe uchangopinda. Ndinovhairirwa nekamwe katsotso,tsotso zvako. Kuti ndakaenda kuhondo handiudzwe namai Mugabe kuti iwewe usaite zvakati nekuti ndakaenda kuhondo. Kundityitsidzira ini handiti,” said Grace . ” Why do you have to go mupublic uchiti ndakazorwa hondo ndakazodai, Amai Mugabe hawafaniri kundiuudza, hawachadi maex-combatants. Iwewe chete kuti ndisakutsuure, ndichiona kuti urikuparadza party. Kwete pasi newe. The issue iyoyo yekuti hanzi munorongana, motorana nemasoja kunobhomba, it will not work. It will actually work against you. Nekuti zviripo ndezvekuti kuda kutyitsidzira vaMugabe namai Mugabe, kuti no tikawatyitsidzira kuti takunobhomba kudairy kwavo, wanozotitya wozotipa zvigaro, unopenga. Chigaro chipi chacho? chani?”
After appearing to now switching sides to join forces with Mnangagwa, Grace as we reported recently is earmarked to become the second vice president of the country, if Mnangagwa lands power before Mugabe finishes his term, which expires in two years. The first lady, will likely be in the new presidium make-up with Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, now tipped to be first vice president, we are told.
Spotlight Zimbabwe also gathered late last night from government officials sympathetic to the vice president, that he already allegedly has a shadow cabinet in place, which includes among other reported allies, dismissed former war veterans minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, serving minister Supa Mandiwanzira, and information secretary, George Charamba, all poised for top administration cabinet posts.