I was not the brains behind Grace Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo says


The 2017 scenario was different, and indeed Mrs Mugabe took centre stage in the firing of Mnangagwa on 6 November last year. It’s news to me that you say many saw me as the brains behind Mrs Mugabe. But the presumption that anyone, especially a person like me could become the brains behind Mrs Mugabe is preposterous and can only come from people who know nothing useful about Mrs Mugabe and especially about President Mugabe. Becoming the brains behind Mrs Mugabe would have meant coming between the President and his spouse. That would have been reckless and suicidal.This equally applies to the notion that I should have restrained Mrs Mugabe. As who? Surely, only her husband and family members could do that. In any event, my respect for President Mugabe would never have allowed me to poke my nose into his family. Never. People who say the nonsense that I was the brains behind Mrs Mugabe or that I should have been the one to restrain her must know that I did not go to school only to come out as naïve as suggested by their nonsense.

Otherwise, clearly many things went wrong last year. Many. A lot that was said and done at those interface rallies was unwise and most unfortunate, not least because it gave hostage to fortune.

BSR: During the offensive against Mujuru and her faction in 2014, you all seemed to be united, including Mrs Mugabe, Chris Mutsvangwa and Mnangagwa. However, no sooner had Mnangagwa settled into office as the new Vice President than factions began to emerge, and the fights started again. What was the cause of the quick fallout? Did you not know that the fall of Mujuru would open the way for Mnangagwa which would place him in pole position to succeed Mugabe?

ANSWER: As I have already indicated, it is not correct to say factions began to emerge no sooner had Mnangagwa settled into office as one of the two vice presidents. Factions preceded Mnangagwa’s elevation to the vice presidency. But I think the important question you ask is whether we knew that the fall of Joice Mujuru would open the way for Mnangagwa and place him in pole position to succeed Mugabe. Frankly, we did not know that. More accurately, I should say I did not know. And here is why.

It is important to understand that the Joice Mujuru saga in 2014 directly pitted her against President Mugabe. The proverbial system presented her as using her position as vice president to fight President Mugabe to force him out of office. Throughout the Mujuru saga in 2014, there was never an indication that Mujuru’s ouster would open a door for Mnangagwa. This is because it was always clear that Mujuru’s replacement, in the event she was removed from office as vice president, would be Oppah Muchinguri. This was the deal. The idea that a man would replace a woman was a no, no. We all understood that.

More significantly, I drafted the amendments to the party’s constitution ahead of the Zanu PF December 2014 Congress. I did the drafts for Mnangagwa and Chiwenga who would comb through them and cause me to redraft 70 by 70 times. I used to have endless meetings with Mnangagwa at his office, many more with one of his assistants but most of the meetings were between Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and myself at Chiwenga’s house or at some house used by Mnangagwa on Churchill Avenue, just after Second Street towards Avondale. During the drafting, the only position that was contemplated for Mnangagwa was that of Prime Minister in government and National Chairman in the party. But the Vice Presidency was always going to Oppah Muchinguri, for her to replace Joice Mujuru.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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