The relentless onslaught on Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, especially by the private media, has spilled into 2016, raising a key question, why only him?
First, the media said his colleague Phelekezela Mphoko wanted to displace Mnangagwa. Mphoko, it was argued, was not happy with being referred to as Mnangagwa’s junior because they were at par.
That fizzled out and died a natural death only to see an outfit called G40 taking centre-stage.
The G40 supposedly comprised political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao and Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo. Moyo insisted G40 was not a political faction but a demographic group, but no one listened. It is still considered a political faction within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front all out to stop Mnangagwa from ascending to power.
The G40, it was reported, was pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to replace Mnangagwa, but never Mphoko supposedly because Mphoko stands on the Zimbabwe African People’s Union ticket. The push for Grace went on for months, kindled by her star rallies and a resolution by the women’s league to have a woman in the presidium.
The push, we thought, had died quietly at the Victoria Falls annual conference. Whispers say party supporters agreed with the quota for women but insisted that this time the woman to sit in the presidium should come from ZAPU.
The push has now been revived. It was never Grace who was being proposed, the media says, but the president of the Senate Edna Madzongwe. And this will happen in 2016, no matter what. Whispers from the conference have been thrown out. The person to be replaced is still Mnangagwa, implying a second secretary cannot be a woman from ZAPU.
Throughout the media onslaught, the underlying message is that Mnangagwa should never succeed Mugabe. Anyone else is better. Even former Vice-President Joice Mujuru with her People First is better than Mnangagwa?
The question why Mnangagwa and what is the “ground truth”?