With Mnangagwa gone, it’s back to square one for big business!


He did not just read them out; he read them as if he was singing, to big cheers from the crowds. He was enjoying his moment.

After helping Mugabe clear out Mujuru, Mnangagwa was appointed Vice President. It looked like Mugabe had finally rewarded Mnangagwa for all the years of loyalty. More significantly, it seemed Mugabe had made his choice for successor.

Reporters asked him how he felt being VP, exactly a decade after his 2004 setback.

“The revolution has a way of way of strengthening itself. It goes through cycles, this is another cycle,” he told them.

Announcing the appointment of two VPs that December in 2014, Mugabe had spelled out what he expected of them.

“They (the new Vice Presidents) must be loyal, truly loyal,” Mugabe said.

What Mugabe did not quite spell out was what sort of loyalty this had to be. Some analysts say Mnangagwa and his allies spoiled it for him by showing too much ambition and openly angling for power.

The truth is, there is nothing Mnangagwa could have done, or not done, to win Mugabe’s approval. To Mugabe, nobody has ever been good enough.

“Yes, I have looked at them. I have not come to any conclusion as to which one, really, should be (successor),” Mugabe told an interviewer on his 90th birthday.

Mugabe trusted Mnangagwa with the economic ministries. Mnangagwa must have looked at this as a chance to shine. With his allies, key among them former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, they began a gamut of reforms.

Channels were opened with international financiers that had shunned Zimbabwe, among them the IMF, Word Bank and the AfDB. The IMF was so pleased it announced it might resume aid for the first time in nearly two decades.

Negotiations opened with the European Union, which saw the resumption of budgetary aid, which had been suspended for years.

Inside the Office of the President and Cabinet, a new unit meant to improve the ease of doing business was set up. There were plans to reform the civil service and improve the running of loss making state enterprises.

Mnangagwa, his allies in tour, went around investment conferences, selling their reform plans.

In China, Mnangagwa visited Qingdao, Shandong Province, where he met Chinese entrepreneurs and the China Development Bank Corporation, stitching up deals meant to set up Special Economic Zones and the Industrial Park Project in Zimbabwe.

Continued next page


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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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