Everything about Emmerson Mnangagwa is dull and boring. The way he speaks, the way he reacts to burning issues, and even the way he dresses.
He has been ridiculed ever since he came to power more than three years ago. There is a crude joke doing the rounds on the social media that no matter how cold it turns out to be this year, “I will not put on a scarf…….”.
Mnangagwa is often portrayed as a ruthless, unelectable dictator hanging onto power after allegedly losing the 2018 elections.
But he has decimated Zimbabwe’s 22-year-old opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance in three years, something that his more charismatic, eloquent and immaculately dressed predecessor Robert Gabriel Mugabe failed to do in 17 years.
Mnangagwa has outsmarted the charismatic, youthful leader of the MDC-Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, so much that Chamisa’s party and supporters are blaming all his troubles on Mnangagwa.
When Thokozani Khupe parted ways with Chamisa in 2018 after he grabbed leadership of the Alliance, Khupe was accused of going to bed with Mnangagwa.
The same applied when Douglas Mwonzora broke away from Chamisa following the Supreme Court ruling of last year that Chamisa’s leadership of the party was illegitimate.
The recalling of Members of Parliament has also been blamed on Mnangagwa which makes him a genius if he has so much influence on the opposition but his critics will not admit this but instead attribute it to Mnangagwa’s abuse of State machinery.
Now some of Chamisa’s staunchest supporters are saying the opposition leader will lose the 2023 elections if he does not abandon student politics of confrontation.
But Chamisa does not seem to be listening. Instead he tweeted four days ago: “We always WIN elections in Zimbabwe. We’ve always won elections but without winning power. They lose elections but refuse to lose power. That we must & will fix. No matter what they say or do, we will win any election in this country. Our key task is to win elections and win power.”
While most of his followers stood behind him, one Chitova responded: “Which elections have you won nhai zviroto zviroto ngazviperere kudzimba kwenyu pliz. Even in mdc you refused to go to congress after Tsvangirai’s death why because you knew it that you won’t win over there so sit down.”
Another going by the name AfrikinAngel tweeted: “Mdc cannot use wat u hav and all u have shown is utter corruption in ur city councils shows that u are just waiting to climb onto the gravy train and not focused on real change, you have made zero changes except to plunge us deeper into poverty 800% increase in rates????”
Time, however, is ticking for the two men. They have only two years before the next elections. Chamisa’s empire seems to be crumbling and even he United States has accused Mnangagwa of trying to dismantle the MDC Alliance.
Some media reports have claimed that all is not well in Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. This could very well be true, but Simba Mudarikwa once said that infighting within ZANU-PF was common and was a sign that the party was under no threat.
According to Wikileaks, Mudarikwa told United Sates embassy officials that ZANU-PF was badly fractured.
“It was like a stick of TNT, susceptible to ignition and disintegration. ZANU-PF was holding together because of the threat of MDC-T and foreign pressure. He likened ZANU-PF to a troop of baboons incessantly fighting among themselves, but coming together to face an external threat.”
Probably nobody knows this more than Mnangagwa. Maybe that is why he was prepared to accommodate people that were thought to be thoroughly corrupt or had been solidly behind G40, just to hold the party together.
Mnangagwa seems to be more confident now.
He tweeted a day after Chamisa’s tweet: “Zimbabweans, our roads are in a state of emergency. It pains me to see so many potholes on our once great highways.
“We must act urgently. Today my government committed ZW$33.6 billion to rapidly rehabilitate 10,000 kilometres of Zimbabwe’s roads
“I will not let you down.”
This could easily be rubbished as mere politicking. Only time will tell.
Source: The Inside