HARARE — Some Zimbabweans have reacted with skepticism about President Robert Mugabe’s remarks that he will reshuffle his Cabinet next week, saying he may demote Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and replace him with his wife, Grace.
Others have reacted angrily to his promise, noting that the whole Cabinet and president should go for failing to provide the 2 million jobs they promised Zimbabweans in the run up to the 2013 general elections and allowing the southern African nation’s economy to degenerate.
Some of the over 160 people, who replied to two VOA Studio 7 Facebook posts which reached almost 42,000 followers over the weekend on the fate of Mnangagwa and the possible elevation of Mrs. Mugabe, said the Cabinet reshuffle was an attempt to distract Zimbabweans from the day today struggles they are facing in a nation facing severe cash shortages, panic buying of goods and other issues.
People like Frank Totowe said it was game over for Mangagwa. “The croco (Mnangagwa) will go down the ladder because Grace (Mugabe) wants her way clean. ED (Emmerson Mnagagwa) is the only stumbling block on her ascendance to the top and Mugabe won’t listen to anyone other than his wife. The writing is already on the wall.”
These views were supported by Unique Mheta, who noted that Mugabe’s moves are always unpredictable. “You never know guys, let’s just wait and see. The Old man’s plans are unpredictable. Who ever thought Mujuru (sacked former vice president Joice Mujuru) and others could be sacked from the ZANU.PF political party…? He can do anything…”
But Simbarashe Mauta believes that Mnangagwa is plays a critical role in binding Zanu PF together.
“Though they hate Mnangagwa he is a pillar. He is holding this Zanu thing up. Mugabe is too old but not too reckless, firing ED means removing a pillar in a mine while you are still in. If the mine collapses Mugabe will be avictim too so is Grace (Mugabe) but ED will be safe outside. The obvious thing is the chopping down of all ED’s loyalists. They will want to reduce ED’s influence, sacking him not an option. If Grace insists Mugabe will be exposed and definitely will lose next elections provided they get there before turmoil.”
Tarisai Muzenda fired back, noting that Mnangagwa is not as strong as perceived by some people, who think that he will stand up and fight against his boss.
“ED is not a pillar as you think, his fate is just similar to that of Mai Mujuru as she was second in command just like him. G40 (Generation 40 said to be led by Mrs. Mugabe) has already calculated and finished with him. He is gonna be fired, or demoted just to keep him on watch.”
Mauta had a different opinion. “This is just speculation dude. Let’s watch and see. I strongly guess whoever supports ED is gonna face the chop. ED is gonna remain but with no back up. Thinking Ngwena (ED) is just like Joice is premature.”
Innocent Hungwe agreed. “He (Mugabe) is likely to remove, demote all his team in government and replace them with G40s. Mnangagwa will remain untouched but alone, isolated!”
Others like believe that Mugabe appears to be cascading towards making his wife the country’s next president. Some think that he will appoint her to a junior post and then be endorsed in a non-elective People’s Conference to be held at the end of the year to be one of the two vice presidents.
ForCharles Matarirano Mutavikwa, Sandy Dennis and others, Mrs. Mugabe may be elevated to the post of vice president with or without the sacking of Mnangagwa.
According to Dennis, “her language tells (the) possibility (of her landing one of the top posts.” Mutavikwa adds that “Obsviously (Mrs. Mugabe will be in the Cabinet).
The first lady last week attacked Mnangagwa for allegedly lying to the president that he was poisoned at a Zanu PF Youth Interface Rally in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, a few weeks ago, only to turn around and claim that he was, in fact poisoned at the rally.
She accused him of teaming up with some members of his so-called Team Lacoste to try and unseat Mugabe using unconstitutional means. Mrs. Mugabe claimed that former vice president Joice Mujuru did the same thing before she was removed from office.
Mrs. Mugabe, who allegedly habors presidential ambitions, is being supported by some Zanu PF activists calling themselves Generation 40.
Mnangagwa and Mrs. Mugabe have already dismissed these allegations as far-fetched. – VOA