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Mnangagwa: The General's Frontman

13 Feb 2018 at 06:28hrs | Views
Someone asked me yesterday, 'Mnangagwa, is he president-original or president-lite?'. He simply wanted to know if Mnangagwa is the one who chose Chiwenga or they mutually agreed that he should come back and rule or maybe Chiwenga king-made him. We can speculate, and probably accurately do so but the truth manifest itself in his subsequent actions and the results thereof. Ascension by ability creates authority, ascension by good fortune creates weakness.

So far the president has been quite evidently in full charge of the 'Zimbabwe is open for business' global campaign. He has put himself on the front line regarding our economic re-engagement with the rest of the world. The best and self-evident way he found of proving his self-efficiency is to open the country's doors again to commerce. This is remarkable because it gives him the quickest recognition both internally through job creation and externally through restoring old broken relationships.

However his monolithic way of solving the excessive problems being faced by Zimbabwe is slowly revealing less on the side of ability to rise and govern by his own commandship. I have put all the responsibilities to him here intentionally on the same basis he is distancing himself from Mugabe's misrule as if he wasn't part of it. I have also intentionally set a tone to pre-judge his tenure based on just his two months in office because he himself preferred that we do so from the day he took oath of office.

A quick acid test to the strength of Emerson Munangagwa's position in Zanu PF and government is probably premised not on what he and his loyalists are obsessing about but what they are not saying. They are not giving detail on how he intends to deal with truth and reconciliation in the country, electoral reforms, legitimacy etc. In fact Munangagwa himself would rather lead an amnesiac and darkened people who just focus on the economy, ignore ourselves and most importantly forget the past. He was supposed to have the easiest job considering the heavy handed solutions of his predecessor but ED ain't got time for 'bygones'. This is why there is no big news of party members flocking back to the new faced Zanu Pf or perhaps to the same ol moulting face.

The Mngangagwa-Chiwenga marriage is similar and most likely to follow the alliances that the Cuban dictator Batista formed in the early 1930s before he started feeling that only himself can execute the plans that he had for Cuba. Today Chiwenga has got the language of 'restoring legacy'. The first frontman for Batista was Machado whom he toppled in just four months for not understanding the direction of the so called revolution of the time. The assumption that we are stuck with in Zimbabwe is that Chiwenga is done ticking on his bucket list and he will let Mnangagwa be as he sees well for the country. But the reality of our time is that Chiwenga has sparked for himself insatiable appetites of recognition for his crowning coup.

We have had more heads rolling during after 18 December when the 'restore legacy' technically ended that during the operation. Not that the corrupt shouldn't be fired but they are being shown the door because this is the era of The General's appetites. Mnangagwa is just an imposed frontman in an unholy union of Chiwenga and a ruling party in disarray.

Fungayi Mukosera contributes here on his personal capacity and can be contacted on

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Source - Fungayi Mukosera
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