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Chris Mutsvangwa guns for Vice Presidency?

12 May 2020 at 10:15hrs | Views
Christopher Mutsvangwa claims to have been the brains behind the operation restore legacy which saw the removal of former President Robert Mugabe.

Mutsvangwa was seen in a video celebrating the rise of a new President in Zimbabwe Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa at the Harare International Conference Centre and was later rewarded with a very influential role of advisor to the President.

A long time diplomat and ambitious personality  Mutsvangwa believes he has what it takes to become the country's Vice President before leaping to the top job of President in due course.

Various political fundis have written before me how Mutsvangwa recently tried to re-write the country's history, describing former President Robert Mugabe as a man of fake degrees and Solomon Mujuru as a semi-illiterate man. The cheap jabs at national heroes was dismissed by political thinkers from all sections of the political divide.

The writing is on the wall as the man who feels has worked extra hard to bring about the new dispensation now thinks it is his time to occupy a post in the presidium.

A man close to him told me that, "Mutsvangwa is the Mujuru of our time. He wants the Presidency either bestowed on him or on his wife using the influence of his office as War Veterans leader as well as that of his wife (who heads the state media machinery)".

War Veterans are due for a special elective Congress where Chris Mutsvangwa's reign is set to come to an end. War Veterans generally feel let down by Chris Mutsvangwa who has pursued personal enrichment over the general welfare of bona fide war Veterans and heroes.

Ordinarily one would ask how the aggressive war veteran hopes to occupy a position in the presidium, seeing that retired General Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi are incumbents and with hope for higher office.

"It is the media that will make everything right for Mutsvangwa, both print and electronic", said the man whom I can only describe as close to the cooking pot.

He who speaks through the media is heard and trusted. The Vice Presidents have little state media coverage, the exception being the social media highlights of their terminal ailments and the same applies to Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri who may challenge the Mutsvangwas should the next Vice President be chosen to be a woman.

Building a name also entails destroying potential threats either using a media black out or amplifying perceived wrongs of the challengers. The comments on corona virus by Defence Minister Muchinguri insinuating the disease had come as punishment to countries hostile to Zimbabwe were amplified to give steam to Mutsvangwa's campaign.

Additionally, ministers appearing on radio, television or newspapers must have the approval of the Mutsvangwas. This is serious to the extent that even Deputy Information minister is blocked from state media and staff at the ZBC threatened with dismissal if they run a story on him except negative ones.

After a revisionist article was imposed on the Sunday Mail by Mutsvangwa denigrating Mugabe and Mujuru, the Deputy Information minister quickly distanced the government from Mutsvangwa's comments which could have portrayed the new dispensation leaders as ungrateful to the founding President.

"Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa put across some interesting views about former President Robert Mugabe (and General Solomon Mujuru) in a wartime memoir published in the Sunday Mail. However the views expressed are clearly his own & do not reflect the opinion of the government", tweeted Mutodi as he tried to neutralize Mutsvangwa's divisive state media article.

However, Mutsvangwa came out guns blazing, publishing foreign affairs minister Dr SB Moyo's diplomatic statement on Tanzania in which he distanced government from junior Minister Energy Mutodi's Twitter comment on Tanzania's handling of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Mutodi had said the East African country President John Pombe Magufuli's handling of the deadly virus was genocidal as he had left his people at high risk by not imposing a lockdown and instead resorting to prayers and faith healing.

"HE John Pombe Magafuli's Tanzania now has 630 COVID-19 cases with prayers but without a lockdown while His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa's Zimbabwe only got 31 cases with a lockdown & masks. An insight into how managers can be game changers", tweeted Mutodi.

Said Dr SB Moyo, "I make reference to the message of 4 May 2020 purported to have been posted on twitter by the deputy Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Honourable Dr E. Mutodi in which he compared the measures against COVID-19 adopted by the head of state of Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

"I wish to make it clear that this statement does not reflect the government's position nor policy. The government of Zimbabwe fully respects the sovereign measures that the President of the United Republic of Tanzania His Excellency John Magufuli adopted to contain the spread of COVID-19 in his country. Taking into account the unique domestic environment and other factors prevailing on the ground, indeed, no two individual countries have the same set of environment and conditions to warrant the adoption of a uniform response to disease outbreaks and other crises.

"Each government is implementing policies that best suit their unique domestic environments in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The government is working in close partnership with SADC and African Union Member States as well as with other interested international co-operating partners to fight this global pandemic. In this context, there was no basis whatsoever, to compare the policies of the two Presidents".

President Magufuli's no lockdown measures had been praised by the World Bank and IMF earlier before Coronavirus cases soured in Tanzania. Magufuli also came out in the media denigrating Ugandan authorities of inflating Coronavirus cases in order to get financial backing from the international community and also accused South African and Zimbabwean authorities of blindly copying Western strategies dealing with the epidemic.

With Mutsvangwa waiting only a step away from the Presidency through incapacitation of any one of the incumbents, the information ministry and state media will be preoccupied with shoring himself and his wife as Presidential suitors.
Only time will tell if this dream will come to pass.

Source - Tinashe Matavire
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