THE arch-schemer, now vice-president of Zimbabwe, and likely to become president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be the most dangerous person to the democracy and human rights of Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa has masterminded a lot of schemes that have seen the demise of opposition parties in Zimbabwe. He was not elected to the VP post he now holds.
He got it via the back door. He was appointed by President Robert Mugabe after alienating former vice-president Joice Mujuru.
Mugabe is now old and pliable. He was easily convinced that Mujuru and her allies were about to assassinate him. First it was said the Mujuru faction wanted to assassinate the president.
Then quite recently, Mugabe was saying his spies saw Mujuru naked in front of a conjurer, performing some rituals aimed at killing him.
Neither pictures nor videos were provided nor is there any evidence whatsoever. The allegations sound far-fetched and pathetic.
Zimbabweans are not convinced.
Zanu PF hurriedly amended its constitution to make the president single-handedly appoint VPs and politburo members.
These powers may soon be inherited by Mnangagwa and imagine how powerful the man is going to be.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe already gives power to a president to appoint ministers, chief justices, judge president, attorney-general, prosecutor-general, election commissioner-general just to name a few.
The Constitution gives power to a president to appoint virtually all key positions in the government and many people know that it was not an oversight on the part of those who made it, but a deliberate ploy to concentrate power to the next president who is very likely to be Mnangagwa.
This was a lesson for Mujuru and former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa. The devil only uses people he never really likes.
Mutasa at one point had been seduced by proximity to power that he exhibited some incoherence.
He has suddenly come back to his senses and realised that Zanu PF is highly undemocratic and uses unfair means to elect its officials and to stay in power.
He now wants all Zimbabweans to feel pity for him. He used the same means to stay in power in Headlands for the past three decades and both he and Mujuru had previously been imposed on some posts.
On the other hand, Mujuru seems repentant and has realised the sad truth that she was being used, and that her services were no longer needed. She has grown rich out of her tenure though and seems content with that.
For his part, Mnangagwa seems to know that Zimbaweans don’t love him. He knows they will never vote for him.
What does he do? He engages villain mode. He knows the law very well, but he does not use his knowledge of the law to uphold justice.
He twists the law for his benefit. The Constitution of Zimbabwe was made under his strict supervision. He made sure that the “Mnangagwa” clause was incorporated:
Section 101: Succession in event of death, resignation or incapacity of president or vice-president:
(i) If the president dies, resigns or is removed from office
(a) The first vice-president assumes office as president until the expiry of the former president’s term of office.
This is the back door which Mnangagwa, who is unpopular with Zimbabweans, will use to rule the same Zimbabweans.
That’s how the Constitution was tailored. Mnangagwa knew very well that Zimbabweans would never vote for him to become their president.
So all he did was to hide under Mugabe’s popularity until one of the conditions manifests and then the constitutional provision gives him power. That’s what crocodiles are good at — waiting.
Zimbabweans can remember that they were not given ample time to study the Constitution and never given a chance or option to reject it.
It was hurried through and was literally forced down their throats under Mnangagwa’s watchful eyes. Now seems the right moment for him to take the throne as Mugabe is exceedingly frail and may, therefore, soon be bed-ridden.
Mnangagwa is the first vice-president and the clause unambiguously favours his ascendancy. Of course, he is now currying favour with First Lady Grace, until an opportune time when he can completely silence her.
There are many parallels and similarities between Vladmir Putin and Mnangagwa. Both are former spy chiefs, both have personalised own country intelligences to suppress opponents as well as a mainstay to power.
Mnangagwa has already started on three feet by making sure his wife Auxillia is admitted into Parliament through the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe seat. He could then entice or coax Mugabe to appoint her into Cabinet. He can do so himself once he assumes the presidency.
Once again Mnangagwa has shown a bold and a complete lack of shame by instructing headmen in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency that they should make sure everyone under them votes for Auxillia.
This is a complete disregard of processes. Auxillia is going to literally annex the seat bequeathed to her by her husband the same way Grace took possession of the women’s league handed over to her by Opah Muchinguri. Going to the polls for Auxillia is just a formality.
Her husband made sure that Grace gets the women’s league post she wanted and that Auxillia would get the parliamentarian seat she wants.
Zimbabweans know that all that is being masterminded by Mnangagwa and does not sprout from the will of the people. It is only the will of the two families that blossoms save for a complete disregard of the will and cheating of the Zimbabwean people.
Many of us don’t know the law as Mnangagwa does or should do, but scenes unfolding do not look right. People should freely have a right to choose who they want to lead them. Once leaders are imposed on people, the whole essence of democracy and freedom vanishes.
The power that a rogue spy chief can wield is immense and is enhanced in that he/she can operate in the background undetected. He can control the press, radio and TV stations, and can, therefore, manipulate and bully everyone.
That is what Putin managed to do in Russia and Mnangagwa is doing the same to Zimbabwe. His dictatorship is likely to be worse than that of Mugabe and apparently everyone fears him already.
The problem with people who usurp power is that generally they don’t work to improve the lives of people they rule. They assume power only to enrich their egos and their wallets. Mnangagwa started on a bad note by promoting his wife against the will of the people.
Recently, he announced General Constantine Chiwenga as the “real” Zanu PF political commissar when he well knows that the Constitution bars uniformed forces from dabbling in active party politics. One wonders what Chiwenga was doing at an Auxillia campaign rally.
Because of this, Zimbabweans are under some fix. The army has helped a great deal propping up Mugabe’s waning support and has been key to his stay in power despite his very poor governance.
The economy has crushed and all service delivery is non-existent. This is because since the 1980s, Zimbabweans have never been allowed to select leaders of their own choice.
Only cruel politicians masquerading as leaders continue to impose themselves on Zimbabweans, but these imposters have no will of improving the lives of Zimbabweans.