Thought provoking: ED’s dilemma of having so many people to pay back
ZwNews Chief Correspondent
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ED) is a busy man, he is trying his hands on many things at one time, he is tied on trying to consolidate his grip on power, honour his many promises, and deal with the country’s unyielding economy, at the same time.
He knows exactly what needs to be done, but cannot do it.
Mnangagwa owes the citizens promises of good living, a healthy economy, various freedoms, as his claims that the country is in a new dispensation, different from the past order.
Mnangagwa knows what is ruining the economy, he knows why the patient is dying, but is worried trying to save the economy may not go down well with the cartel members who were instrumental in him landing the coveted trophy, the presidency.
The so called corruption cartels
There were a number of people who came to the fore in making sure that former president Robert Mugabe is toppled, and bring Mnangagwa in. All the dirty work was done while he was in South Africa, after he was forced into exile as Mugabe’s and his men were baying for his head.
While in exile, Mnangagwa found himself under the guidance of Justice Maphosa, a wealthy Zimbabwean based in South Africa, who made sure the former Zimbabwe’s vice-president was safe and sound, got a warm bath for each day, was sheltered, and had a decent meal that suits his standing as a VIP.
Maphosa recently disclosed to the Sunday Times, how the former vice President’s rescue plan was executed. He said it was a delicate and deadly game trying to help Mnangagwa whom president Mugabe wanted dead or alive. Maphosa said the matter was so sensitive and dangerous that he dared not to tell even his own wife that Mnangagwa was under his custody and keep.
According to the paper, Maphosa told Mnangagwa to trust him and cooperate with him; “President, I am your servant and I am here to protect you to the best of my knowledge. But there are certain things that I will say we are not going to do now, so please work with me, it doesn’t mean disrespect…
“Maybe certain things that you want us to do we will have to say to you it’s too dangerous and we can’t do it, not now,” Maphosa told Mnangagwa.
He however, said despite the extent of danger he was exposed to by taking care of ED, he just had to do it.
How Mnangagwa is going to pay him back, or is he going to do so; nobody knows.
The bottom line remains Mnangagwa is indebted to Maphosa one way or the other.
Mnangagwa, while in South Africa was said to have had been conducting meetings with some people whose identities Maphosa declined to disclose. The meetings were reportedly held in private settings.
Who were these people he held meetings with? What were the meetings all about? Are they members of the so-called cartels?
Or maybe they were coup planning meetings, no body knows.
For some, the meetings could have been strategic cartel meetings for the coup planning, as Mnangagwa had immediately made it very clear that he was planning to come back to Zimbabwe and take the levers of power.
Could that be anything to go by, then Mnangagwa is indebted to those cartel members too. If he has to pay them back in one way or the other, still we do not know.
However, since the story of the country being run by cartels came to the fore, it revoked some questions in the minds of some, as to who are Mnangagwa’s friends? Where are they? Are they all in Zimbabwe and if not where are the others? What are their business? How are they going to benefit from his leadership? Is Mnangagwa now their puppet or is he yet to be? Will he arrest them if they engage in corruption? Anyway, that is a story for another day.
Coming on the local front, some big figures in the ZANU PF party and military also helped Mnangagwa land the top job. People like Chris Mutsvangwa, Sibusiso Moyo, Constantino Chiwenga, and many others helped him a lot… some of them he has since rewarded them with top government posts.
The likes of Mutsvangwa, ED made him his personal advisor, Moyo was made Minister of Foreign Affairs while Chiwenga, landed the deputy president post, others are yet to be rewarded, while Mutsvangwa is now on the verge of being sacked.
Now considering the current events of alleged fissures among the top brass, many questions are still propping up, as to if the guys are happy on how ED shared the spoils of the coup with them. To those who were honoured by being given top government posts, it is not clear if they are indeed happy with what they were given.
Or they feel have been given the short end of the stick.
Meanwhile, the rumour mill is already grinding that Chiwenga wants ED to rule only one term, and pass the stick to him, who then later would give it to Moyo.
If that is how they had planned as far as sharing the loot was concerned, then there is a lot of drama that is expected to unfold sooner or later.
As if to cement ED’s now unwillingness to pass on the stick to Chiwenga, the party’s youths recently expressed their support for Mnangagwa to rule more than one term, a move believed to be a blow to Chiwenga’s wishes.
Though history has taught us that the youths’ support alone is not a guarantee that ED would indeed rule for more than one term, the move by the youths is a clear indication that all is not well high up there.
All being said and done, Mnangagwa remains indebted to those who helped him up, and as such his authority is comprised somewhere somehow.
He is more of a puppet, he can not think or decide by himself.
Sooner or later, if he tries to use a winner takes all matrix, those who helped him strategise the coup while in South Africa, will remind him how they helped him. On the home front, the Moyos, Mutsvangwas, and the Chiwengas will also tell him ‘remember we made you what you are today, you are therefore serving at our mercy.’
And should he choose to let the country suffer so as to please some of his cartel members, who would be corrupt, and let them get away with corruption, the masses would remind him ‘remember we matched for you and you promised us good living, a healthy economy, and various freedoms. Promise is a debt, so you owe us.’
Such is the life for a leader who has so many people to pay back.