Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a dead man walking!

It appears that his overzealous supporters might have thrown him into a crocodile’s pond following unprecedented attacks on Grace Mugabe following her recent rally in Buhera.

In direct response to the attacks, Team Grace Mugabe through Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene has called for the arrest of Mnangagwa.

At the same time, the Zanu-PF women’s league renewed its calls yesterday for President Robert Mugabe to implement their resolution of having one of his current two deputies dropped to make way for a woman – in a move which ruling party insiders say is targeted at Mnangagwa.

Chimene’s call came notwithstanding the fact that many of those who are toyi-toying for Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe – including former Zanu-PF youth leader for Mashonaland Central Godfrey Tsenengamu – have said that they are doing so without the Midlands godfather’s blessings.

The forthright Manicaland regional minister told the Daily News in an unsolicited interview yesterday that she firmly believed that Tsenengamu’s announcement in Harare on Tuesday, that he and others in Zanu-PF would immediately start to campaign openly for Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe, could only have come from the Midlands godfather himself.

“Both Tsenengamu and those who are sending him are guilty of seeking to subvert a constitutionally-elected government and should therefore be arrested in line with the dictates of the country’s laws.

“The boy (Tsenengamu) is too young to have said what he said, and I am convinced that there is a powerful force behind him,” Chimene thundered.

“Alternatively, I would suggest that since he (Tsenengamu) mentioned that he wants the VP to become president, but Mnangagwa himself has not said so, the VP should make a police report to say so and so is abusing my name and to say he (Tsenengamu) has committed a serious crime of treason in my name and so he should be arrested.

“That way we can be convinced that he (Mnangagwa) is not involved because as a former minister of State security, he knows very well what subversion means, and I know what it means having been a CIO myself when Mnangagwa was my minister.

“He cannot continue to allow people to use his name as a mop, and as war veterans we are saying that small boy Tsenengamu alone has no guts to say what he said, and we will not tolerate that,” she added without mincing her words.

Ominously for Mnangagwa, the women’s league renewed its calls yesterday for Mugabe to drop one of his two current deputies to make way for a woman – a move which is seen as targeting the VP, who also doubles up as Justice minister.

Zanu-PF’s other vice president is Phelekezela Mphoko who comes from the Zapu wing of the ruling party, and who is said to belong to the faction of young Turks who are known as the Generation 40 (G40) group, and who are rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

Speaking at his Monday media conference, Tsenengamu called for “a mega fightback” from Mnangagwa and his allies, following Mugabe’s birthday interview with the ZBC in which the nonagenarian appeared to crush the VP’s mooted presidential ambitions by saying no one in Zanu-PF was worthy of succeeding him.

“It is time we go open about this succession thing because some of us have since identified our candidate and it’s none other than Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. If Mugabe doesn’t like him, that is up to him, but we are saying we now want him to lead now.

“To . . . Mnangagwa, Chikara, I am sorry you may say we have exposed you, but that is the game now Shumba (VP’s totem).

“We want you to take over from Gushungo and make sure that you take care of his family. So, we are going to hit the campaign trail for you as our presidential candidate next year,” Tsenengamu said.

Tsenengamu was subsequently nabbed by detectives, a day after he held his controversial press conference – and has since been slapped with three charges: violating provisions of the draconian Public Order and Security Act (Posa) for holding his press conference without clearance, undermining the authority of the president and subverting a constitutionally-elected government.

Chimene’s latest blast while stunning, is not surprising as she has previously called for Mnangagwa’s expulsion from Zanu-PF for allegedly plotting to oust Mugabe from power.

Speaking in August last year, in another no-holds-barred blitzkrieg, Chimene said to Mnangagwa’s face that he and his allies should be expelled from the warring ruling party.

“Forward with expelling rebels. Down with keeping them in the party!” she shouted, to wild cheers – and going on to liken the VP to an animal, while adding ominously that all problem animals were culled at the country’s national parks.

“Crocodiles must remain in the water. They must stay in the river. They must not stay with the people. Zanu-PF is not a dam for crocodiles,” she said coldly. Mnangagwa is nicknamed Ngwena (crocodile).

This assault had followed a similar earlier attack by Zanu-PF women’s league secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka, who publicly humiliated the Midlands godfather, going to the extent of claiming that he would never ascend to a higher office because he allegedly lacked a social base.

Yesterday the women’s league continued with its relentless pursuit of Mnangagwa’s demise, reviving its divisive resolution which could see the VP being axed from the presidium.

This followed the league’s provincial meeting in Mazowe on Monday, where they resolved to press the politburo to implement their resolution at its next sitting.