Passmore Kuzipa

I am a born free, born well after 1980, but I have managed to read a few history books so far and I am still reading.
From what I read so far, I appreciate the role played by Emmerson Dambudzo (ED) Mnangagwa our Vice President (VP) during the liberation war and after Independence of April 18, 1980.
Stories like the bombing of a Rhodesian train is one thing I would forever respect about Mnangagwa especially considering that he was indeed too aggressive. I wonder though where this kind of aggressiveness in Mnangagwa has vanished to, lately.
But there are things I do not envy about Mnangagwa like his alleged involvement in Gukurahundi where over 20 000 civilians were said to have been killed in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces. I will not concentrate much on the vices because Mnangagwa is also human and prone to mistakes.
Recent events happening in Zanu PF make me wonder if Mnangagwa still commands any respect in the ruling party. A whole VP being publicly embarrassed, with the First Lady Grace Mugabe saying the Midlands godfather and indeed the potential successor to Mugabe is nothing.
The developments in Zanu PF have now reached boiling point and it seems like Mnangagwa is hanging by a thread considering how his rivals, Generation 40 (G40) are rabidly pushing for his ouster on allegations that he wants to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa has been accused of plotting to topple Mugabe from office since 2015, just a few months after being appointed vice president following the ouster of Joice Mujuru. Interestingly, Mujuru was kicked out on the same allegations that are now being levelled against the Midlands godfather and Mnangagwa also played a part in that fiasco. In fact, his hands are not clean when it comes to issues to do with Mujuru’s unjust ouster from Zanu PF.
Mujuru has since formed her political party, National People’s Party (NPP).
But since Mnangagwa started being accused of wanting to remove Mugabe from office, he has remained quiet, a strategy which irks many of his supporters from Team Lacoste faction.
Member of Parliament Sarah Mahoka once likened Mnangagwa to a duck and Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Mandiitawepi Chimene publicly called the VP to order.
While some of Mangagwa’s supporters defend his quietness, I now strongly feel that they now feel they are getting an overdose of it. They feel he should at least say something now that many people have been shown the red card for publicly supporting his ambitions to take over from Mugabe.
Former minister and war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and his peers Douglas Mahiya, Victor Matemadanda, Godfrey Tsenengamu and just recently Energy Mutodi are some of the victims of the purges.
When Mnangagwa was believed to have said something in support of his people of Masvingo at a memorial service of the late national heroine Shuvai Mahofa a fortnight ago, there was a glimmer of hope, with supporters saying the VP had gathered courage at long last.
The celebrations were, however, short lived as Mnangagwa later claimed that he was misquoted by the media though G40 would have none of that as they had found more ammunition with which to attack him
From ‘command ugly culture’ insults to accusations of nepotism and cruelty, Mnangagwa has experienced it all but has chosen to remain mum.
His supporters seem to mistake this quietness as a strategy when in actual fact it is nowhere near being strategic. Though I hardly agree with Professor Jonathan Moyo, the vocal Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education on many things, I tend to believe he was on point when he alleged that Mnangagwa was selfish; he is too shy to be vocal in defence of those who support him. Here are the reasons why I believe Mnangagwa is selfish; going back to the 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration where a number of Zanu provincial chairpersons were booted out and suspended for supporting him to be the VP of this country.
People like Prof Moyo and Masvingo Urban legislator Daniel Shumba were part of Tsholotsho and were not spared too, probably that is the reason the duo is said to be viciously opposed to Mnangagwa’s ascendancy.
Fast forward to 2013, provincial chairpersons like Lovemore Matuke (Masvingo) and Mike Madiro (Manicaland) who were alleged to be Mnangagwa loyalists were suspended for re-admitting former Mnangagwa allies like Shumba back into the party.
In  2016, Mutsvanga and other war vets were kicked out of Zanu PF and, just recently, Mutodi of the famous ‘I am the boss’ mug was kicked out for supporting Mnangagwa. People were expecting Mnangagwa to defend his supporters but he turned a blind eye to them and, at one point, distanced himself from the war vets who were calling for him to replace Mugabe.
Earlier this week, Mugabe further punished Mnangagwa’s backers when he reshuffled the cabinet and axed them or gave them less influential portfolios. Former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is the joke of the year after Mugabe created a consolation ministry (cyber security, detention and mitigation) for him, while Tshinga Dube, Prisca Mupfumira and Faber Chidaririkire (all Team Lacoste faction members) were relieved of their duties.
Again Mnangagwa did nothing despite that he too lost the Justice ministry to CIO director –general Happyton Bonyongwe.
We have seen Grace Mugabe publicly supporting G40 while boldly claiming that there was nothing like G40 but only Team Lacoste. Even President Mugabe has shown a lot of affection for G40 – Saviour Kasukuwere was given a vote of no confidence by nine provinces but he was protected.
When Mnangagwa allegedly said Masvingo should not be threatened by those who claim that it causes disunity in the party, we thought the VP eventually got the courage to support his people yet he quickly backtracked and organised a press conference after G40 had cranked up the heat against him.
But as things look right now, I don’t think Mnangagwa’s presser was useful in any way because G40 will continue to accuse him and base their arguments on previous media reports. In addition, Mnangagwa’s decision to bar private media was a big mistake. In fact, it was a sign that even if he is to become President, he could ban all the private media in the country. Mind you the man is said to be shrewd and ruthless.
I think it is high time Mnangagwa should go back and read a few history books. Maybe I can give him one written by Herbert Peacock as well so that he can read a bit about the policies of the former German Chancellor Ottovon Bismarck. I have no doubt that this is the best time to implement one or two policies from this great Statesman.
Bismarck was one person who wholly believed in diplomacy as the best way to solve issues. We have witnessed Mnangagwa on several times trying to implement these. He tried to be diplomatic and kept quiet even when he was expected to say something in his defence. Mnangagwa must have mastered this diplomacy well from Bismarck but it seems he has taken it too far.
Bismarck however said, “When diplomacy fails then confrontation will certainly be the way to go”. We have read about Bismarck winning wars between 1864 and 1879 each time he decide to go confrontational. Mnangagwa lacks the wisdom and courage to confront when diplomacy fails.
G40 has been attacking him for so long while he remains quiet. Quiet diplomacy seems not to work anymore especially with the latest developments in Zanu PF. We have witnessed President Mugabe refusing to shake his hand when he returned from South Africa last week and from the video footage the nonagenarian seemed furious.
Earlier, Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko issued a press statement attacking Mnangagwa of pushing a factional agenda.
Well, Cde Ngwena as many supporters affectionately call you, it is no more time for quiet diplomacy but confrontation would work best now. The speech at Mahofa’s memorial was on point. It raised hope and confidence of your supporters and people are expecting more of such a speech in future.
There was no need to tone down from the speed you made at Mahofa’s memorial. Mnangagwa’s supporters now expect him to fight back by publicly defending those who support him just like what Grace does to G40.
Masvingo and Midlands have been criticised and attacked by Grace for supporting Mnangagwa to take over from her husband. Mnangagwa should stand up and defend Masvingo, Midlands and indeed anyone who supports him from any part of the country.
From the look of things quiet diplomacy is not taking him anywhere but confrontational might make his opponents think twice. When I say confrontational I am not referring to violent conduct but publicly defending those who support you just like what Grace is doing.
Mnangagwa should stamp authority and be blunt especially in politburo. Mujuru tried quiet diplomacy until she got fired therefore it’s crystal clear that the approach will not work for Mnangagwa as well. In fact Mnangagwa is on the edge now and if he remains quiet surely he will go the same way as Mujuru. Mark my words.