COLOGNE – In a sure move, that seals the demise of Vice President, Joice Mujuru, and killing her bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe, the country’s hardline military chiefs have reportedly declared that, Zimbabwe can only be led by a Zanu PF politician who not just participated in the liberation war against British Colonial rule, but also attended the historic Lancaster House Conference in 1979, which paved way for Independence, The Telescope News reported.
Neither Vice President, Joice Mujuru, nor her late husband and Zimbabwe’s first army commander at Independence in 1980, the late General Solomon Mujuru, attended the London talks, leaving an open political cheque for justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to sail through as the new definite President in waiting, because the new army succession criteria favours him, after he took part in the Conference in his capacity as Mugabe’s personal assistant at the time.
According to Mugabe himself, General Mujuru did not take part in the talks but remained “in the front fuelling the war of liberation”. The vice president was too junior to have been among the the Zanu PF strongman’s delegation, which included among others, the following politicians, most of who are now deceased: Josiah Chinamano; General Josiah Tongogara; Dr Herbert Ushewokunze; Edson Zvobgo; Walter Kamba; Josiah Tungamirai and Simbi Mubako.
The Telescope News reports that it has since projected that Mnangagwa will succeed Mugabe, and is likely going to receive support and the full backing of the military and secret service, two institutions, which he has managed to build his power base around for years, as opposed to Mujuru, who is counting on the respect of Zanu PF’s constitution to take over from Mugabe, as she is clearly the next in line to power, if things are to be done by the book.
“The top cammanders of the military, have made it clear that, Zimbabwe’s next leader is one who not just participated during the bush war against Ian Smith’s regime, but must have also attended the Lancaster House Conference,” said a Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) public relations officer in Harare who requested anonymity during a weekend telephonic briefing with us.
“General Chiwenga has been clear about that, and many of us here are in support of his stance. This position has been communicated to the presidency, after being adopted last month at a Joint Operations Command (JOC) meeting outside the capital.”
This publication also broke the story about Oppah Muchinguri readying to seize control of Mujuru’s current post, with the help of Mnangagwa’s backers in June, and it appears our report was spot on, amid a fresh wave of political skirmishes between the former Zanu PF Women’s League boss and the VP. In veiled attacks aimed at each other, at the just ended Women’s Conference, Mujuru told delegates that someone among them would soon betray her, in what many believe to be a salvo directed at Muchinguri for allegedly plotting to challenge and unseat her at the party’s elective congress in December. Muchinguri did not go quiet either, and took to the podium to tear women “who burn their husbands” at home, a broadside which needs no further interrogation.
So messy is the Zanu PF war on Mugabe’s throne, such that Mujuru’s top ally and closest confidant, presidential affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, received a dress-down by Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, over the weekend for being a coward who only joined the liberation war effort during the eleventh hour, following years of exile in Britain. Mutsvangwa called for Mutasa to be reined in, for causing divisions in Zanu PF and for fooling Mujuru into believing that she will soon succeed Mugabe.
Mutsvangwa made the attacks in his capacity as a war veteran, using the State media last week. The deputy minister of foreign affairs, has shocked Zanu PF, by coming out with his guns blazing against Mutasa and Mujuru, who he maintains never gunned down a Rhodesian helicopter, dismissing the heroic act as a lie peddled by party commissar Webster Shamu.
We also have it on good authority, that the country’s top generals fronted by Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander, Constantine Chiwenga, are the so-called Zanu PF elders, poised to handle Mugabe’s succession issue at the appropriate time.
In a rare interview with Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM Radio station last month, Mnangagwa said the party “elders” will decide the way forward insofar as the succession issue is concerned.
“Vanenge vakamira pai? Ko varipo vanenge vaindepi? Ndokushupa kwevana vaduku ikoko. Zvinokurukugwa; zvine matare. Imi mune shungu, asi dzinongova shungu. Dai wanga uri pano pandasvika pano, ndanogara namai Mujuru ndichifa nekuseka, ndichiseka imi kuti pwere dziya dziri pano (What power would they be using? These things are discussed by party elders, yours is just a wish and will remain so. I was laughing at you with VP Mujuru as I sat next to her),” said Mnangagwa on air. “Zvinenge zvakarongwa nevakuru, vashoma vakuru vanoronga kuti nyika yedu yoenda nekupi. Haugari chigaro chekuti nyika inoenda kupi vakuru vasingadi. (It has to be agreed to by the leadership, very few seniors plan the direction that the country should take, because you do not get power when they have not anointed you).”
The cunning politician also said there was protocol to be followed in Zanu PF, which is based on seniority for one to assume top leadership.
“Zvoto zvinamazera. Haungoti iwe madhara akagara apo, newe wonogaravo. Kana kudenga kune zvoto, zvoto zvengirozi, kwaigoti Mwari naJesu, nemweya mutsvene (Not everyone can be involved in decision making. When elders deliberate, the young cadres do not attend and it’s the same even in heaven where it was only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that congregated). “Kana panyika pane zvoto zvapo, saka ziva kuti kune zvoto zvavakuru, zviderera zvichiderera. Kana mumusangano, vamwe havazivi zvoto zvavo, vanotozozviziva nemitemo yandinenge ndanyora, vozoziva kuti ichi choto, handifaniri kupinda (Even here on earth as well as in Zanu PF there is protocol, but others do not know their roles, they only get it when we interpret the rules for them).”
Synopsis of Lancaster House Conference Report below:
CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE HELD AT LANCASTER HOUSE, LONDON SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 1979
1. Following the Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Lusaka from 1 to 7 August, Her Majesty’s Government issued invitations to Bishop Muzorewa and the leaders of the Patriotic Front to participate in a Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House. The purpose of the Conference was to discuss and reach agreement on the terms of an Independence Constitution, and that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.
2. The Conference opened on 10 September under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The Conference concluded on 15 December, after 47 plenary sessions. A list of the official delegates to the Conference is at Annex A. The text of Lord Carrington’s opening address is at Annex B, together with statements made by Mr Nkomo on behalf of his and Mr Mugabe’s delegation and by Bishop Muzorewa on behalf of his delegation.
3. In the course of its proceedings the Conference reached agreement on the following issues:
— Summary of the Independence Constitution (attached as Annex C to this report)*
—arrangements for the pre-independence period (Annex D)
—a cease-fire agreement signed by the parties (Annex E)
4. In concluding this agreement and signing this report the parties undertake: (a) to accept the authority of the Governor;
(b) to abide by the Independence Constitution;
(c) to comply with the pre-independence arrangements;
(d) to abide by the cease-fire agreement;
(e) to campaign peacefully and without intimidation;
(f) to renounce the use of force for political ends;
(g) to accept the outcome of the elections and instruct any forces under their authority to do the same.
*The Constitution, which was enacted by Order in Council on 6 December 1979, gives full effect to this Summary.
Signed at Lancaster House, London
this twenty-first day of December, 1979
Source:The Telescope News