Mugabe’s axing of VP Mnangagwa ‘not surprising at all’

Harare – President Robert Mugabe's firing of his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is not at all surprising as the vice president had come under extreme pressure over the weekend, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies said on Monday.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

In an interview with News24, Derek Matyszak, said: “It’s too soon to know how Mnangagwa’s supporters are going to react. But I think after what happened over the weekend, Mugabe’s move was not at all surprising.”

Mugabe fired his deputy on Monday as tensions between Mnangagwa and Mugabe’s wife Grace to succeed the veteran leader intensified.

Grace declared over the weekend that Mnangagwa should be gone from both the government and Zanu-PF before the party’s extraordinary congress in December.

‘There is a lot of scenarios to consider’

“The firing of Mnangagwa could cause Mugabe and the G40 some discomfort ahead of the party extraordinary congress. But, this all depends on how strong Mnangagwa’s support base is. If his support base is weak, he could end up in political wilderness like his predecessor Joice Mujuru,” said Matyszak.

According to reports two distinct camps had emerged in Zimbabwe’s revolutionary party in recent years as factions sought to outwit each other in the race to succeed the 93-year-old leader.

Mnangagwa was allegedly leading a faction calling itself “Team Lacoste”, while another grouping made up of Young Turks, commonly known as Generation 40 (G40) which was allegedly backing the First Lady to succeed her ageing husband, wanted to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.

“It is unlikely that a coup could happen in the country. Not everyone in the military is backing Mnangagwa. It is, however, possible that his firing can take away a huge chunk of the ruling Zanu-PF supporters. This can definitely work to the advantage of opposition parties, and again, that all depends on the number of his supporters. Some may want to save themselves and apologise. There is a lot of scenarios to consider,” said Matyszak

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