Mnangagwa to Go as Mugabe Reshuffles Cabinet
- Grace Mugabe ‘Lover’ Gideon Gono to get cabinet post
Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe is planning to fire his number two, vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa in new cabinet changes to be announced soon, sources said.
Mugabe is finalizing a new cabinet list that will exclude Mnangagwa and several other Zanu PF heavyweights on tribal grounds, members of the powerful but secretive ‘Zezuru Council’ which runs the country told Now Daily.
Mnangagwa was for a long time touted as 92 year-old Mugabe’s heir-apparent but was disqualified on the grounds that he belongs to the majority Karanga ethnic group which wields less political influence than the minority Zezurus from which Mugabe gets backing although his father was a Malawian.
The despot’s wife Grace Mugabe recently declared that “a Karanga will never rule Zimbabwe”. Although Grace Mugabe – herself a Karanga – has declared her intention to succeed her husband who is dogged by old age and ill health as president, she has made a private deal to subordinate power to her reported lover Gideon Gono, who is a leading member of the Zezuru Council that approves all senior government and military appointments.
Mugabe is expected to announce his new cabinet shortly after the Easter weekend but before the 18 April independence celebrations.
A large number of Mnangagwa loyalists are set to lose their jobs, along with remnants of ex-vice president Joyce Mujuru’s faction and others seen as opposing Grace Mugabe’s dynastic bid for power, according to a provisional list shown to this website on Sunday. These include finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Obert Mpofu (economic planning), Oppah Muchinguri (environment, water and climate), Kembo Mohadi (state security), Samuel Undenge (energy and power development), Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (foreign affairs), Walter Mzembi (tourism and hospitality industry), Josiah Hungwe (education), Eunice Sandi Moyo (state minister – Bulawayo metropolitan), Shuvai Mahofa (state minister – Masvingo), Chiratidzo Mabuwa (deputy, industry and commerce), Fred Moyo (deputy, mines and mineral development), Tsitsi Muzenda (deputy, energy and power), Noveti Muponora (deputy, SMEs and cooperatives). Mugabe’s press secretary and Mnangagwa backer George Charamba will also be fired, said the sources.
The new list being finalised will see Mugabe’s relatives Patrick Zhuwao and Walter Chidhakwa getting more powerful posts, while leading members of Grace Mugabe’s G 40 faction Saviour ‘Tyson’ Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo will be rewarded with more powerful posts.
This will be the fourth major cabinet change since the disputed 2013 elections. Mugabe has already tested the waters about the impending controversial move by firing Mnangagwa’s powerful sidekick, war veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica Mutsvangwa, who was deputy minister of media, information and broadcasting services, after which nothing happened.
Mugabe is going to pin charges of corruption and theft of diamonds on Mnangagwa, who was defence minister when the military seized control of the Marange diamond fields, where $15 billion worth of gemstones reportedly vanished. The president will also reveal the ‘secrets’ which his wife has promised to publish about corruption involving Mnangagwa.
Within Zanu PF, Grace Mugabe, the women’s league boss has already weakened Mnangagwa after instigating the suspension of three provincial chairpersons aligned to Mnangagwa. These are Kizito Chivamba (Midlands), Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo) and Joel Biggie Matiza of Mashonaland East. Several Midlands province executive members who support Mnangagwa had votes of no confidence passed on them last Friday. These include former energy minister and Mnangagwa’s right hand man July Moyo, war veterans national secretary Victor Matemadanda, provincial treasurer John Holder and the vice president’s influential nephew, Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
Mugabe has already neutralized war veterans by sacking their chairman Mutsvangwa and sowing divisions along tribal lines.
Analysts say the stage is now set for violent confrontation.
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