The Purge of Grace: Bedroom Coup

By Tafadzwa Munjoma

The recent dismissal of the former Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa from his post in government has thrown the nation into frenzy. Conspiracies are rife and shock continues to flow through the vast population.

First Lady Grace Mugabe
First Lady Grace Mugabe

The nation is still trying to come to terms with the recent proceedings that many never thought would transpire in such a manner. Mnangagwa for the longest of times had been ZANU PF’s most feared henchman. Many feared to cross his path with even allegations that the President himself feared him.

However; Mnangagwa’s fall was increasingly becoming evident by the trend of remarks being voiced by the first lady and the sly Jonathan Moyo whom many view as the architect to the downfall of many within the ruling party.

With no doubt Grace Mugabe has become a force to reckon with in the political landscape of Zimbabwe. She can no longer be ignored as the trajectory Zimbabwe is on is quite scary and if she is unchecked we could blindly walk into another lifetime of the Mugabe’s.

The current episode which has lasted 37 years and continues, has displaced millions to several corners of the world, has left 95% of the population jobless and has cost millions their lives. This glimpse of Zimbabwe is saddening but what is worse is the future that the nation is likely faced with.

Amongst the multi layered challenges the nation is faced with, is an unstable power hungry first lady who will stop at nothing settle political and personal scores using the political power he nonagenarian husband holds as Head of State and Government.

She has aggressively led a purge of individuals who threaten her political ambitions. Mnangagwa who was a huge obstacle to her ambitions has been the latest casualty. While many speculate that the former Vice President could make a return that is highly unlikely, and many others sympathise with him.

Mnangagwa has just been incapacitated as his fellow comrades who faced the axe before him. Mnangagwa has suffered the same fate as former Vice President Joice Mujuru, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and many other ZANU PF heavyweights. We cannot sympathise with a man whom for long has defended the suffering of many and been a key strategist in the suffering of the masses.

This is just a case of devils fighting and one being defeated. A defeated devil does not become an angel, so we should distance ourselves from any form of sympathy for his situation.

Mnangagwa should embark on a character redemption spree, and open up an Emmerson Mnangagwa Foundation that will help the millions of suffering Zimbabweans whose lives he has been played a part at destroying. He has to give back the billions he siphoned while he was basking in power. He no longer has any stead as a political figure; Joice Mujuru at the time of her dismissal was better positioned to continue in politics.

There have been increasing suspicions of a military coup. It has to be known that a military coup of whatever form will not take place in Zimbabwe to remove Mugabe. Firstly the calibre of the military that we have in Zimbabwe today is different from that of 1980.

The military today is that of civil servants who are there for a pay cheque. They do not defy their source of income to please an ousted individual who did nothing about their welfare whilst he had the power to do so. While many commanders within the Zimbabwe Defence Forces hold allegiance to the ousted Mnangagwa they do realise that any effort to unseat Mugabe militarily will be fragmented and will cost their livelihoods after it has failed.

Military coups often take place were former fighters of different nature are integrated into a structured army. Mnangagwa stands a better chance engineering a citizen’s coup, should he tap into the 95% unemployed demography in the nation. Unemployment has for long been a leading cause for revolt, and it cannot be denied that unemployment rates in Zimbabwe are a serious security threat.

Others speculate that he may form a base in Mozambique with Alfonso Dhlakama of RENAMO but logistically this may not be practical. The reality is that there is no come back for Mnangagwa, he is riding on perceived power, which many within the establishment of ZANU PF yield.

Most interestingly what many are turning a blind eye towards is a different type of coup which is in process. Zimbabwe is going through a bedroom coup and Grace Mugabe forging her way into her husband’s seat. Ministers are dismissed from the Mugabe’s bedroom, the cabinet being reshuffled between the sheets, and appointments are made over pillow talk.

The current purge on high ranking officials will continue and the game plan is somehow clear. Anyone wielding swaying power within the party shall follow Mnangagwa. Leading up to the ZANU PF congress Grace Mugabe will be appointed as the Vice President to her husband.

Grace is eyeing a ZANU PF victory in 2018, were the cabinet will be set up to reflect Grace loyalists, Mugabe will serve a 2 year long term and step down for his Vice who will by then be his wife Grace Mugabe. It is at that stage Zimbabwe will wake up to season 2 of the Mugabe’s.

The 2018 elections are around the corner and could this chain of events be the tipping point for an already fragile political scene? With many raising their frustration and anger at the recent purges and the first ladies disposition, this could actually be a blessing in disguise.

For many years ZANU PF has been a symbol of Unity and has held pride in its solidity that has assisted it to roll over any political opponents. However the current actions of the First lady have managed to dismantle this revolutionary machine and weakened its systems.

Going forth, ZANU PF will attempt to rig but the damage she has caused may be too much to be undone as we approach polls. Grace might have been what Zimbabwe needed all these years to destroy ZANU PF and implode the system.

It cannot be denied that ZANU PF is continuously disintegrating by the day. The ongoing purge of grace and the absence of Mnangagwa a key strategist have surely weakened the party.

Tafadzwa Dainton Munjoma is a Freelance Researcher based in Nairobi, Kenya