By Mugove Tafirenyika
President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed two different acting presidents in a space of only four days when he was out of the country — a development described by critics as devoid of wisdom.
When Mnangagwa went to Angola last weekend on a one-day visit, he appointed one of his deputies, Kembo Mohadi as the acting president.
The ministry of Information posted on its Twitter handle that Mohadi was the interim leader while Mnangagwa was attending the commemoration of Southern African Liberation Day, the Cuito Cuanavale.
On his return from Luanda after a day, Mnangagwa, who critics have slammed for his “unproductive” globetrotting antics which have led to comparisons to his predecessor former President Robert Mugabe’s foreign jaunts, proceeded to South Africa on another one-day official visit — this time leaving the other of his two vice presidents, Constantino Chiwenga in charge.
The announcement was made by the Information and Publicity ministry in a tweet on Monday.
“Whilst His Excellency is in South Africa on official business (25 to 26 March 2019), Hon Gen (Rtd) C G D N Chiwenga will be Acting President,” the ministry said on its Twitter handle.
The opposition MDC wasted no time in twisting the knife into Mnangagwa and his deputies.
Jacob Mafume, the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC spokesperson told the Daily News yesterday that Mnangagwa’s VPs when in acting capacity as Presidents are in the habit of going into hibernation when faced with crises as they cannot make critical decisions in the president’s absence.
“It’s a thoughtless merry go round where the individuals concerned see this as an unending sweet to share around,” Mafume said suggesting that Mnangagwa’s deputies are enjoying sharing the benefits that comes with being acting president even for just a day.
“The trips seem pointlessly endless and the ‘acting’ seems to achieve some bizarre ritualistic fairness for the VPs; nothing to benefit the nation at all.
“Even when disasters happen the appointed VP disappears until the president comes back,” he said further.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was not available for a comment as his phone was not reachable.
Government usually comes to a virtual standstill when Mnangagwa is away with even Cabinet not meeting until he is back to chair it.
The same applies to critical Zanu PF meetings such as the politburo and central committee that he chairs but does not allow his deputies to take over in his absence.
This was the same situation when Mugabe was still in charge before he was deposed by Mnangagwa in November 2017 with the help of the military. DailyNews