5 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai, White Farmers and Britain Named As Mnangagwa Allegedly Plots Post Mugabe Reforms

Photo: The Herald
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

As the solution to Zimbabwe Crisis remains elusive details have merged on how Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, colleagues and other political players have been preparing for a post Mugabe government which will accommodate Morgan Tsvangirai and the whites and also reverse some of the aged leader's policies.

A report from Reuters quoted a range of sources who include politicians and western diplomats as well as "a trove of hundreds of documents from inside the CIO" all pointing to the alleged behind the scenes activities by Mnangagwa and allies.

"... the intelligence reports, which date from 2009 to this year, say a group of powerful people is already planning to reshape the country in the post-Mugabe era. Key aspects of the transition planning described in the documents were corroborated by interviews with political, diplomatic and intelligence sources in Zimbabwe and South Africa," said the report.

"The documents and sources say Mnangagwa... . envisages cooperating with Tsvangirai to lead a transitional government for five years with the tacit backing of some of Zimbabwe's military and Britain.

"These sources leave open the possibility that the government could be unelected. The aim would be to avoid the chaos that has followed some previous elections.

This unity government would pursue a new relationship with thousands of white farmers who were chased off in violent seizures of land approved by Mugabe in the early 2000s. The farmers would be compensated and reintegrated, according to senior politicians, farmers and diplomats. The aim would be to revive the agricultural sector, a linchpin of the nation's economy that collapsed catastrophically after the land seizures.

Mnangagwa feels that reviving the commercial agriculture sector is vital, according to the documents," said the report.

According to Reuters, a January 6, 2016 intelligence report said, "Mnangagwa realises he needs the white farmers on the land when he gets into power ... he will use the white farmers to resuscitate the agricultural industry, which he reckons is the backbone of the economy."

Asked about alleged plot of a future unity government and intelligence reports, Mnangagwa did not reply, the report said. But Tsvangirai told Reuters in August: "I've never met with Mnangagwa's people to discuss cooperation or coalition. There was an intention expressed by Mnangagwa's people for us to meet to discuss various issues, but that meeting never took place."

Chris Mutsvangwa, war veterans' leader and a Mnangagwa ally, reportedly told Reuters that he saw nothing wrong with a unity government which included Tsvangirai.

But, according to Reuters, "Mugabe got wind of Mnangagwa's ideas about white farmers earlier this year".

"Mugabe is totally against the idea of Mnangagwa being too friendly to the whites," Reuters quoted a report dated Feb. 27 says. "He fears that Mnangagwa will reverse the land reform by giving farms back to the whites."

According the report, CIO reports say that "some of Mugabe's army generals are starting to swallow their disdain for Tsvangirai, who, as a former union leader rather than liberation veteran, has never commanded the respect of the military."

"The majority of senior military officers "are saying that it is better to clandestinely rally behind Tsvangirai for a change, and have secretly rubbed shoulders with Tsvangirai and cannot see anything wrong with him," a report dated June 2 this year says, according to Reuters.

A report dated June 13 this year says: "Top security force officials have been clandestinely meeting with Mnangagwa for the past few days to discuss Mugabe. They all agree that Mugabe is now a security threat due to his ill health."

Reuters said "four people with direct knowledge of coalition-related discussions about post-Mugabe rebuilding, said British Ambassador Catriona Laing favours Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe".

Moreover, "three Harare-based Western diplomats said Laing, supports the idea of a coalition government, believing such a move is needed to maintain Zimbabwe's stability".

The report further says Grace also "suspects that the British support Mnangagwa and that was according to a Nov. 16, 2015 intelligence report. It says: "Grace reckons that the Mnangagwa camp is full of sell-outs who are working with the British to remove her husband from power."

And a report dated March 2, 2016, says: "Laing, whose mouth is 'too big', has now been telling other embassies that Mnangagwa is the chosen one to succeed Mugabe."

"Some diplomats in Harare say the United States and European Union are opposed to the idea of Britain backing Mnangagwa because they are concerned about being ostracized by ZANU-PF and its G40 faction should events unravel and go against Mnangagwa," said the Reuters report.

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