Zimbabwe: ED Rejects Link Between Cyclone Idai and His Power Grab

Photo: The Herald
Thousands of Zimbabweans have made way into National Sports Stadium for the country’s 39th Independence Celebrations.

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has rejected claims there is a link between the manner in which he can to power and the devastating tropical cyclone that slammed into the south-eastern parts of Manicaland killing nearly 400 people with hundreds still unaccounted for.

Mnangagwa rose to power in dramatic fashion in November 2017 following a bloodless military coup that deposed then President Robert Mugabe.

The new Zanu PF leader had been expelled from government only three weeks earlier, escaped death by a whisker into South Africa as Mugabe's goons closed in on him before making a triumphant return to take power while his master for 50 years cowered under house arrest.

Mnangagwa was responding to questions during an interview with State television ahead of independence celebrations aired late Wednesday. Asked if Cyclone Idai had a poetic link to the difficulties he faced before taking power, Mnangagwa dismissed the assertion.

"I am not a superstitious person to think that there is any connection between the natural phenomenon of the Cyclone Idai, with the politics of the country.

"In a democracy, people are allowed to speculate and have suspicions but individually I don't. I think the cyclone came because it had to come but with regards to political activities those are determined by man not by natural causes," said Mnangagwa.

Then serving as Mugabe's deputy, Mnangagwa was subjected to a barrage of attacks at rallies and public ridicule by a faction of Zanu PF known as G40 fronted by then First Lady Grace reportedly with the President's backing.

Long regarded as a calculating and sneaky politician, Mnangagwa bided his time and with support from the army struck when it mattered most scattering his opponents in all directions. While his interviewer suggested the transition from Mugabe to his administration was difficult the liberation war hero thought otherwise.

"The transition of course from the 1st Republic to the 2nd Republic in my view was very smooth. It was a smooth transition. Many people may not agree with me but I believe in a transition of that nature, the experience or challenges we went through were necessary for the birth of this 2nd Republic," the Zanu PF leader said.

Social media has been awash with memes of Mnangagwa who has adopted a scarf made in national colours as his trademark, linking the President to various tragedies that have struck the country including road accidents, mine disasters as well as the devastating Cyclone Idai.

The superstitious among Zimbabweans have claimed the "ancestors" are angry with the manner in which Mnangagwa wrestled power from Mugabe hence the tragedies and economic meltdown.

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