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Treason in a mug?

'I’m the boss' - declares Mnangagwa

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa (left)

02/01/2017 00:00:00
by UK Bureau
President Robert Mugabe

Nick Mangwana: “Have we now become so petty to see treason on a coffee mug? Come on!

A PHOTOGRAPH is worth a thousand words; so goes a 20th century English phrase said to have originated in the United States.

Pictures emerged this week of a smiling vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa holding a coffee mug with the inscription ‘I’m the Boss’.

Bottles of whiskey and a bowl of ice blocks can also be seen on a table, suggesting the vice president was having his ‘poison’ of choice on the rocks; the famed ‘Crocodile’ wassailing over the Christmas holiday.

Was the vice president telling a story with that image; or was he just being a mug?

A taunting tweet sent to Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo by an ally of Mnangagwa is likely instructive.

Says one Tebogo Dithobane to Prof Moyo: “Musorobhangu @ProfJNMoyo best make peace with our crocodile, he's now in charge. Ndivo vanemukombe.”

Responding, the minister says “Siyana neni iwe (leave me alone). Everybody knows that the Boss is Gushungo. One Boss at a time, please. Kumhanya hakusi kusvika veduwe!”

Prof Moyo adds, “pictures not only tell more than a thousand words but also deepen the power grab narrative!”

Mnangagwa is acting president in the absence of President Robert Mugabe who is abroad for his annual holiday.

The vice president is said to be “desperate” to take over from the 93-years-old Mugabe; it is claimed that Mnangagwa is frustrated that the veteran Zanu PF leader refuses to retire.

The images were supposedly taken during a Christmas strategy review gathering held at Mnangagwa’s "Village Castle" at Mapanzure homestead in Zvishavane which was reportedly attended by the likes of Mike Madiro and Energy Mutodi.

Mugabe attacks

Ahead of the meeting, Mutodi was quoted in the media attacking the December 2016 Zanu PF annual conference as a comic charade of bootlickers competing to praise Mugabe and his wife, Grace.

The conference endorsed Mugabe as the Zanu PF candidate for elections due in 2018 when he would be 94 years old.

Mutodi said it was incredible that Mugabe – in power since independence in 1980 - wanted another five years as president, having destroyed the country "due to poor policies, corruption and economic mismanagement”.


A Zanu PF politburo member who did not want to be identified dared Mnangagwa to openly challenge Mugabe, instead of hiding behind surrogates such as war veterans who are then sacrificed when it gets tough.

"He is a cowardly boss who imagines himself becoming President through a hide and seek strategy based on fronting surrogates that include rogue war veterans and empty vessels like Energy Mutodi,” said the politburo member.

The leadership of the war veterans now snipe at Mugabe from the side-lines after they were expelled from Zanu PF for demanding a Mnangagwa succession.

With both Moyo and Mnangagwa not immediately available for comment Monday, NewZimbabwe.com asked Zanu PF's Europe representative Nick Mangwana whether the vice president was now "the boss" as some in the party were indicating.

Said Mangwana: “Zimbabwe is struggling with economic challenges.

Treason in a mug

“Civil Servants did not have Christmas because their wages had not been paid! And all people want to talk about is the print on a coffee mug? Seriously? Is this what our Politburo has come to?”

He continued: “There is no cash in the country and people are sleeping on the bank queues, and here we are talking such trivia!

“Do we really expect someone to come out and explain that a Second Secretary and Vice President of a Party is a Boss to anyone below them because Zanu PF has a command structure?

“The whole party has people calling everyone senior to them ‘shefu’ which is Portuguese for 'Boss' so is the whole party comprised of successionists?

“Have we now become so petty to see treason on a coffee mug? Come on! Does anyone even know whether that cup was a present from a farm worker or manager rightly calling him the farm owner ‘Boss’?

“We are not even going to try to find out because there are more serious issues Zimbabwe should be dealing with than the print on a Christmas Coffee mug.

“Ask that to the unemployed youth on the street they will be shocked. Who surely cares what's written on a coffee mug except the most petty of media or politicians? The youth will simply say Tipeiwo Maserious.”

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