Oxford historian, Prof Miles Tendi says the late national hero dismissed Mnangagwa’s liberation struggle credentials as meagre
University of Oxford professor of history and African politics, Prof Miles Tendi, has given four reasons why the late General Solomon Mujuru did not want President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed the late former President Robert Mugabe as leader of Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe.
Tendi was responding on Twitter to Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, who wrote in his newly published book that Gen. Mujuru had mobilised Zanu-PF officials to stop Mnangagwa. Mpofu did not give any reasons for Mujuru’s strong opposition to Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Among other reasons, Tendi said in his response, Mujuru dismissed Mnangagwa as unfit to succeed Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe because of his meagre liberation struggle credentials and peripheral role in nationalist politics.
“Obert Mpofu shies away from stating why Solomon Mujuru was determined to prevent an Emmerson Mnangagwa presidency. Mujuru had four reasons for opposing Mnangagwa’s bid to become president of Zimbabwe. Here goes:
“Mnangagwa never saw active combat as a ZANLA guerrilla and his role in larger nationalist politics was marginal. For Solomon Mujuru, Mnangagwa’s meagre liberation struggle credentials disqualified him from seeking to determine the direction of Zanu-PF’s succession politics.
One of the things Solomon Mujuru criticised Mugabe for was his hard heartedness, which he felt had been bad for Zimbabwe. Mujuru saw comparable hard heartedness in Mnangagwa and was of the view that Zimbabwe needed a break from a cycle of callous political leadership.
Solomon Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa clashed over some business interests in the 1990s, most famously in the ZIMASCO affair. These differences over business resulted in very bad blood between them.
Mujuru had an injudicious belief the highly educated and bright make the best leaders. This conviction partly explains his misguided support for Mugabe in the 1970s. Mujuru believed there were better educated, brighter, Zanu-PF politicians than E.D who could become president.
On Solomon Mujuru’s reverence for education: when the Zanu-PF vice presidency became vacant in 2004, he opposed his wife Joice’s candidature. He believed Sydney Sekeramayi was more accomplished.
Solomon Mujuru backed his wife for the job after the Sekeramayi bid failed. Mujuru, opportunistically, rode a feminist wave in Zanu-PF for a woman vice-president so as to block Emmerson Mnangagwa from ever securing the vice-presidency. Male dominated power politics at play!