President Robert Mugabe has reportedly cherry-picked, former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, for president and to become his successor of choice in an aftermath Zanu PF expected to lose elections next year, bringing to an end the speculation around the veteran politician’s anointed secret protégé, Spotlight Zimbabwe, has exclusively reveal today.
Although Mugabe is putting up political window dressing stunts, purporting to be running in next year’s watershed presidential polls as the ruling party candidate, Spotlight Zimbabwe, can report with authority that there is nothing like that, and his deputy VP Emmerson Mnangagwa is in fact a stone’s throw away from taking over to finish his term anytime soon, under “developing complicated political circumstances” said to be now beyond Mugabe’s control.
It is also coming to light that a coterie of security hardline chefs are insisting on Mnangagwa’s takeover in the shadows, against Mugabe’s preference Gono, who despite the current setback is going to storm into influential political leadership, as Zanu PF’s boss after 2018, we are told.
Mnangagwa is going to be the shortest serving president in the country’s history, before standing as Zanu PF candidate in 2018, locking horns with former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, intelligence sources have revealed.
“His excellency (Mugabe), is aware that if he does not represent the party in 2018, Zanu PF is going to suffer defeat,” our insider government informer said last week. “For this reason he has officially picked Gideon Gono to succeed him as a future president and Zanu PF leader. Not everyone has been informed about this significant development including senior politicians in government, but it is a classified matter in the hands and operation of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and Military Intelligence Unit (MIU).” The CIO and MIU are the country’s dreaded intelligence arms, tasked with covert homeland and foreign security.
“Gono’s relationship with the first family has remained strong, and he is still their banker. Mugabe is said to have confided, his decision on Gono to some past and present members of the powerful Joint Operations Command (JOC) in private meetings some time last year, citing intelligence made available to him, that Zanu PF might be headed for defeat in 2018. The president openly told them that Gono, was among a ‘few cadres with the fortitude and statecraft’ to lead the country’ after he steps down,” our insider said. The world’s oldest national leader, who turned 93 on Tuesday, made a tacit admission on national television this week inferring Gono was his pick, when he made the shock claim, that the majority of citizens feel that he has no replacement and successor acceptable among the crop of senior leaders in Zanu PF.
“They want me to stand for elections, they want me to stand for elections everywhere in the party,” Mugabe said. The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am.”
This publication based on high level briefings, with a knowledgable Zimbabwean diplomat based in the United States, who has asked for identity confidentiality, during a stop-over in Cape Town, South Africa recently, has established that Mugabe wants Gono to be president, so as to protect the country from perceived re-colonisation threats, and that the presidency defends his land reform and indigenisation policies, which a Morgan Tsvangirai and former VP Joice Mujuru coalition administration is feared, will temper with by bowing to external forces to repeal and replace.
Gono himself almost a fortnight ago told a state controlled weekly newspaper, that a lot of negative things have been said about him while at the helm of the central bank, when he had been in service for the country at it’s hour of need, in the face of recolonisation machinations.
I repeat here that there is more that went into sustaining and keeping this country afloat at its time of greatest need, its time of greatest danger and when it was easier to give up than to continue,” Gono said. “I hear many people blaming the former Governor for every conceivable ill from hyper-inflation to quasi-fiscal operations without full knowledge of what it actually took to avoid recolonisation of Zimbabwe. My forthcoming book, entitled “Running on Empty”, shall speak to every accusation and show how we managed to survive as a country, choosing monetary inflation as opposed to hyper-inflation in the form of dead bodies.”
Zimbabwe has been accusing the United States and France of fueling protests in the country, in a bid to foment so-called regime change. Home affairs minister, Ignatius Chombo, came out with his guns blazing last year against Washington and Paris, saying that the country’s intelligence had gathered that U.S envoy Harry Thomas and then France Ambassador Laurent Delahousse “were working through dodgy groups and leveraging on social media to foment civil disobedience and ultimately destabilise Zimbabwe.” Chombo’s allegations have been dismissed by both countries.
As first revealed by Spotlight Zimbabwe on 4 July 2016 Gono, is allegedly being prepared by the national security apparatus,to revive Zanu PF and topple Mujuru and Tsvangirai from power, should the duo win the watershed 2018 elections, as is now widely expected.
Other Zanu PF impeccable sources, said Gono is expected to introduce even more radical and feverish land reform and indigenisation policies, adding that his political rise had been cast in concrete following Mugabe’s vicious succession wars, and his fall out with some securocrats, during his dirty saga with his former advisor at the RBZ, Munyaradzi Kereke, who accused his former boss of corruption and embezzlement of funds at the central bank. Kereke who is in prison for raping a minor, has since withdrawn the court charges against Gono and apologised.
We can also reveal that Gono has been Mugabe’s secret understudy for over two decades, and has received an array of political instructions and blueprint to fulfill for Zimbabwe, from Mugabe himself, as one of his most trusted inner circle lieutenants. The banker and farmer is thought to be an old school CIO operative under current VP Mnangagwa, who was then the first State Security minister at Independence in 1980.
In 2014, Spotlight Zimbabwe’s sister publication, The Telescope News, revealed that Mugabe’s plan to push and prepare Gono for an ultimate Zanu PF takeover, began as early as 1987, when the strongman and the ex- central banker first met on a serious level, with the former immediately starting to groom him, for a future Zanu PF and Zimbabwe presidency.
It was up until now fairly unbeknown to the Zimbabwean public, that Grace Mugabe’s run for the Zanu PF Women’s League leadership, was a two pronged strategy, to halt Mujuru’s ascendancy to become president, while giving cosmetic support to Mnangagwa’s camp, as the Mugabe’s are said to trust Gono to protect their economic and political interests ahead of Mnangagwa.
The Telescope News, at the time disclosed that Mugabe was going to appoint Gono as a politburo member of the party had he managed to win the Buhera Senate seat, during the explosive Zanu PF elective congress of that year, which resulted in Mujuru’s sacking and other former high profile ruling party bigwigs, such as Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo. The politburo appointment, would then have merit Gono, a senior cabinet position possibly as finance minister, after a government reshuffle Mugabe normally makes after key Zanu PF conferences, time and again.
It was calculated at the time by Mugabe’s camp to appoint Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe to the two vice president slots,using her popular Women’s league critical mass in the party. Grace Mugabe could then easily step down for Gono, to represent the party ahead of the 2018 presidential elections, knowing very well that Mnangagwa will be a spent force, and old for competition with Gono by then, the report said.