What they are not saying about US-Zimbabwe sanctions – the US never wanted Mnangagwa to lead Zimbabwe


According to a United Sates intelligence company, however, sanctions on Zimbabwe were not really about human rights abuses but more about trying to determine who would succeed Mugabe.

This became apparent in 2011 following the death of former defence forces chief Solomon Mujuru when it became clear to the US that Mnangagwa would succeed Mugabe.

According to intelligence reports filed by Stratfor, a private global intelligence company, which provided confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency, the US imposed sanctions on two diamond companies, Marange and Mbada on 9 December 2011, to gain leverage on Mnangagwa.

“The US move likely comes less out of concern over alleged human rights abuses in diamond mines in Zimbabwe’s Marange region and more as a way of gaining leverage over the government in Harare,” Stratfor said.

“Strained relations between Western governments and Zimbabwe have led Harare to look east for international backing and economic assistance, particularly to China; the US sanctions move is an attempt to steer Zimbabwe toward a more accommodative relationship with the West.

“The primary beneficiaries of the sanctioned companies – and Marange diamond operations in general – are elites in the country’s ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

“Foremost among these is Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a leading candidate to succeed President Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa moved into his current post after the death of powerful ZANU-PF figure Solomon Mujuru, who had been backing his wife, Vice President Joyce Mujuru, as Mnangagwa’s chief rival….

“The US sanctions are designed to let ZANU-PF know that the West opposes Mnangagwa as the next Zimbabwean leader….

“ZANU-PF must find a prospective leader who will both appease the West and guarantee the security and financial well-being of the elite….”

In another report,  Stratfor, however,  said it was very difficult to get rid of Mnangagwa.

“Whether we like it or not Emerson Mnangagwa has much more acumen, presence and money to be more effective than Tsvangerai(sic),” the company said, adding, “and he also has much larger support from the British Intelligence Community that has close ties with big business interests.”

Morgan Tsvangirai was leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change until February 2018. He died barely three months after Mnangagwa took over.

The plan to get rid of Mnangagwa almost succeeded, with a faction within ZANU-PF known as G40 almost kicking him out in favour of Mugabe’s wife Grace but this was thwarted by the military.

There was wide speculation that Grace was being used as a pawn. The main players who were lining themselves up to succeed Mugabe were Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo.

But they were outwitted by the crocodile.

The question, however, is has the US changed its mind about Mnangagwa or not?

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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