Former vice president Kembo Mohadi
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Under the cosh Mohadi resigns

IN A surprising development that also marks the first time in the history of independent Zimbabwe that a sitting vice president has quit his or her job, Kembo Mohadi resigned with immediate effect last night.
The development immediately sent Zimbabwe’s rampant rumour mill into overdrive regarding both his likely successor and the “real” reasons behind his unprecedented move. “I have been going through a soul searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problems outside the government chair.

“I have arrived at this decision not as a matter of cowardice, but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the president, so that it is not compromised or caricatured by actions that are linked to my challenges as an
individual,” Mohadi said.

“The inter-connectivity with social media ecologies have been relaying viral panics, peddling flames of lies — creating myths and muddling the reality of my life as a family man.

“I am a victim of information distortion, voice cloning, and sponsored spooking and political sabotage. Digital media, in their hybridity, have been abused by my enemies to blackmail me, but my spirit will never die.

“Following the recurring disinformation and virilisation of my alleged immoral unions, dispensed through awkward slacktivism, I’m stepping down as the vice president of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of section 96 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (no.20) Act, 2013 with immediate effect,” Mohadi added.

He also said while his decision could be a bitter pill to swallow for his family and colleagues in the ruling Zanu PF, he felt it was the most honourable thing to do. Mohadi also vowed to fight his foes while outside the government, including taking legal action against those who distributed his allegedly cloned audios.

“My decision to relinquish the vice president post is also a way of respecting the citizens of this great nation, and my party comrades, some of whom would have been affected by the falsehoods and character assassination in the digital ecosystem.

“My resignation is also necessitated by my desire to seek clarity and justice on the matter in which my legal team will pursue and deconstruct this pseudo paparazzi and flawed espionage to achieve cheap political points.

“I promise to poke holes on this grand strategy from my political foes,” Mohadi further declared. Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, vice presidents have either died in office or been fired from office.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The late Simon Muzenda, Joshua Nkomo, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo all died in office — while Joice Mujuru was sacked by the late former president Robert Mugabe in December 2014, at the height of Zanu PF’s tribal, factional and succession wars. And in the twilight of Mugabe’s rule, Generation 40 (G40) kingpins coalesced around the nonagenarian’s erratic wife Grace — resulting in the group being involved in a hammer and tongs succession tussle with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste.

Mugabe subsequently fired Mnangagwa in early November 2017, before he came back to become the country’s new leader following a stunning and widely supported military coup. Yesterday, Mohadi also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to Mnangagwa for giving him the opportunity to be one of his deputies along with
Constantino Chiwenga.

“Once again I want to thank President Mnangagwa, Zanu PF, cadres and citizens of this great nation for the unprecedented support. In my political journey, I have learnt that there are no winners or losers in government, but we are pilgrimage tied to a single garment of destiny.

“I wish the president of Zimbabwe well, as he continues to bear the burden of a struggle to improve the lives of Zimbabweans, to rejoice in hope and patience, in tribulation against poverty, Covid-19, and Vision 2030,” the former Home Affairs minister said.

Last week, Mohadi said he was “a victim of political machinations being peddled through hacking and voice cloning” — following days of damaging claims that he had had a string of affairs with married women.

In addition, he also told a media conference in Harare that his fate in government could only be decided by Mnangagwa and no one else — which makes his stunning decision yesterday the more perplexing. Mohadi’s media conference came after audios of alleged phone calls purportedly between him and a number of married women went viral.

“If anything is going to happen, it is going to be His Excellency (Mnangagwa) who is going to determine my future. “Fellow Zimbabweans, following the recent social media hype about my alleged illicit relationship with two married women, I have decided to come open and respond to the allegations being peddled by my detractors.

“Despite growing impatient because of days of weird character assassination, I wish to categorically state that the allegations being levelled against me are not only false, but well-choreographed to demean, condescend and soil my image as a national leader and patriot,” Mohadi said then. I am also aware that my right to privacy has been trashed
in terms of Section 57 (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013, which reads as follows: ‘Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have the privacy of their communications infringed’.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga

“Despite the noise in digital media ecologies, I wish to clearly state that I am innocent and a victim of political machinations being peddled through hacking and voice cloning,” he added.

At the time, Mohadi declined to take questions from journalists, directing them to his lawyer Norman Mugiya — who flanked the vice president during the press conference.

Mugiya said they were aware of the people behind the audios and would soon institute legal proceedings against them. However, he declined to divulge their names or give more details.

According to three audios on the saga, Mohadi allegedly had an affair with a married female subordinate. He also allegedly had another affair with another married woman. In the third clip, Mohadi allegedly tells another woman in South Africa that he wanted to have a child with her.

According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, vice presidents serve at the pleasure of the president who appoints them. “Without delay the person elected as president in any election referred to in subparagraph (1) must appoint not more than two vice-presidents, who hold office at his or her pleasure,” the Constitution reads.

The Constitution also says a vice president may “resign his or her office by written notice to the president, who must give public notice of the resignation as soon as it is possible to do so and in any event within twenty-four hours.”3

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