President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ruled out a Coalition or Inclusive Government after the elections. He believes the opposition are trying to cast doubt around the processes leading up to the election so that they find a basis for a dispute in order to suggest an Inclusive Government 

In a meeting of what is being referred to as the Kitchen Cabinet of President Mnangagwa, he has explicitly ruled out a GNU or Inclusive Government if he wins the elections to be held next month in Zimbabwe.

The "Kitchen Cabinet" is a group of six highly influential people who coalesced around the President even before his ascendancy to the highest office in the land. Only two of them are actual Cabinet Ministers in the current cabinet, from our understanding.

One of the group had tackled Mnangagwa specifically about his talk on two different occasions (one of them a public declaration before he formed the cabinet) that he would govern "inclusively". Privately, he had let it out that a new government he would form if he wins would be an "inclusive" one.

But in the discussion I understand was held on two Sundays ago, Mnangagwa said point blank that, should he get a majority, there would be no need for a GNU.

Asked to clarify his earlier statements, the President explained that what he has always meant by "governing inclusively" was "making sure that, in all structures of government, specifically, on State Enterprise Boards and in government programmes, we never, ever ask a person what their political affiliation is. We will just ask about their qualifications and their experience."

Mnangagwa said the Mugabe era was bad for Zimbabwe, and got worse after1999, when Board appointments, Permanent Secretaries, Commissions and even Land Reform, was administered on the basis of political affiliation.

"If someone wants to serve the country, and they are the best what they do, they are the best for the job, we must make sure they get it. "

Mnangagwa said this was how things are being done in other mature democracies, pointing to the example of the recently fired FBI Director in the USA, James Comey, who is said was a well-known Republican yet got appointed to his post by Barack Obama, a Democratic president "because everyone knew that he was the best man for the job at the time, who would put his country and his duties first before partisan interests."

The Kitchen cabinet has been getting jittery over excited talk by some ZANU PF members and cabinet ministers that ED would extend a hand to opposition parties that will have 10 or more seats in parliament in order for him to form an Inclusive Government. The talk has been pointing to a version of the GNU that governed between 2009 and 2013.

Mnangagwa, however, made it clear during the discussion that the situation in 2008 was because of the dispute around the election.

"ED reckons that the noises being made by the opposition, especially the Alliance, around this election is designed to also give rise to a dispute after the elections. He thinks they want as much as possible to cast doubt on the process so that, after the elections, when they lose, they use the dispute as a reason to have another Inclusive Government. Chamisa is desperate for an Inclusive Government, we all know that," said a source who was at the meeting.

Mnangagwa, however, is understood to be supremely confident that there are enough electoral winds in his sails to guarantee him a win in the first round and with a margin that will negate the need for a run-off.

We understand he will maintain his silence on all the provocations currently coming from the opposition. He told his Kitchen Cabinet, "People should know by now it is not easy to provoke me. Didn't they see what I went through during the Interface rallies? Do they know what was going on behind the scenes as the provocations piled up during those rallies? Provoking me is never going to work."


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