By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, February 07, 2016 – Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on Friday seemed astounded by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s calmness even when pushed to the wall, telling an anti-corruption launch ceremony it took bravery to “open the mouth of a crocodile”.
Mnangagwa, who leads a Zanu PF faction angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe, has taken a few blows from party rivals but has surprisingly not commented about it.
Leading the assail is Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo who has taken to his twitter account to attack the embattled VP.
Moyo is a prominent member of Generation 40, a Zanu PF clique of younger politicians that has gone all out to torpedo the VP’s ambitious but silent bid for presidency.
G40 is widely believed to be rooting for the First Lady, Grace Mugabe ascending to become president following what now seems to be President Robert Mugabe’s imminent exit from power through incapacitation.
Despite the barrage of attack against him, the so-nicknamed Crocodile has maintained his cool.
Mnangagwa earned the nickname for keeping low during turbulent times while calculating his often venomous strikes.
One person who seemed amazed by the Crocodile was non-other than the country’s most senior judge who remarked that it took a lot for one to get Mnangagwa to talk.
Chidyausiku was speaking at the launch of the Judicial Service Commission Anti- Corruption Campaign in Harare on Friday.
Veering off his prepared speech, Chidyausiku cast back to the days of the country’s liberation war when a then young Mnangagwa had been sentenced to death for alleged sabotaging against the colonial government.
“There is important information that my handlers left out of this speech. I will have to say it,” he said.
“I had lunch with Father Ribeiro a Roman Priest last week. He told me how he met young Emmerson in prison waiting to hear his fate on the death row. He then wrote the petition for him to be released on condition he was very young and was not yet a learned lawyer by then.”
Chidyausiku went on to reveal how, when Father Ribeiro asked him if his plea to have his name struck off the death row had been successful, Mnangagwa, true to him, responded casually.
“If you want to confirm if this story is true, go and confirm with Father Ribeiro. He is now based at Highfield here in Harare,” he said
“You have to be very brave to open the mouth of the crocodile.”