Mugabe keeps Zanu PF guessing

via Mugabe keeps Zanu PF guessing – DailyNews Live 12 March 2015

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is keeping his loyalists on tenterhooks as he delays replacing ministers he fired following a brutal purge, triggering frenzied jostling in his divided Zanu PF.

The party’s merciless purges, targeted at ex-vice president Joice Mujuru and her perceived loyalists — have claimed 17 ministers and deputies amid fears that residual elements linked to the widowed ex-VP could also be dropped from Cabinet.

“The President should reward those who worked for the party against Mai Mujuru and all those who wanted to remove him from power. We know the ‘gamatox’ (Mujuru loyalists) ministers and they should be chucked out from Cabinet,” said a source.

Ministers, who are still in government, linked to Mujuru include Sydney Sekeramayi (Defence), David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care), Lazarus Dokora (Education) and Andrew Langa (Sports and Recreation).

With the Constitution limiting Mugabe to appointing ministers from a pool of legislators in Parliament, the nonagenarian is presently limited to pick from those who were either elected during the 2013 elections or he appointed.

As it is, the Daily News is reliably informed that Mugabe might be forced to bring back some of the fired deputies who have thus far demonstrated unbridled loyalty to him and his increasingly powerful wife Grace.

“Three deputy ministers are coming back. Look at Tongai Muzenda (axed deputy minister of Labour) he is the son of the late vice president Simon Muzenda and there is pressure for him to be brought back because he has remained loyal to the president,” said the source.

Mugabe has thus far fired, Didymus Mutasa (Presidential Affairs minister), Webster Shamu (Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services), Francis Nhema (Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment), Olivia Muchena (Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development), Dzikamai Mavhaire (Energy and Power Development), Nicholas Goche (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister) and Munacho Mutezo (Energy and Power Development deputy minister).

While Mugabe has come up with replacements for most of the Cabinet posts, he is still to name the new minister of Women and Gender Affairs — with his wife Grace, who is now the secretary for women affairs in Zanu PF, likely to be appointed to the post.

Among those who have also been axed from government are, Flora Buka, minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Paul Chimedza deputy minister of Health and Child Care, Sylvester Nguni minister of State in former vice president Mujuru’s office), Muzenda, Petronella Kagonye deputy minister Transport, Fortune Chasi deputy minister of Justice and Tendai Savanhu the deputy minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement deputy minister.

But Mugabe has kept those accused of belonging to the Mujuru faction guessing and on the other hand Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp is keen on ensuring that they benefit from the reshuffle through appointments to influential posts.

Because of the looming reshuffle, many people are mudslinging and there is a raging war to discredit other people who have remote links to Mujuru, sources said.

The sources in Zanu PF accused Mugabe of taking long in rewarding his foot soldiers who “smoked out Mujuru” before the party’s controversial congress held in December last year.

“There are a lot of ‘gamatoxes’ (Mujuru supporters) that still need to be smoked out of Cabinet, as well as the key security sector and the civil service if factionalists are to be defeated once and for all,” said a party official close to Mnangagwa.