via Mugabe crushes Mujuru as Gumbo falls 13 November 2014 by Gilbert Nyambabvu
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe recently admitted that his party was at war but the bitter kerfuffle in Zanu PF is not a fight between rival factions aligned to Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa as the media has claimed.
And the wily veteran leader may have regained control of the party and reasserted his authority after Thursday’s politburo meeting suspended one of Mujuru’s most vocal supporters.
Rugare Gumbo, the ruling party’s spokesman, was sacked from the job and suspended from the party for five years while war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda was expelled from Zanu PF altogether.
Speaking on condition he was not named, a top Zanu PF official told NewZimbabwe.com: “Contrary to media reports, what is happening in the party at the moment has nothing to do with Mnangagwa.
“Or, let me put it this way; it has something to do with the Mnangagwa faction to the extent that they are witting and willing accomplices, hoping to pick up the pieces from what is essentially a fight between the First Family and vice president Joice Mujuru.
“If you look back to the First Lady’s recent country-wide rallies and ignore the presence of people like Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere, you will notice that the key players in these rallies were members of the Gushungo clan as well as people from the First Family’s Mashonaland West base.”
During one of her final rallies, a nearly hysterical Grace Mugabe complained that Mujuru had threatened to seize her properties once her husband was no longer in power adding that the VP was also working to topple the president.
He added: “The First Family has been in panic mode following what they believe to have been a real prospect Mujuru was planning to give the President a heave-ho at the December congress or, failing that, force him out through a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
“The vice president had gained near-complete control of the Zanu PF politburo as well as the party’s provincial structures through the chairmen. She also has significant sway in the country’s economy with key business leaders aligned to her faction.
“Mujuru, or those in her group, felt she was ready to move against the president but what angered the First Family were suggestions that the vice president either made direct threats or failed to give clear guarantees regarding their material and even physical security.”
Mujuru was ready to move
“Frustration and pressure,” said our source. “Frustrated that the old man won’t go yet and pressure from the business executives in her faction who are furious at the lack of progress in the economy and believe Mugabe is the elephant in the room.
Addressing hundreds of supporters at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare ahead of a key politburo meeting, Mugabe essentially backed his wife’s allegations that Mujuru was plotting his ouster.
“The president could not fire Mujuru because she was not an appointee. She was elected and that is why he said those who did not want her should vote her out,” said our source.
“A process was therefore initiated to break her hold on the politburo and ensure that she is not nominated for vice president at congress by removing all provincial chairmen aligned to her faction.
“There has been a lot of running for cover by members of the Mujuru faction. Many have changed sides – the likes of Gamatox (Didymus Mutasa) among them – after being subjected to outright threats, intimidation but also, in some cases, persuasion.
“Once the clean-up exercise is complete, the provinces will then make their nominations for the presidium ahead of congress and the First Family will be keenly interested to see who dares to nominate Mujuru.
“My sense is that Mujuru will not be vice president after congress although she may be retained in the politburo out of Mugabe’s grace. The dark horse for the vice presidency, in my view, is Edna Madzongwe.
Although Mujuru’s faction has long been thought to dominate Zanu PF’s politburo, that stranglehold has likely been broken after she failed to stop the suspension of Gumbo – a key ally.
Gumbo had been subjected to a barrage of savage attacks in the state media with various surrogate Zanu PF groups also demanding his replacement as spokesman and expulsion from the party.
National chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said he was taking over as spokesman adding Gumbo had been suspended for five years while war veterans boss Jabulani Sibanda had been expelled.
Said Khaya Moyo: “After extensive discussions amongst members of the Politburo, some far-reaching decisions were taken by the Politburo as follows; Cde Rugare Gumbo has been suspended for five years with immediate effect. Cde Enoch Porusingazi, who is a member of the Central Committee, has been suspended for five years from the party and Cde Jabulani Sibanda has been expelled from the party.”
The politburo also upheld the no confidence votes passed against provincial chairmen Kalisto Gwanetsa (Masvingo), Amos Midzi (Harare), Jason Machaya (Midlands) and Andrew Langa (Matabeleland South).
Manicaland provincial chairman John Shumba Mvundura was issued with a written reprimand.
“I have no questions to answer. I have given you the position of the Politburo. I don’t have my own position, this is the position of the Politburo. If I have my own Press conference, I will entertain you and speak to you as the spokesperson of the party at some other time,” he said.
Mnangagwa and Mujuru have long been considered the main candidates to succeed Mugabe who turned 90 this year.
“If Mugabe had confidence that Mujuru could do the job, Zanu PF would not have ensured that the constitutional provision relating to presidential running mates was deferred for ten years,” said our source.
“As for Mnangagwa, he is just being used to peg Mujuru back the same way the vice president was used to stop the then defence minister back in 2004. Mugabe’s problem with Mnangagwa is that he is a Karanga.
“The president’s annoyances last a life-time and he has never forgiven the Karanga’s for allegedly trying to oppose his takeover as leader of the party back in the 1970’s.”
So who does Mugabe want to replace him?
“Well, Bona Mugabe,” said our source.
Is that a joke, we challenged him.