via Mugabe’s headache – DailyNews Live 6 August 2015 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – All eyes will be on President Robert Mugabe and former Vice President Joice Mujuru on Monday, when the two feuding liberation struggle stalwarts are expected to come face to face at the National Heroes Acre in Harare — their first meeting since General Solomon Mujuru’s popular widow was brutally purged from the post-congress Zanu PF late last year.
Although efforts by the Daily News yesterday to confirm Mujuru’s attendance at the annual commemorations were unsuccessful, well-placed sources told the newspaper that she was planning to do so, although this was “not a certainty”.
“Our understanding is that Mai Mujuru is planning to be at the Heroes Acre to pay her respects to the heroes of the liberation struggle, but this is not a certainty at the moment. If she does (go there), it will be a very interesting day as she would be bound to meet the president.
“As you may know, (the late) General Mujuru is buried next to the president’s late wife, Sally, with only a vacant spot for two graves separating them. It would be almost impossible for the two not to meet if she goes there,” one of the sources said.
Contacted for comment on the likelihood of the two meeting, Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, said Mujuru was free to attend the commemorations, going further to criticise the media for focussing unnecessarily on issues that they did not fully understand and appreciate.
“Let me tell you something very personal, ma-comrades anonzwisisana (comrades understand each other). They know when to quarrel and when to get together. You at the Daily News are outsiders,” Charamba said — in comments that hinted at a looming rapprochement between Mugabe and Mujuru.
But Rugare Gumbo, one of the spokespeople of the Zanu PF formation that uses the slogan People First, and which is closely linked to Mujuru, said yesterday that it was unlikely that he or any other top officials of their movement would attend the commemorations.
“I am not sure that I will go and it is unlikely that Mai Mujuru will go to the event either,” Gumbo said.
Former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, another close ally of Mujuru, also dismissed outright any prospects of him attending the Heroes Day commemorations, saying scathingly that the people in charge “of the whole process have veered off course and are not worth associating with”.
“I didn’t go to Independence Day (either) because I don’t feel I have any friends within the current administration who I can mark the day with. If I want, I can have own celebrations with Mai Mujuru, Comrade Gumbo and Comrade (Kudakwashe) Bhasikiti, and the best place will be in private. I cannot remember that day with fake people,” Mutasa said.
On his part Bhasikiti, who is also another top ally of Mujuru, said he did not know whether the former VP would go to Heroes Acre, “considering that those in the ruling party hate her passionately”.
“I am not sure whether Mai Mujuru would go because that is very personal. What I can tell you is, I will not go because Zanu PF could unleash its supporters on me,” he said.
Mujuru’s close associates who spoke to the Daily News, while non-committal about the certainty of the former VP being at Heroes Acre next week, said yesterday that there was “absolutely nothing” that could stop her and them from attending the event that was set aside to honour the country’s fallen heroes.
“Our hero is buried there and it makes sense that we are part of that. Whether we are welcome or not is another issue but what cannot be doubted is that Solomon Mujuru was a distinguished hero,” said the close associate.
Solomon Mujuru, whose war-time nom de guerre was Rex Nhongo, died in disputed circumstances in August 2011, and controversy still shrouds the manner of his death after his remains were discovered following a mysterious inferno at his farmhouse in Beatrice — just outside Harare.
And while his funeral attracted the biggest crowd ever witnessed at the Heroes Acre, his name has still been dragged in the mud as the warring Zanu PF’s mindless bloodletting continues unabated.
A report prepared by the former liberation movement’s disciplinary committee, and which was adopted by the party’s politburo, made stunning allegations that the country’s celebrated struggle icon had, before his untimely death, plotted to assassinate Mugabe.
If Mujuru does eventually go to the Heroes Acre, it will also be the first time that she would likely come face to face with the Mugabe’s controversies, but increasingly influential wife, Grace — who once said infamously that if the former VP died, even flies would ignore her rotting carcass.
“The youths have alerted me about someone who is spearheading factionalism in this (Mashonaland Central) province and I told Baba (Mugabe) to ‘baby-dump’ that person. I told him that if he does not dump the person, we will do it ourselves,” Grace thundered.
But Zimbabwe’s fluid politics appear to be changing again, amid claims that Mugabe no longer believed that Mujuru plotted to oust and assassinate him, as well as suggestions to the effect that some post-congress Zanu PF bigwigs are actively working to lure her back to the warring party.
On the other hand Mujuru’s allies, who include Mutasa, Gumbo and Bhasikiti have dismissed any chances of their leader ever rejoining the faction-torn Zanu PF — with Mutasa going further to say Mugabe and Zanu PF would need to apologise first before that could even be considered.
“Look at the way she was belittled, look at the way lies were said about her. It’s a shame. If there are any good leaders left in Zanu PF, this is the time for them to confess that what they did to Mai Mujuru was iniquitous.
“They should publicly say we are sorry and if they can’t do that then at least should ask the chairperson of the disciplinary committee to do that on their behalf. Look, the longer you live with that atrocity God will curse you,” Mutasa said.