Mujuru allies scoot as politburo meets

via Mujuru allies scoot as politburo meets  18 November 2014

VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru’s camp has been hit by massive defections with key allies jumping ship to join Grace Mugabe’s faction, heard this week.

The defections come as Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa confirmed the party’s politburo would meet Saturday for what is likely to be another stormy session.

When the committee met last Thursday, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda was expelled while national spokesman Rugare Gumbo was suspended for five years. No confidence votes against several provincial chairpersons were also upheld.

More chairmen have since been ousted since while party activists have staged protests demanding the sacking of top officials such as Mutasa, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Nicholas Goche over alleged ties to Mujuru.

And with the writing on the wall, some of those linked to Mujuru have decided to run for cover ahead of the Saturday politburo gathering.

Some of the less significant defectors were paraded at Grace’s Mazowe orphanage Tuesday but understands that the key shifts have occurred behind the scenes in the top echelons of the security establishment.

Mujuru was understood to have secured the backing of the top brass in the police and CIO spy service in what had all along appeared to be a joust with Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to eventually take over from President Robert Mugabe.

But a senior Zanu PF official said the CIO had since bailed out.

At the ZRP, Augustine Chihuri is clearly being watched keenly with Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena recently saying they were expecting the police to act on treason allegations levelled against Mujuru.

If the police do not act against Mujuru, then “something will be wrong with our police”, the legislator added.

The Mujuru camp has been on the ropes for weeks with Grace accusing the vice-president of plotting to oust her 90-year-old husband.

Meanwhile, first to publicly dump the Mujuru was Kudzanai Chipanga, the incoming deputy secretary of the youth league who campaigned and won the position on a Mujuru ticket.

Speaking in Mazowe during the First Lady’s meeting with university students, Chipanga said he had “sold out” and was apologising for doing so.

Chipanga chanted an anti-Mujuru slogan at the rally clearly indicating he had switched sides. He also promised to expose Mujuru’s evil machinations.

In the run-up to the Zanu PF youth league, Chipanga received the backing of Mutasa, a key Mujuru ally, to secure the post. He won the post ahead of Tongai Kasukuwere who is in the Emmerson Mnangagwa camp.

But after the entrance of Grace onto the political stage, Chipanga and other key Mujuru allies have jumped ship leaving the vice-president seriously exposed.

Mashonaland Central Provincial Minister of State, Martin Dinha, another Mujuru ally, also shocked many when he chanted an anti-Mujuru slogan at the Mazowe meeting.

“I say down with Mujuru, people think I cannot do so, I say down with Mujuru, down with those who want to kill the president,” he said.

Another member who is said to have deserted Mujuru is Shadreck Mashayamombe, the Harare South MP, who has endured running battles with Godwin Gomwe, the provincial youth leader.

Zanu PF has over the past six weeks been purging all officials loyal to Mujuru as the party edges towards a key congress in December.

But the biggest casualty has been party spokesman Rugare Gumbo who was sacked last week.