via Mujuru’s poser! – DailyNews Live 1 December 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – Some supporters of Vice President Joice Mujuru are apparently trying to persuade her to pull out of Zanu PF’s congress this week, after the host province Harare objected to her attendance, claiming she is at the heart of a murky plot to oust and assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
But the embattled Mujuru, whom the rival Emmerson Mnangagwa faction says should be arrested on treason charges, is still expected to attend the congress that will anoint a new leadership team around Mugabe, that will carry the party forward in the next five years.
Harare province, home to hardliners such as provincial youth chairperson Godwin Gomwe, is not only seeking a complete clean-out of all officials perceived to be sympathetic to Mujuru, but is also stepping up its pressure to bar Mujuru from attending the damp squib “elective” congress altogether.
“Many comrades feel that given the thuggery that is going on in the party and the flagrant mutilation of the (party) constitution, it is a waste of time for her (Mujuru) to attend congress.
“Zvipfukuto (weevils) have decided, and have been supported in this insane project by the powers that be, that she must fall, so what is the point of her attending if not just to be humiliated further there,” said a central committee member.
But the official added that, “knowing Mai Mujuru the way I do, she is too loyal and disciplined to consciously and wilfully avoid such an important gathering”.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF secretary for administration, declined to comment on whether Mujuru would attend or be allowed to attend the congress yesterday, referring all questions to acting spokesperson and party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, who was not reachable.
But the controversial Gomwe, whose star has been on the rise since the worsening ructions in the faction-torn party exploded a few months ago, insisted yesterday that Mujuru and her allies would be barred from attending the congress.
“Let me ask you, have they ever apologised for their treasonous behaviour?” Gomwe asked.
“The answer is no. This means that they still harbour their ill and treasonous ambitions. We expected them to go to the president and apologise.
“Since they didn’t do that, there is no congress for them. They can go to Dotito (Mujuru’s rural home),” he added.
The arch-follower of Mugabe’s feisty wife, Grace, also said barring Mujuru from the congress would neither engineer a crisis nor cause confusion within the party.
“What confusion are you talking about? When they wanted to kill our president, was there no confusion? Why then are you seeing confusion when we want to bar them from the congress?” he asked.
Gomwe also said Harare’s image would allegedly “plummet” if the province did not bar Mujuru from the congress.
Grace and the State-controlled media have openly accused Mujuru of corruption, fanning factionalism and treason among many other accusations which the beleaguered Zanu PF number two has staunchly denied.
“I stand ready to defend myself before the party, and in any court of law on any of the allegations made against me, at any time, in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe,” Mujuru said in a November 16 statement.
The pressure on Mujuru by some of her supporters not to attend this week’s congress comes as it emerges that serious anxiety has gripped Zanu PF and her supporters as the VP’s continued tenure as Mugabe’s number two appears increasingly fragile, amid fears of a heightened clampdown on all her perceived allies.
The apprehension engulfing the Mujuru camp was given impetus by ominous State media reports last week exhorting law enforcement agencies to arrest the beleaguered VP’s allies who had been accused of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe.
A politburo member sympathetic to the under-fire VP told the Daily News on Sunday at the weekend that most supporters of the 59-year-old widow were now living in “palpable” fear, amid the ongoing brutal purges of party officials perceived to be close to her, as well as the “chilling” arrest of deposed war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda on Friday.
“It’s terrible out there. The unconstitutional and perplexing purges of party officials all round has sent a message to all that you sympathise with Mai Mujuru at your own peril.
“The chilling arrest of Jabulani (Sibanda) has heightened people’s anxiety that a serious clampdown is underway to pummel all her supporters through both fair and foul means.
“What is even more frightening is that no one knows where all this will end and who is safe or not,” the senior official said.
A central committee member said he could not wait for the party’s congress to “come and go”.
“I for one just want this rubbish congress to come and go as it is the cause of all this senseless infighting which is happening just a year after we destroyed (Morgan) Tsvangirai and the MDC.
“I’ve no doubt that when the power mongers have got what they want (unfettered power) at congress, relative peace will return to the party,” he said.
Sibanda was arrested in Bulawayo on Friday afternoon, amid authoritative State media reports that he is going to be charged Under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which criminalises the undermining of Mugabe’s authority.
“Sibanda’s arrest prompted calls for the arrest of Zanu PF secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa and ousted Manicaland provincial chairman John Mvundura in whose company Jabulani Sibanda accused the president of plotting a ‘bedroom coup’ and threatened to march to State House to confront him,” said the State-controlled Herald and Chronicle newspapers in synchronised front page stories on Saturday.
Amid all this, speculation also reached fever pitch in the past few days, particularly after Mujuru missed last Wednesday’s politburo meeting, that she was now so despondent that she was allegedly close to quitting her government post.
There was also mounting speculation that Mugabe was set to effect a major shake-up of his administration — at all levels of government, including the composition of the Cabinet, civil service and the security sectors, soon after Zanu PF’s “damp squib elective” congress scheduled for this week, in an endeavour to get rid of all perceived Mujuru supporters.
A Harare daily, owned by a Cabinet minister who is believed to belong to the anti-Mujuru camp, reported at the weekend that “among those expected to be kicked out of government would be permanent secretaries and security chiefs, with some accused of leaking sensitive issues to aid Mujuru’s ascendency to power”.
The paper added that the far-reaching purges would also affect the Zimbabwe Republic Police.