HARARE – Zanu PF insiders claim that President Robert Mugabe no longer buys into the “contrived narrative” that former Vice President Joice Mujuru had plotted to oust and assassinate him — as it apparently becomes increasingly clear to the First Family that some ambitious ruling party bigwigs expediently “manufactured” the fib for their political benefit.
The sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday claimed that events of the past few months had “clearly shown” Mugabe that some “hyenas”, and not Mujuru, were behind the seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars that continue to devour Zanu PF.
“All indications are that both the president and Dr Amai (First Lady Grace Mugabe) are now aware that the allegations against Mai Mujuru were a contrived narrative by some ambitious hyenas who manufactured the plots for their personal benefit.
“This is why the president has not acted further against Mai Mujuru, even as these hyenas have continued to push for her to be incarcerated on account of the false claims of treason that she and others allegedly committed.
“Most people also noted at the weekend that Dr Amai made it very clear that she felt used by these over-ambitious hyenas who, after manufacturing the false claims against Mai Mujuru, were now pushing the equally false claims that she wanted to succeed President Mugabe,” one of the sources said.
At the same time, former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa yesterday dismissed weekend claims by Grace that Mujuru was dismissed from both the warring post-congress Zanu PF and the government because she was arrogant and had surrounded herself with the “wrong advisors”.
State media quoted Mugabe’s controversial wife on Sunday saying that Mujuru had jumped the gun, become too arrogant and surrounded herself with wrong people in the run-up to Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress last year.
Grace, who was nicknamed “monya for hire” in that chaotic period, tried to cut a motherly figure in her weekend interview — a sharp contrast to the belligerent and uncaring persona that she appeared to actively cultivate at the height of the ruling party’s internal ructions.
Mutasa, who has stood by Mujuru throughout the ongoing succession storm, said yesterday that while Grace was entitled to her opinions, she was “dead wrong” about the claims that Mujuru had fallen because she had become arrogant and had surrounded herself with the wrong people.
“They, (the First Family) are realising that they made mistakes. And she (Grace) is entitled to her views, but one day the truth will come out. We all know the truth,” Mutasa said.
Asked if he was prepared to reconcile with his erstwhile comrades in the troubled post-congress Zanu PF, Mutasa said flatly: “I will not go back”.
“The question is to reconcile with who? If we are reconciling to build Zanu PF, then we are not going back there. If it is Zanu PF, we are not going back there, but we are prepared to reconcile with anyone to build the nation,” Mutasa said.
The former close ally of Mugabe also traced the country’s political woes to Mugabe getting all executive powers from 1987 — adding that he yearned for a return to the days when the late Canaan Banana was the president and Mugabe the prime minister.
“When you look back at the period when we had Banana as president, you should consider that kind of constitution. Presently, we have chiefs but now they are being abused by Zanu PF, they have sold their souls. And yet that institution should be independent.
“Let us go along with that kind of constitution where the chiefs choose their president and we choose our own prime minister,” Mutasa said.
But Mutasa treaded a fine line between condemning Mugabe and reaching out to him, saying that it was not entirely the veteran leader’s fault that he was making many political errors — blaming Zanu PF “mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies” for lying to the nonagenarian about many things.
“I am glad that there has been this vindication of what we have already said in the past. I have always said that Baba, President Mugabe, was misled and is still being misinformed by unprincipled people who haven’t got the interest of the people at heart. And that is the unfortunate thing about the Zanu PF leadership,” he said.