‘Mugabe ouster story far-fetched’

via ‘Mugabe ouster story far-fetched’ – DailyNews Live 27 October 2014

HARARE – A senior Zanu PF official yesterday described a State media story at the weekend alleging that American Embassy officials tried to get legislators to pass a vote of no confidence in President Robert Mugabe as “complete bunkum and a sign of desperation by a destructive faction in the party”.

The official (name withheld at his request), said the story was a “clear fabrication meant to curry favour” with Mugabe.

“That story is complete bunkum and a sign of desperation by a destructive faction in the party that’s bent on creating anarchy in our movement. Let me repeat, it is a clear fabrication (that is also) meant to curry favour with the president, and particularly the First Lady (Grace Mugabe) who has appeared to encourage these anarchists recently,” the official said.

The Sunday Mail reported yesterday that the purported vote of no confidence by MPs was allegedly part of “a double-pronged strategy” that included Mugabe being challenged at Zanu PF’s forthcoming elective congress to be held in Harare in December.

“As such, President Mugabe would have first lost control of Zanu PF, and then lost the State presidency via Parliamentary procedures hinged on Section 97 (Removal of President or Vice President from office) of the Constitution.

“This ties in with revelations last Thursday by the First Lady and Zanu PF Women’s League Secretary-elect Amai Grace Mugabe that Vice President Mujuru, working with other party officials and their private sector financiers, were pushing for President Mugabe’s ouster just a year after he resoundingly won the July 31 election,” the weekly said.

The paper also quoted an unnamed party source saying: “While Amai Mugabe is busy drumming up support for the removal of VP Mujuru, the Electoral College is eyeing to remove the President at congress.”

In this plot, the alleged “conspirators” allegedly expected Mugabe to sack Mujuru and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa when the president returned from his vacation in Italy last week.

In that case, the VP and her backers would have allegedly teamed up with opposition parties such as the MDC to remove Mugabe from power. But since Mugabe had not fired his deputy, the second option was for Mujuru to resign before congress and leave the party together with all her backers.

“We are ready to pull out of Zanu PF with the VP. As provincial leaders, we are young radicals. He (the President) forgets that we have the people in the provinces and we can sway them to our direction. We can get funding from the Americans and we can emerge a stronger party after the collapse of Zanu PF.

“There is backing from senior politburo members who felt belittled by Amai Mugabe during her rallies,” an unnamed party provincial leader is quoted telling the paper.

Analyst Shephered Mntungwa described the alleged conspiracy as “too far-fetched”.

“The alleged plot comes across as mere paranoia. It is too far-fetched and meant to bolster the First Lady’s claims that the president’s senior colleagues were out to remove him from power irregularly.

“It’s also very possible that one of the factions in the party’s worsening succession duels is getting very desperate after trying every trick in the book to get on top and failing to get significant traction. They may therefore now want to agitate Mugabe sufficiently so that he hammers his deputy by weaving this improbable conspiracy,” he said.