via Mujuru goes underground – DailyNews Live 14 July 2015
HARARE – Ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s complete disappearance from the public arena over the past few weeks has left many of her sympathisers and staunch supporters confused about what her real game plan is — even as her close allies insist that “she is ready to work for the people”.
Mujuru and her top promoters like former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and the spokesperson of the Zanu PF faction that uses the slogan People First, Rugare Gumbo, were notable no-shows at the weekend’s prayer meeting in Harare for abducted journalist-turned-democracy activist Itai Dzamara.
This was despite the fact that they had all been invited to the solemn gathering. Mujuru had reportedly accepted the invitation.
But Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that a “meeting of importance” that had also taken place on Saturday, had prevented the trio from making it to the historical Zimbabwe Grounds — the venue of the prayer meeting.
“We had other commitments, but our comrades were also there at the prayer meeting,” Gumbo said.
Asked to comment on claims that the trio was scared of publicly associating with the likes of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the former Dare ReChimurenga member said they had “already crossed the line and feared absolutely nothing”.
“Why should we be afraid of coming out in public for something we believe in. If we had commitments why would we go there when we had our allies who attended that rally and represented us?” he asked.
Former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda and expelled former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairperson, Temba Mliswa, were among the high profile former ruling party bigwigs who attended the Dzamara prayer meeting — a development that insiders claimed yesterday had rattled Zanu PF leaders to the core.
But the voluble Mliswa told the Daily News that when he went to the meeting, he had expected every leader in Zimbabwe, including Mujuru, to grace the momentous occasion, to pray for Dzamara and agitate for his safe return.
“I expected the Zanu PF leadership to be there because we were making a statement on a missing Zimbabwean. Even if I was in Zanu PF I would have attended the meeting. I do not know why Mai Mujuru did not attend because I am not her spokesperson. As a mother, she should have attended because that was a national issue of significance.
“Leaders were supposed to attend because when our leaders attend, we have the direction and we follow. But if they do not do so, then who do we follow,” Mliswa asked rhetorically.
However, Gumbo defended their absence insisting that the “strengthening of the original Zanu PF (People First) is now at an advanced stage”.
“When time comes, Mai Mujuru will come out. She is not afraid of anything. As for now, I can only tell you that she is going to come out,” Gumbo said.
Mutasa told the Daily News that although he had failed to attend the prayer meeting, he had undersigned the statement demanding the return of Dzamara that was read by Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba Makoni.
“I was not able to attend the meeting but I was fully in support of it. Government should do more and find Dzamara,” he said.
Efforts to speak to Mujuru yesterday were not successful.
In his recent mini Cabinet reshuffle, the nonagenarian dropped Biggie Matiza, an alleged Mnangagwa ally, as the minister of state for Mashonaland East, ostensibly to enable him to concentrate on party matters, but in reality apparently a massive slap in the face for him and his faction.
Apart from Matiza, another self-proclaimed fanatic supporter of Mnangagwa, the maverick musician-turned-politician Energy Mutodi is presently pressed against the wall and is apparently on the verge of being banished from the ruling party altogether.
In a fascinating Facebook posting at the weekend, Mutodi revealed that he had been barred by Kasukuwere on Saturday from being part of the Zanu PF Mash East provincial executive because of his controversial social media postings.
Even more intriguingly, he also alleged that Kasukuwere had said that Mutodi would be discussed at the next politburo meeting, which made for interesting reading as that would mean an attempt at embarrassing Mnangagwa in Zanu PF’s highest decision-making body.
Staggeringly, Mutodi also claimed that Kasukuwere had accused him of lying about Mujuru plotting to kill Mugabe, which had led to the former VP’s expulsion from Zanu PF.
“With such people surrounding Mnangagwa, the First Lady is not happy at all. When the president spoke about another Gamatox in the making, he meant the Mnangagwa camp.
“While his (Mnangagwa’s) supporters think that he has been anointed to be successor, this is not true. I can tell you that the First Lady is not impressed at all by all this. To make matters worse, Mnangagwa has never come out openly to condemn his misbehaving boys,” another Zanu PF official said.
Only last week, the ugly factional and succession fights raging within Zanu PF and pitting the G40 against the Mnangagwa camp, exploded into open warfare in Parliament when Kasukuwere and Gokwe-Nembudziya Zanu PF legislator Justice Wadyajena crossed swords sharply.
The combative Kasukuwere, who has openly boasted of being one of Zimbabwe’s “biggest political thugs”, had been summoned to appear before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Indigenisation chaired by Wadyajena, to clarify how he handled the controversial $50 million Marange Community Share Ownership Scheme when he was Indigenisation minister.
It did not take long before the discourse between the two men — who do not appear to like each other much — erupted into a titanic brawl, with Kasukuwere accusing the youthful Wadyajena, an alleged Mnangagwa acolyte, of seeking to settle political scores using his position as chairman of the committee.
Addressing party youths last month, Mugabe warned against factionalism as he drew comparisons with what is obtaining in Zanu PF with what led to the expulsion of Mujuru.
“If you are choosing between my two vice-presidents, you are beginning your own Gamatox. They (the VPs) occupy equal sphere. If you say you want this one to succeed, you are already bringing division within the people and this so soon after our election,” Mugabe said.
“The people will choose when the time comes, and you will be part of that process, but don’t get divided by that question now.”
In the run-up to the party’s controversial congress that saw the ouster of Mujuru on untested accusations of plotting to kill Mugabe, Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere and Mugabe’s often loose-tongued nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, were religiously present at Grace’s blitzkrieg rallies.