- Published on 03 December 2014
- Written by The Telescope
Vanquished Vice President, Joice Mujuru, is allegedly on the verge of being arrested for an array of serious charges, largely believed to be trumped-up, which include treason, espionage and corruption, in a bid to end her political career by Zanu PF foes backing the first family's power retention at the ongoing party congress in Harare, The Telescope News, has gathered.
Although Mujuru seemed to have initially survived charges of allegedly plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, thrown into her face recently by Mugabe's wife Grace, who also said the VP wants to kill her, a faction backing the Mugabes with reported links to elements supporting justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to succeed Mugabe, are said to be now pushing for the embattled Mujuru to face espionage and graft charges, thereby plotting her arrest after the congress "to finish her off", high level cabinet sources have confirmed.
The ploy is also designed to send her into political oblivion, while enfeebling chances that she may form a new political party, to challenge Zanu PF in the 2018 presidential polls, our information further shows.
"It is unfortunate that the General (the late Solomon Mujuru) is no longer with us, otherwise this nonsense was not going to be taking place," said an irate minister who openly said they sympathise with the outgoing vice president. "This is the reason why Chihuri is being forced to step down, following immense pressure on him to arrest the VP but he refused to budge, thus inviting anger from Grace Mugabe, who claims to have evidence against Mujuru, including audio recordings to prove her case."
The minister said if Chihuri leaves office at the end of this year, as is being rumoured, then his preferred replacement, major general Trust Mugova based at KG IV Barracks, was likely to appease Mnangagwa's backers by humiliating Mujuru with "a mock arrest" for political humiliation.
Mujuru's fate as former VP will be sealed today, at a Central Committee meeting that will see Zanu PF's constitution being tinkered with, to give Mugabe full powers to appoint his deputies and the party chairman.
In a statement last month,Mujuru vowed to take legal action against State newspapers, The Herald and The Sunday Mail for publishing damning articles implicating the politician with treason and corruption.
"I deny any and all the allegations of treason, corruption, incompetence, and misuse of public office being routinely made against me in The Herald and Sunday Mail Newspapers. I have briefed my legal practitioners to take the necessary steps, at law, to restore my good reputation, political standing and dignity. 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.
The Telescope News, has been told that the new political strategy around the mooted espionage charges, was aimed at reviving whistle-blower website Wiki-leaks cables on Mujuru's contact with various U.S officials, as she allegedly sought assistance from Washington to unseat Mugabe.
"They want to accuse her of selling and disclosing State secrets to hostile governments, with America and Britain topping the list. Although nothing seems to hold water, some intelligence operatives have been tasked with tracking the meetings she had with Western diplomats recently, and retrieve any mobile or electronic communications between the parties, so as to have tangible evidence against her. This trap might actually succeed, but I don't see them eventually finding her guilty, later alone sending her to jail. Their goal is to silence her, and force her out of politics," another long serving minister said in a telephone interview late last night.
Mugabe himself is said to be against arresting Mujuru, but the first lady reportedly wants Mujuru to publicly apologise to Mugabe or else be "taught a lesson".
Some forces inside the party's Women's League are also siding with Grace, and want at minimum for Mujuru to be dragged to court, to show that she is not above the law.
Mujuru is not the first high ranking government official to be accused by her political enemies of falsified espionage. A few years ago two cabinet ministers, then Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and National Security Minister Nicholas Goche found themselves under investigation on espionage charges.
The duo were believed to have divulged confidential information to "hostile intelligence agencies," including the US Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's MI5. However the charges died a natural death.
Meanwhile powerful Zanu PF women leaders, Oppah Muchinguri and Edna Madzongwe, are all but almost certain to be rewarded with presidium posts by Mugabe by the end of this week, as the party's so-called elective congress, nudges ahead to line up Mugabe's two new deputies in government and Zanu PF.
According to recent media reports, Mugabe is likely to appoint four deputies or vice presidents. Two shall deputise him at the party level, and the other two in the government presidium, as he performs a delicate balancing act in accommodating a host of competing candidates.
It appears Mnangagwa and Muchinguri could be hot favourites for the two new VP slots in government, while Madzongwe and party chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo or home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi are likely to be promoted as the two vice presidents of the party, our sources contend. Mugabe might also decide to play a combination of his liking with the new appointments.