- Published on 08 December 2014
- Written by New Zim
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will this week name his two party deputies and members of Zanu PF's top decision-making committee, the politburo, in a process that will see the sacking of vice president Joice Mujuru.
The announcements, expected either Wednesday or Thursday, will complete Mujuru's spectacular fall from grace which was engineered in large part by Grace - the president's relatively youthful wife; she is 49 years old and he, a prime 90.
Addressing the closing session of Zanu PF's congress on Saturday, Mugabe said his beleaguered deputy and her allies would not be short of things to do once ejected from the politburo and, almost certainly, the cabinet.
They could, he helpfully suggested, always focus on farming, having all benefitted from his land reforms.
"They will have more time to do their farming, to grow maize and potatoes," said Mugabe while referring to Vice President Mujuru who hails from Dotito in Mt Darwin.
And, with a touch of magnanimity, the veteran leader said Mujuru and her group were welcome to remain in Zanu PF as ordinary card-carrying members, using their time away from the top table to introspect on their treachery.
"We are not sending them away, no, except for those we expelled. The others, if you don't expel them and thus get them out of the Central Committee, get them out from the management of the provinces etcetera and say you can be an ordinary member. They will never be dismissed or expelled so they will become ordinary members. But if they seek to be members of the party, they must start to learn what Zanu PF is, what to be a member of Zanu means, what does Zanu PF stand for. Zanu PF, what does it stand for? Do you know it really? Do you know its origins, its history? Do you know how it moved from that history to its present position?" said Mugabe.
Despite being touted as a possible successor by Mugabe himself in 2004 when he forced her appointment as vice president, Mujuru is now an outcast in Zanu PF.
She is accused of grand corruption including running extortion rackets, incompetence and being woefully inadequate for her present political station.
The allegations have been made by Mugabe and his wife Grace.
But Mujuru's supposed incompetence and corruption were, apparently, not a problem for the Mugabes until she, the First Family claims, decided the 90-year old president should step down.
Mujuru's other cardinal sin, was to try and block the president's wife from becoming secretary for the Zanu PF women's league.
Explaining why she decided Mujuru had to go, Grace Mugabe told delegates to the congress: "When the motion for my elevation was moved it is not everyone who supported me.
"Amai Mujuru vakati pembe yapihwa benzi (Mujuru said a whistle has been given to a lunatic). I never wanted to do this to her (Mujuru), but I was forced to do so. It was never my intention that we should publicly expose what (Mujuru) was doing but she pushed me too far."
For the husband, the idea of being toppled "Kabila-like" by a person he met when she was just "a kid" during the liberation war was too demeaning.
President Mugabe has claimed that Mujuru wanted to shoot him dead if he refused to step down and allow her to take over.
He said the vice president worked with witches and foreign agents in her bid to take over power.
"I am open to competition, but not when it involves taking me out the Kabila way," said Mugabe, referring to the former leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Laurent Kabila, who was assassinated by one of his bodyguards in 2001.
"I met Joice when she was a young kid in the war," he said. "I strengthened her and even pushed her to get an education until she got a doctorate."
Mugabe has since overseen a widescale purge of Mujuru's allies from key party structures and promised further "disappointments" when he reshuffles his cabinet.
Mujuru has denied all the allegations and remained defiant.
She ignored calls by Grace Mugabe to apologise and, after that, her demand that she resigns from being State and party vice president.
In addition, Mujuru stayed away from the week-long congress, angering Mugabe who said she decided to hide like a thief instead of turning up to explain her actions to the party faithful.
On Sunday, the vice president turned up at the body-viewing of national hero and former diplomat Lloyd Kotsho Dube in Harare.
She paid her respects to Dube's family but ignored the gathered cabinet ministers and security services chiefs and then drove off before the Mugabes arrived.