- Published: 09 December 2014
- Written by Chronicle
Vice President Joice Mujuru and her close confidants Cde David Butau and Mr Tirivanhu Mudariki met United States diplomats on different occasions where they discussed plans to topple President Mugabe and asked for funding in the event they succeeded.
They sought to replace the President with VP Mujuru, with the VP herself meeting with the then US ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Charles Ray secretly at one of her properties on December 16, 2009 in a meeting that was arranged by Cde Butau.
In the meeting, whose cables were released by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, VP Mujuru told the US ambassador that the "zanu-pf old guard" was giving way to young blood that included her and the likes of zanu-pf national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo.
"Turning to politics, Mujuru said the zanu-pf old guard was giving way to 'young blood'".
She noted that she (55-years-old then) and new party chair Simon Khaya Moyo (64 then) are on the younger side and form one half of the zanu-pf Presidium (along with Mugabe and new Vice President John Nkomo). The Presidium would be together for five years. Mujuru concluded, 'Let's work together'," reads the cable.
In a Facebook post over the weekend,
US ambassaador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton tried to distance himself from President Mugabe's revelations that the VP had sought the support of western countries to depose the President but the WikiLeaks cache confirms his predecessors were working with the Mujuru faction from as early as 2007.
Mbire National Assembly representative Cde Butau told US diplomats in 2007 of plans by a faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru to topple President Mugabe and asked for funding from the West in the event they succeeded.
Cde Butau, who was a representative for Guruve North then, met the diplomats on May 31 2007 as revealed by.
"David Butau, Zanu-PF MP and member of the faction allied to ex-military commander Solomon Mujuru, told poloff (political official) on May 31 2007 that Mujuru had determined that the time to unseat President Robert Mugabe was now," a summary of the cable reads.
"Mujuru had flexed his muscle and wrested control of the party structures in Masvingo and Bulawayo, and his subordinates had begun to chip away at Mugabe's key backers. Butau added that while pressure on Mugabe was needed, the US government needed to quietly weigh into this intra-party battle to help block Mugabe's bid."
Cde Butau also told the diplomat that the Mujuru faction was working to undermine President Mugabe's authority through discrediting his supporters.
Cde Butau then asked for funding for what he called "reformist elements from the US government to ensure that the Mujuru faction would succeed in eroding President Mugabe's support.
"Butau asked poloff that the USG (United States government) quietly support the reformist element of Zanu-PF in this battle," reads the cable. "While it was important to maintain the heat on Mugabe and his circle, Butau said US policy also had to cultivate contacts with Mugabe's intra-party opponents, and not just those outside the party.
"Poloff acknowledged that Zanu-PF was not monolithic and noted that we continually sought more contact with reform-minded ruling party members. Asked for specific recommendations on how the USG should proceed, Butau was initially at a loss, but finally suggested that firm promises of international financial support would help the Mujuru faction erode Mugabe's support and ultimately usher in a reformist government.
"Poloff replied that international financial assistance was predicated on the GOZ undertaking reforms, not the other way around."
Apart from Cde Butau, an advisor and business associate to VP Mujuru, Mr Tirivanhu Mudariki also confirmed of the Mujuru faction's plans to unseat President Mugabe and that the late General Solomon Mujuru had actively supported Simba Makoni who broke away from Zanu-PF to form Mavambo.
The meeting was held on March 17 2008.
"Tirivanhu Mudariki, a political advisor to Mujuru and Mujuru's principal business partner, told PolEcon (Political and Economic) chief on March 17 that Mujuru had met with Mugabe on March 10 and urged Mugabe to resign," reads the cable.
"He told Mugabe that he had little support in the country; resignation would avoid an electoral***. Mudariki told us that (General) Mujuru, who was an active supporter and advisor of Makoni, had been travelling extensively throughout the country to gauge Makoni's support.
"Mujuru had concluded that the MDC's Tsvangirai had the most support of the three major candidates. Mudariki acknowledged that Makoni's core support now came from intellectuals, the middle class, and youth in the urban areas. He said Makoni planned a "blitzkrieg" campaign this weekend throughout Zimbabwe to try to introduce himself to rural voters."
In his address at the 6th Zanu-PF National People's Congress last week, President Mugabe said Government was aware of VP Mujuru's clandestine meetings with Western diplomats and chided her for believing they could provide financial assistance to the country.
He described her actions as simplistic and foolish.
VP Mujuru lost her vice presidency and second secretary posts at the Congress after she failed to make it to the party's Central Committee and is now an ordinary card carrying member.