Zanu-PF has booted out Joice Mujuru as the party’s Vice President and Second Secretary with an extremely angry President Mugabe saying her boycott of Zanu-PF’s watershed 6th National People’s Congress had reduced her to an ordinary card carrying member.
Sources say President Mugabe had wanted to accommodate VP Mujuru in another capacity with less influence, but her conspicuous absence demonstrated total disregard for the party and its members, and a lack of remorse for her leading role in the plot to unseat the First Secretary.
Also absent were former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and ex-secretary for transport and welfare Nicholas Goche. Both failed to get Central Committee nominations, a humiliation also experienced by VP Mujuru.
And yesterday President Mugabe and Women’s League Secretary Amai Grace Mugabe both expressed their anger with the VP’s behaviour, pointing out that she had no one but herself to blame for her demise.
Closing the Congress last night, President Mugabe said: “If people are shifted they should not cry foul. If you are dropped, well, we say sorry; but we will say goodbye to you and there will be many goodbyes. Some have already chosen, through their own irregular acts, to bid us farewell. Those who are not here have said goodbye to us I don’t see us having them back in the Central Committee.”
This was in part reference to President Mugabe’s prerogative to appoint ten people to the Central Committee. None of the rebels made the cut.
However, he said VP Mujuru and her cabal would not be expelled from the party, but urged them to self-introspect and re-acquaint themselves with the values that inform Zanu-PF.
“We are not sending them away, no, except for those we expelled. But 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.
“They will have more time to do their farming, to grow maize and potatoes. 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?”
VP Mujuru’s cabal includes nine former provincial chairpersons and scores of other officials who were given votes of no confidence for seeking President Mugabe’s ouster – including discussions of a possible assassination.
Cde Goche is said to have been active in planning the assassination plot while Cde Mutasa reportedly told his girlfriend that the President would be shot if he blocked VP Mujuru from assuming the presidency.
Another conspirator, expelled spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, reportedly spoke of eliminating President Mugabe in the manner that DRC’s slain leader, President Laurent Kabila, was murdered.
In addition, VP Mujuru faces allegations of corruption, abuse of office and illicit dealings in diamonds and gold.
President Mugabe warned Zanu PF members against seeking positions in the party to enrich themselves saying people should look at the example set by departed party stalwarts like the late national heroes and VPs, Dr Joshua Nkomo, John Nkomo and Simon Muzenda.
“And the leaders we have, unfortunately many have gone, many are new and the new ones think to be in the party is to be placed in an organisation that will make you rich, no. In fact we want you to bring your own abilities and capacities into the party so the party can fend for your people as a whole,” he said.
“We are not there in order for the party to become a benefactor and you a beneficiary of the party, no. It is the party which should be your beneficiary; you are the benefactor, you are the one who should have greater value to the party and not try to diminish the standing of the party . . .
“Aiwa saka musangano ndewe gutsa ruzhinji hausi wegutsavaMugabe hausi wegutsaJoice Mujuru.”
Earlier, President Mugabe —constitutionally dissolving the old Central Committee — narrated how VP Mujuru had risen following a request by the Women’s League to have a female in the top leadership.
He said former Secretary for Women Affairs Cde Oppah Muchinguri had made the proposal and Amai Mugabe specifically asked for Cde Mujuru to be elevated to VP.
President Mugabe said instead of working for Zimbabwe’s and Zanu-PF’s development, VP Mujuru began associating with hostile Western governments and stuffing party structures with her acolytes as part of her takeover attempt.
And in her acceptance speech following her assumption of the post of Secretary for Women’s Affairs, Amai Mugabe said VP Mujuru had sealed her own fate.
Said Amai Mugabe; “Handisini ndatanga kuva First Lady. Pachigaro ichi tinoziva kuti the late First Lady Amai Sally Mugabe vakambenge varipo pachigaro ichi. Asi chandinoda kuti nditaure ndechekuti pakunzi uve nechigaro muparty haasi munhu wese anofarira izvozvo, mumwe mudzimai wandanga ndasupportawo zvakanakana haana kuzvifarira.
“Ndakanzwa zvakare vanhu vakunditaurira kuti munhu iyeye Amai Mujuru maitiro avo. Pakanzi Amai Sally Mugabe vapinde havana kufara. Saka ishiri ine muririro wayo kasi shiri ine muririro wayo inzonzi Stop It. Pandakanzi inini ndasarudzwa nemadzimai kuti ndishande navo vakaenderera mberi vashamwari vedu Amai Mujuru vakati hanzi pembe yapiwa benzi.”
Amai Mugabe said she had used the whistle to show that VP Mujuru was “offside”, and resolved to reveal the latter’s sordid dealings because the President’s Number Two refused to listen sound advice and continued down a divisive path.
“Inini ndakapiwa pito yes, ndikanzi ndiri benzi, ndikairidza. Pachirungu pakaitika chinhu kune anonzi whistle blower saka ini ndakapiwa pito ndikairidza . . . ndakavayambira vanhu kuti ndapiwa pito chiteererai zvandiri kutaura.
“Kutaura chokwadi ndakambotumawo vandakatuma kuti amai kutaurisa manyanya, dai matambira bhora pasi, kasi semunhu akanga ajaira kuisa bhora musango haana kunditerera, zvino ini ndakaridza pito nekuti ndakaona kuti vanga vabuda offside, (ndaida) kuti vadzoke mudariro kasi havana kunditerera.
“Kasi zvakanga zvisingafanire kuzopera maperero azvaita, semunhu akatirwira hondo tinovaita respect kasi macredentials chete ekuti wakaenda kuhondo haasiwo angaite kuti uregererwe uchiita zvaunoda, haakupe impunity, haasiriwo macredentials iwawo anoita kuti unoita huori, uite kudivider party, ukonzere iyo factionalism kwete,” she said.
The First Lady and Women’s League boss also said VP Mujuru was the brains behind “bhora musango” in which Zanu PF nearly lost to MDC-T in the 2008 harmonised elections; resulting in the revolutionary party enduring the ignominy of a power sharing agreement with Western-sponsored political parties.
Amai Mugabe said she had no intention of engaging in a public spat with VP Mujuru but was left with no option after it became clear that she was hell-bent on derailing progress.
“Mai ava vaitaura zvakawanda kasi hamuna kumbonzwa ndichiva fighter mupublic. I started fighting back pandakasarudzwa nevanhu kuti nditungamire, ndokutanga kuenda kumaprovince ndichitaura nevanhu ivo vakawona zvakakodzera kuti ndisamire pamberi pevanhu.
“Vakatanga kundirongera vanhu kuti vandiite boo, hazvina kundifadza, ndiri munhuwo, ndakati ndikabaiwa ndinobuda ropa saka ndakaonawo zvakakodzera kuti kana mai makuda zvekuti tirwisane panze ndinozvigonawo ndakanga ndisina intention yekuti nditaure zvese zvaiitwa namai Mujuru papublic, makaona baba vakakutaurirai, ini ndakakutaurirai kuti zvinhu zvese zvaiitwa neumwe wedu hapana chatisingazive, tiri kukuudzai zvimwe zvacho zvisinganyadzise, zvinonyadzisa zvacho hatingakutaurirei,” she said.
Amai Mugabe also said VP Mujuru had not been barred from attending the Congress, but had chosen to boycott the indaba.