Msipa hammers Mugabe, Zanu PF

HARARE - In a surprising twist to the worsening succession war in Zanu PF — that has taken a violent turn in the last few weeks — respected party elder Cephas Msipa has criticised President Robert Mugabe for failing to deal with the infighting and refusing to take advice on the party’s escalating factionalism.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Msipa said he feared for Zanu PF if relations remained as fractious as they currently were in the ruling party.

“If people continue being dissatisfied with what is happening, it is possible to have a split. I think the president has the key to all these issues. I hate factionalism and if it continues I don’t know what will become of the party,” he said ruefully.

Msipa’s pointed comments yesterday follow similar sentiments that he expressed at the weekend in another interview with the State-owned Chronicle newspaper, which were predictably underplayed by State newspapers, which share copy.

In that interview, Msipa also bluntly warned Mugabe  that his failure to unmask and stop the party’s factionalists dead in their tracks would result in the party imploding and splitting into several opposing camps.

Msipa further attacked one of the two major factions battling for power inside Zanu PF for behaving as if they “own” Grace Mugabe, a development that he said was fuelling factionalism inside the party.

With Grace’s recent surprise and barnstorming entrance into mainstream politics, there is mounting speculation that Zimbabwe’s sole leader since independence in 1980 may be plotting to pass on the leadership baton to his ambitious 49-year-old wife.

Before Grace’s unanticipated plunge into politics, Zanu PF was divided along two main factions, one reportedly led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Msipa, who at one point during the liberation war lived with Mugabe, said unless his old friend put the burning Zanu PF house in order, then the ruling party was certain to split.

“The key is in the president’s hands, he holds the key and I’ve no doubt about that. No other person (can). If he can be seen to take action against those who are promoting factionalism, that will end it. The buck stops there. We’ve to be careful that factionalism does not lead other people to think about forming a break away party.

“It can happen and that’s why I’m saying this thing must be nipped in the bud and I hope one day the president will act on it,” he said.

Mugabe has consistently refused to anoint a successor and Msipa revealed that he had also failed to convince the Zanu PF leader to name a successor.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t agree with me. So as you know politics is a struggle for power. People want to take certain positions in the party and that’s the nature of politics,” he said.

Msipa’s remarks come hardly a month after war veteran Margaret Dongo had also warned that the former liberation movement was headed for a spilt.

A Zanu PF politburo member who spoke on condition of anonymity agreed with Msipa yesterday, saying: “The First Family is unpopular and her (Grace’s) political capital and knowledge are very low.

“She is very unpopular and those who are using her know that too, but she has become very ambitious,” he said adding that her permanent anger when making speeches revealed that “she knows she is going nowhere”.

Another top Zanu PF official described Grace’s backers as people who were intent on destroying the party from within.

“The allegation that some politburo members are destroying the party from within is now borne out because if indeed Grace has her way and that of her backers, namely to overtake Joice in the vice presidency, that will certainly split Zanu PF,” he said.

Well-known political scientist, Eldred Masunungure, also told the Daily News earlier that Grace, who does not hold any official position in the party at the moment, had in fact become a de facto prime minister whose utterances were now being treated like policy.

In the meantime, Grace continues to burn millions of dollars whose origin is unknown to organise her rallies.

Just yesterday, Grace and her huge entourage used an Air Zimbabwe plane to travel to Bulawayo before she flew straight to the venue in Gwanda aboard an Air Force helicopter.

It could not be established late last night whether her large entourage had paid for their airfares to the ailing national carrier that has been bleeding cash for years.

The First Lady, who until recently used to drive herself in a Mercedes Benz S600, is now being escorted by a huge security convoy.

In her recent interview with the Daily News, Dongo said a split in the ruling party was inevitable as Zanu PF had digressed from its founding values. “If there are people who are principled who know the ideals of the liberation struggle then they should head for a split because politics is not about power but about principles and issues. If you are principled why should you align yourself to people who are this greedy?” she said.

However, Dongo noted that aggrieved senior Zanu PF members did not have the guts yet to join those who had left the party in protest.

“The problem is that we do not have people who have the guts.

“I will give an example. When (the late Edgar) Tekere left he was supposed to leave with a number of people, including some from the politburo to be part of him,” she said.

“The same thing happened to Simba Makoni. He was told by gurus to leave Zanu PF and that they would follow. But the nature of politics in Zanu PF is such that mukaenda kunovhima mese, vakashaya kubata mhuka vanodzoka vakatakura iwewe,” she said dramatically.

Comments (26)

Cde Msipa is spot on the president should address this issue now before it degenerates into chaos or a possible split. Jezebel has taken sides with Ngwena's faction to an extend of attacking and humiliating the only moderate leader we have in public.Mai MUJURU is the only person who has what it takes to garner popular votes . The other aspirant has been tainted by Gukurahundi and the bloody 2008 elections. The newest aspirant Jezebel lacks brains and maturity she behaves and talks like a harlot she is.

ALUTA CONTIUA - 14 October 2014

Cde Msipa is spot on the president should address this issue now before it degenerates into chaos or a possible split. Jezebel has taken sides with Ngwena's faction to an extend of attacking and humiliating the only moderate leader we have in public.Mai MUJURU is the only person who has what it takes to garner popular votes . The other aspirant has been tainted by Gukurahundi and the bloody 2008 elections. The newest aspirant Jezebel lacks brains and maturity she behaves and talks like a harlot she is.

ALUTA CONTIUA - 14 October 2014

cde robert gabriel mugabe, where are you when your wife dr grace mugabe is burning the hut you are sleeping in.cant you see she has locked you and threw away the keys for your safety.why are you got going with her to the thank you rallies when she was with you when you were campaining last year general elections you won landslide.ears that do not listern, will be cooked together with the head.your wife is trouble, thank you dr mujuru for your political maturity, god id on your side.cde mugabe tsiurayi akadzi enyu attention to what dr cephas msipa is saying after all he is your age

soko mukanya - 14 October 2014

Sound advice from the wise man of the Midlands. Ahab (husband of Jezebel), be warned.

Kurwadziswa - 14 October 2014

We wish we had more sober minded people in Zanu Pf the party has been hijacked by political jackals

protestor - 14 October 2014

I think it is foolish to attack your fellow brothers and sisters like that but one has to display her capabilities so that people can see what you can deliver. For your own information Our VP mai Mujuru is heart of the grassroots. Dont be afraid mai we have you at heart

Munhu zvake - 14 October 2014

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It is too late. Grace has taken the keys and has installed new locks with a new set of keys in the likes of Muchinguri and Ngwena. Robert Mugabe lost the plot in the 1970s when he concentrated power in himself and created a personality cult. Ask Rugare Gumbo and his friends. they have a story to tell when they attempted a rebellion. The idea of dissent in ZANU PF is taboo. This is why people up to now are suspicious of the deaths of Chitepo , Tongogara and Mujuru. Do you think if Solomon Mujuru were alive whatever is happening in the party would occur? Would Solomon allow Grace to denigrate his wife like that? Robert Mugabe concentrated power in himself such that his departure or incapacitation would leave a serious power vacuum.He simple has no challengers. This explains why Tsvangirai gave him a scare in the past. ZANU PF is full of weaklings.Mai Mugabe has confirmed this . For now the only person who is thought to have some power is Grace.Muchinguri at one of the rallies referred to her as "Her Excellency". This is prophetic.

jaku - 14 October 2014

huuuhm,vana msipa u say that because you support joyce mujuru.who said the people are dissatisfied like you are saying.joyce was catapuled from number 70 to number 2 in the party when her hubby lied to the president and outwitted emerson its pay back time and joyce should simply go back to number 70 where she was minister of water and rural resources.for msipa to say the party6 will split because of joyce is simply not correct.and where was msipa when joyce was getting the president's backing to have dcc which were in favour of emerson dissolved? where was msipa when joyce used money to buy votes for the youth congress? where was msipa when the president refused to annul the results of the provincial chairmen/women despite glaring evidence provided that joyce had bought votes through money sourced from canada,america,britain australia through james makamba among others? why didnt msipa play the father figure to speak it because his preferred candidate is on the receiving end that he now says the party will split? he is an old man and we respect that,but here he is offside.where was msipa when joyce was working with the whites and planning to remove the president? where was msipa when joyce was ploting with the mdc formations? where was msipa when joyce and mutasa were coining slogans like " pamberi nepresidium" which the first lady is now exposing in her provincial rallies.msipa pliz be quiet.

cheya meni - 14 October 2014

izvi tazvitadza hama we e! Dai mai vanyara zvaigona kubatsira. kana vari vaye vakati zanu is too big to distroy from outside and that he would destroy it from inside then perhaps this is their plan being carried out.. it looks certain that if noone is going to stop this war of words, our party is headed towards a cliff. zanu pf has never faced a crisis like this before. one wonders if it can survive this storm.

taurai - 14 October 2014

Do not say the president must do something with out saying what is he supposed to do . Mugabe simply does not listen to anyone only his wife you can see how is he shutting up when his wife is busy insulting every one .If it was someone else behaving like Grace Mugabe would have acted . Now we know that Mugabe is afraid of Grace like all grannies who are married to very young wives do . Mugabe can not say bwee to Grace . The only thing for those in zanu is to remove Mugabe .

Diibulaanyika - 14 October 2014

Mugabe is now powerless. Dr BGrace knows too much including where zvipoko, zvidhoma, zvimishonga, huma heads are kept.

Chatunga2 - 14 October 2014

Something need be done to save the revolutionary party. Nyika ye Zimbabwe Mudzimu mberi. Revolutionaries know this.

liberty shungu - 15 October 2014

big-up Dongo

selele - 15 October 2014

Yasvika zvino nguva yekuratidza bobo nezvibwasungata zvake kuti Zimbabwe ndeyechizvarwa chese chemunyika yeZim kwete the mugabes kwete kwete kwete.

stcwejente - 15 October 2014

I am deeply surprised by people who keep on saying Mujuru is a moderate she is not, she acts moderate when she is in a tight corner but if you give her enough free play maihwee a loose canon- I went school to fix my cheating husband kkkkkkkk

Nyamhangambiri - 15 October 2014

I thought Cde Msipa was simply making a mere opinion regarding the situation currently obtaining in ZANU PF where discipline [observance of protocol] has gone to the dogs.

jojo - 15 October 2014


ZVOKWADI - 15 October 2014

Cde Msipa only commented on factionalism according to your report. How then can you allege that his comments are in agreement with those of an unnamed Politburo member who said "the first family is unpopular"? Don't tarnish mdara Msipa's image.

Tendai - 15 October 2014

Kikikikiki, ndaseka zvangu ini Morgan. Rwendo rwuno vambondipa zororo vanhu ava. Regai vatatsurane pachavo. Chinja!!

MT - 15 October 2014

Okungapheliyo kuyahlola. Lemihlolo iyaphela. Let them fight for positions. Let them tear each other apart. Not even one of them is worth looking after my cats and dogs. Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Nduna - 15 October 2014

If it is to save the people let Zanu pf die.

Matopeya - 15 October 2014

People may ignore Msipa at their peril. ZANU PF is never the same whatever may be said.

gocherai - 16 October 2014

siyayi vobayana , kusvika december panotofa mumwe chete. apa kwainzi Tsvangirayi naBiti zve MDC zvitori nani nokuti mbwende inobuda pachena sabiti

hokoyo - 17 October 2014

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