Oppah is the 'chief weevil': Dongo

HARARE - Our senior writer Fungi Kwaramba (FK) chats with firebrand war veteran Margaret Dongo (MD). Below are excerpts of the interview.

FK: What is your take of the ugly fights in Zanu PF? Is the First Lady Grace Mugabe justified in her utterances?

MD: Her last meeting was too emotional. She said a lot of things about the vice president (Joice Mujuru) that she has 10 percent shares in different companies including in the Daily News, but those remain allegations. It is clear that part of the information came from the president himself and Grace being angry, spilled the beans.

In her statements, she is right because what has destroyed this country is corruption and I don’t think there is anyone against Grace when she speaks against corruption. It is how she did it and the platform she used.

FK: Why is the VP being attacked now? What has changed?

MD: We have always spoken about the legacy. The VP is suffering for the legacy of her husband. Mujuru was everything, he was a womaniser, he was corrupt, he was everything. If you go back to the history of the former combatants, he was responsible for the demobilisation funds and abused them. He bought the whole of Bindura and the president knew about this and didn’t do anything. He was involved in diamonds and now Grace has picked it up and is spilling the beans.

FK: Why is it difficult for the first lady to sympathise with Mujuru?

MD:  It is not Grace’s fault, it’s Bob’s fault because he knew all along about Mujuru’s deals but was afraid to stop him right from the 1980s when he abused the demob(demobilisation) funds, now he is using the wife as the spokesperson.

FK: What was the relationship between Mugabe and Mujuru after the war?

MD: Mugabe was abused by Mujuru because he was scared of him. There is so much that Mugabe knew about Mujuru that is why the CIO is there. I remember when I was still in the CIO, I picked some information about Mujuru but nothing was done. Mugabe knew everything including information about diamonds but there was nothing that was done on the army general.

FK: Why are you so sure that Mujuru was corrupt?

MD: Honestly, how can you have a general like Mujuru hiring a Boeing plane to go on holiday in Victoria Falls? There are a lot of freedom fighters who are suffering right now and Mujuru didn’t care, he was not socially-oriented, he was concerned about pleasing his clan.

FK: So why target VP Mujuru?

MD: Those are the mistakes of Mujuru not the wife. Why are the issues coming now? Why didn’t Mugabe speak long back about these issues? The other camp is using Grace to fight their war and since she is new, she is filled with emotions and therefore goes on to attack people.

FK: Who has suffered worst from the Zanu PF public fights?

MD: It is the both the vice president and the first lady. People who didn’t know the first lady now know what kind of woman she is and are sympathetic to the vice president. Some, instead of calling her the first lady, are calling her all sorts of names because of her statements.

FK: Should the VP resign as demanded by the first lady?

MD: She is not yet declared the chairperson of the league and thus has no power to say the VP should resign. Grace is full of anger, she felt betrayed by Mai Mujuru because the person who ran forth with this was Oppah without communicating with the VP and she appeared as if she was against Grace’s rise.

FK: What was the relationship between first lady and the VP before this fallout?

MD: They were very close. I remember during the funeral (of Solomon Mujuru), Grace spent a lot of time with the VP consoling her, so in this case the chief chipfukuto ndiOppah. Oppah and her faction have created this hatred between the first lady and the vice president. The vice president, in terms of the women forum, has the highest position and ana Oppah follow below. Mugabe allowed Oppah to bypass the vice president for selfish purposes.

FK: Going back to the struggle, who was more senior between the two Muchinguri or Mujuru?

MD: It was Mujuru.

FK: Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa claims he is the most trusted and loyal Zanu PF cadre to Mugabe. Do you think he should succeed Mugabe?

MD: That can be proved by the electorate and not him. That’s why we are saying the president should allow for elections. If he appoints, whoever is going to be appointed will be powerless, anoitwa nhapwa because you are subject to appointment, but if you are elected by the people, you can proudly say I am a people’s product and speak your mind.

FK: Do you regret ever saying Zanu PF top guns are all Mugabe’s wives?

MD: If they do not stand up against Mugabe then I have no regrets to say they remain Mugabe’s wives.

FK: What is your understanding of the factions, zvipfukuto (weevils)  and gamatox?

MD: Zvipfukuto are those people who are corrupt who eat and destroy. Chikapinda muchibage chako chinosara chava hupfu and if you take gamatox, it kills zvipfukuto asi pane zvimwe zvinosara. The scenario is that there are some who are corrupt but there was a counter approach by the zvipfukuto accusing the gamatox of being corrupt.

FK: The first lady has said as a Zimbabwean, she has a right to aspire for any leadership position, do you see her going for a higher post?

MD: Yes, she has every right but it is a question of whether people are fools just to be ridden on their backs. If you look at the case yaMai Mugabe ndeye kupinda nepadumbu, short cut. I am coming to like her because she has dared men in Zanu PF to stand up.

FK: Is the infighting in Zanu PF a threat to national security?

MD: It is their creation, this factionalism has divided the war vets, it is going to divide the security sector and it is going to be a threat to national security. To prevent this, the president must call for elections during congress and not appoint leaders. He should not follow his way of appointing leaders because if he appoints panoita chimoto. If he appoints, it means he will be endorsing zvipfukuto. He has to come clean. If he appoints and Oppah is seen in the politburo, what would people from gamatox say?

FK: And how do you rate the first lady, was she able to contain factionalism as she claimed?

MD: The first lady is behaving like a misguided missile, why does she call for (General Constantine) Chiwenga to come and shoot her. And why was the first lady given planes to go and say thank you to women in the provinces who did not even nominate her. She was chosen by Oppah and should have said thank you to Oppah. Who did she want to thank, because it is not the povo in Murambinda that appointed her.

FK: So why did she have these rallies?

MD: Unless if there was a strategy by a certain faction to reach out to the people, then it was hijacked. I was around when the vice president was campaigning non-stop last year and she was travelling by road.  People also need to question where the money was coming from, was it sanctioned by the party. Who sanctioned the campaign? Was it the party and if not, then who funded it? It is all shrouded in corruption. The majority of people who claim to finance this are businessmen who are failing to pay their workers.

FK: Do you see Zanu PF emerging united after the congress in December?

MD: If they do not hold elections, then it will be a disaster. These gamatox and zvipfukuto are going to continue until the next elections and that will be an advantage to the opposition.

Comments (23)

the problem is, there is no opposition. tsvangison is too weak to challenge a weakened zanu. to fractured to make any meaningful inroads. maybe the renewal team - maybe.

zvirozviyedzwa - 2 November 2014

Nhai Dongo brain dzese idzi ndoo zvaunodzishandisa chete chete,? You speak as if you are within zanu pf. Ko chipfukuto chakambonakira ani? Gamartox ko ndooriinotibetsera kuuraya zvipfukuto. Ko iye apa zvipfukuto simba ndiyani?

chipazhamongo - 2 November 2014

nuthing new said by dongo who is seeking relevance.she is a failed opposition person.at least maybe she was not a puppet of america and britain like tsvangirai

cheyameni - 2 November 2014

nuthing new said by dongo who is seeking relevance.she is a failed opposition person.at least maybe she was not a puppet of america and britain like tsvangirai

cheyameni - 2 November 2014

@ cheyameni, you sound brain dead with your "puppet of america and britain" propaganda." Its so old and tired. No one buys it because America and Britain are loved even by Zanu Pf. They actually fight to get a chance to visit New York and London. We even use the american dollar as our currency. As for Dongo, she is very relevant because she is one of the very few comrades who has shown bravery against Mugabe's violent machine.

connie - 2 November 2014

Kwaramba&Dongo are victims of Zpf strategy i.e.creation of unnecessary confusion,inciting so called youths and women (all unemployed) to go at each others throat in order to divert serious debate on the countrys ECONOMY. ZANU PF =CORRUPTION Period.

Tico - 2 November 2014

Mai Dongo is very spot on. Direct and asina nzeve hatingamutsanagurire. She is the best ever to grace Zimbabwe politics. Its just unfortunate that none supported her thoughts. I strongly believe IF she was to JOIN HANDS WITH Simba Makoni and Tsvangirai and setup a strong opposition, we will be delivered. They need to work for the elimination of These failed leaders on election time

dr matibili - 2 November 2014

connie,we use us dollars yes but its fact that tsvangiorai is a puppet.and i said at least dongo was a stand alone opposition member.and for being relevant,what relevance is she serving here,telling us what we know and also involving herself in the factional fights.obviously joyce is loved by daily news and they will go to any length to potray her in good light hence the need to dig interviews with the likes of dongo so as to potray joyce as a victim here.but i dont think joyce is clean anyway.she is not the only one who is dirty though as many are.but her sin was to plan with the enemy and it was recorded and put staright to the old man.she thought all in the meeting were her factions members.sorry,she has no think tanks

cheyameni - 2 November 2014

Dongo's comments on the supposed 'thank you rallies' are spot on. Why was Grace thanking people for something they did not do? And why was military transport used by her for political purposes?

david taylor - 2 November 2014

cheyameni, please dont be selective in your narrative. If as you claim that the daily news supports mai mujuru, have you been reading the herald. The paper is literally edited by Jonathan moyo and charamba. We are talking about a paper funded by tax payers . The herald is a factional leader on its own fronting for mnangwangwa. Who is the enemy? Why do you use the enemy's currency. Who are the kings and queens of corruption. The mnangwangwa function which is shielded and supported by the Herald. Joice is not Solomon. Remember not everybody knows what you claim to know, so let dongo inform. Some know about Grace's corruption and some dont. And who has not plotted against Mugabe. Remember Tsholotsho and Moyo's articles calling Mugabe a national security risk . please man, dont be so blinded.

connie - 2 November 2014

MUGABE'S ENEMIES ARE NOT ZIMBABWE'S ENEMIES. THAT IS WHY THE ZIMBABWEAN DIASPORA INCLUDING ZANU SUPPORTERS PREFER THE WEST. ZIMBABWE IS NOT ZVIMBA VILLAGE.

connie - 2 November 2014

vehukama, dongo made her own choice for which we should respect her. some people just go by what their party leaders say. there is nothing wrong when people see things differently from what others see. biti is not wrong to leave mdc t neither is he wrong to challenge morgan for leadership. there is no point in following endlessly someone who is an aclaimed failure and celebtrate them as if they were successful.

zvirozviyedzwa - 2 November 2014

This here is exactly what is wrong with Zanu and Zim in general. A seemingly mature Dongo revealing everything and yet saying nothing. By her own admission Mugabe was armtswited into "appointing" Joyce but she seems to be insinuating Joyce needs to be alowed to maintain that upper hand? What happened to DCCs just last year and why is everyone dodging the issue of bribery? Why would a POPULAR VP resort to bribing provincial, youths and women's elections? Would the outcome of the ensuing elections at congress have been fair? Here you have Dongo only crying now?

cash talk - 2 November 2014

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Flixcom Solutions - 3 November 2014

Hate him but Tsvangirai has never been&is never a puppet for the Americans or British.It's sheer ZPF propaganda&hate speech against anyone with a different political view.

rubbish - 3 November 2014

Stupid people makawudzwa chokwadi munotanga kutuka hamunyare.

pat - 3 November 2014

I trust Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo than Mutasa and Goche. As for Mujuru, she is an appointee of the corrupt General, her husband. Go Mnangagwa go!

Nduna - 3 November 2014

gamatox ndizvo

gamatox - 3 November 2014

i think these oveterance are too old and we need new war verterance so lts go back to the bush gamatox vs zvipfukuto

gamatox - 3 November 2014

pamberi namai dongo.

selele - 3 November 2014

For those too young to remember Dongo was a firebrand MP during her time, she used to challenge her fellow ZANU MPs and even Mugabe herself that's why she ended up loosing her key Government post. Remember how she fearlessly fought rigging in sunningdale in favour of one Vivian Mwashita & won. So please hate her or love her but this women has a history in this country that no one should distort

Mujombo - 3 November 2014

@ Mujombo.......kkkkkkkk hanzi Mugabe herself! Lol

Nduna - 3 November 2014

Very spot on Dongo, amai is completely a lost politician and will destroy zanu. Think of it Mugabe takes out Mujuru to replace her with his wife. Aaah kana SADC inotiisira ma sanction.

Bindu Mupindu - 4 November 2014

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