'Worse to come for brawling Zanu PF'

HARARE - Prominent academic and former adviser to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa, says “The Night of the Long Knives” — which is how Zanu PF’s stormy politburo meeting in Harare last Thursday is now being referred to — was a harbinger of worse brutal infighting still to be witnessed in the divided party.

In an opinion piece, Magaisa, who is a law lecturer at Kent University in the UK, said the party’s increasingly violent factional and succession wars were engineered to benefit President Robert Mugabe who feared that his close lieutenants wanted to get rid of him.

“After all he is nearly 91 and the country he leads is in dire straits. He has used divide and rule tactics over the years, letting the factions fight each other, hate each other and plot against each other — itself a good insurance policy for himself as his rivals focus on each other.

“But by far the biggest scalp is (former party spokesman) Rugare Gumbo and some might say ...(Thursday’s politburo meeting) was the Night of Long Knives. We think, however, that this was merely a harbinger of worse that awaits. The real Night of the Long Knives is not yet come. But it will,” he writes.

Magaisa detailed Gumbo’s significant contribution to Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, noting that his latest suspension was not the first time that he had fallen foul of the party leadership. In 1978 Gumbo, along with some of his comrades, was incarcerated by Zanu PF and spent the rest of the war days in dungeons after facing accusations of rebelling against Mugabe.

“This is the infamous incident that is known as the Vashandi Rebellion. Among his comrades who shared his fate were Dzinashe Machingura, Henry Hamadziripi, Happison Muchechetere, Augustine Chihuri, and Sobuza Gula-Ndebele.

“Nevertheless, it is plain that Gumbo is not the target (in the latest purge). The big target remains (Vice President) Joice Mujuru, the Vice President who aspired to be president and was almost within reach.

“The sacking of such a figure as Rugare Gumbo, said to be the last surviving member of Zanu’s Dare reChimurenga (War Council), which drove the liberation war, is meant to be an indicator of where real power lies and that no figure apart from Mugabe himself is immune from the sack.

“But in the context of politics of succession, it is also part of the decimation of the political pillars for Mujuru. Gumbo has been one of her more prominent and vocal backers.

“He has defended her when she has been attacked by Grace Mugabe and others,” Magaisa added.

He said last week’s purges were “pre-emptive strikes by Mugabe designed to ensure that Mujuru is not a candidate come the December congress in less than three weeks’ time”.

Comments (13)

Vanu weZANU PF muri wakadzi mese hamugoni kujamuka ko munonyeperei kuti makarwa hondo muri makwara evanhu zvino asara ndiwe Didmus mutasa,khaya moyo nemi wacho amai mujuru saka munotinyeperei kuti makaenda kuhondo kunobata pfuti neumbwende hwakadai . Just announce kuti all suspensions are invalid until congress kkkkk haamunonyepa kuti makabata pfuti ZANU PF Haisi chechi ipolitics oooooh haisi chechiba zvinoda kushinga

dofo - 16 November 2014

Gumbo rebellion was not the Vashandi rebellion it was Hamadziripi rebellion

Wezhira - 16 November 2014

there is nothing going to happen, i mean nothing worse is going to come. one need to know who are the second in command in the defence forces, and who the minister of justice is. appoints were made strategically vachifunga 5 years in advance. kungoita uprising the mass are going to suffer more that in 2008.

tsokoban - 16 November 2014

These academics of ours can never get simple facts right. Prof. Magaisa, Gumbo was a participant in the Hamadziripi Rebellion of 1978 which was executed by Chigowe & Joseph Taderera. Gumbo & Tongogara eliminated the Vashandi in 1977. Do not distort our history please giving it an unwarranted MDC-T flavour.

mageja siziba - 16 November 2014

gumbo has got the guts to stand for what he believes. he is a mature politician. he is a rare politician in our country. we need more of people who are principled like him. people who stand for what they believe no matter what. if anything, he has earned my respect and my sympathy. not only gumbo, but the likes of temba, kaukonde, and sibanda. zimbabwe will be more prosperous if we have people who do not just tell our leader what he wants to hear for the sake of it. its ok for people to sometimes say no kwete yes knosi all the time. well done gumbo. you are leadership material.

zvirozviyedzwa - 16 November 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 17 November 2014

I wouldn't shed a tear for the likes of Rugare Gumbo and Jabulani Sibanda. People in rural Mberengwa and Masvingo can tell tales of how these two terrorised them towards elections and after the 2008 elections which had been resoundingly won by Tsvangirai. People will tell you horrific tales of the nights they had to spend in the hills and mountains fleeing from hired thugs and mobsters working under these two. Enjoy your stay in the political wilderness, it's very cold out there.

Dr Know - 17 November 2014

Alex Magaisa you are a renowned academic, yet you mislead readers. The Vashandi rebellion was led by the late Dzinashe Machingura and other conspirators in this group included Mukudzei Mudzi, James Nyikadzinashe, Dingane, Pfepferere, Chipoera, Harry Tangeneropa now Happson Muchechetere and this took place in 1977. The Gumbo- Hamadziripi rebellion happened in 1978 and key figures in that putsch attempt were Gumbo, Henry Hamadziripi, Muparuri or Joseph Taderera, Crispen Mandizvidza, Webster Gwauya, Steven Chocha now Augustine Chihuri. These were separate rebellions but prior to that there was the Nhari mutiny in 1974 which was ruthlessly crushed by Tongogara. Another insurrection was to follow in 1975 and this time at Salisbury prison when the trio of Tekere, the chief instigator, Nyagumbo and the "reluctant" Mugabe staged a coup detat against the elected Zanu leader Ndabaningi Sithole. these are some of the most prominent recorded rebellions that shook Zanu in its 52 year history. Magaisa should research first before putting pen to paper.

cde churucheminzwa - 17 November 2014

Alex Magaisa you are a renowned academic, yet you mislead readers. The Vashandi rebellion was led by the late Dzinashe Machingura and other conspirators in this group included Mukudzei Mudzi, James Nyikadzinashe, Dingane, Pfepferere, Chipoera, Harry Tangeneropa now Happson Muchechetere and this took place in 1977. The Gumbo- Hamadziripi rebellion happened in 1978 and key figures in that putsch attempt were Gumbo, Henry Hamadziripi, Muparuri or Joseph Taderera, Crispen Mandizvidza, Webster Gwauya, Steven Chocha now Augustine Chihuri. These were separate rebellions but prior to that there was the Nhari mutiny in 1974 which was ruthlessly crushed by Tongogara. Another insurrection was to follow in 1975 and this time at Salisbury prison when the trio of Tekere, the chief instigator, Nyagumbo and the "reluctant" Mugabe staged a coup detat against the elected Zanu leader Ndabaningi Sithole. these are some of the most prominent recorded rebellions that shook Zanu in its 52 year history. Magaisa should research first before putting pen to paper.

cde churucheminzwa - 17 November 2014

Regai zvidamburane zvivanhu zvezanu, zvauraya nyika saka chasara kuti vaurayana pamwe nyika ingasimuke after zanu dies with the supreme leader Robert Mugabe

Nyaradzo - 17 November 2014

Cde Churucheminzwa can we please have some more of this fascinating history of ZANU PF. People need to know Who is Who in the struggle for freedom and the truth about what actually transpiredtranspired and not these doctored "facts" about Mugabe's heroism!

Johno - 17 November 2014

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