Is Mujuru facing imminent arrest?

HARARE - Speculation was rife yesterday that beleaguered Vice President Joice Mujuru could face imminent arrest over sensational claims by State media that her supporters were plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

This swirling suspicion comes as the Zanu PF number two herself made a spirited defence of her political and business life — in which she took the war to the veteran leader’s wife as well as the State media that has been rubbishing her name to no end.

However, police could not shed light on the speculation that she could be arrested, as the party’s unpredictable and succession-linked factional wars are getting increasingly messier, and violent by the day.

Quizzed by the Daily News on whether police would investigate the treason charges being levelled against Mujuru and her allies, national spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was “on a sabbatical” and referred the newspaper to her colleague Paul Nyathi, who was not reachable on his mobile phone despite repeated attempts to talk to him.

Underlining the hot potato nature of Zanu PF’s ugly infighting, prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana retorted with a terse “By who?”, before ending the call abruptly, when the Daily News telephoned him to ask whether his office had been asked to probe the alleged Mugabe assassination claims.

But a well-placed party source said last night that the assassination and treason allegations being levelled against perceived followers of Mujuru were only meant to ensure that the 59-year-old widow of the late liberation war hero, Solomon Mujuru, did not have “a snowball’s chance in Hell” at Zanu PF’s December elective congress.

“I’m sure even you know that all those allegations are contrived. They are meant to ensure that Mai Mujuru does not have a snowball’s chance in Hell, otherwise law enforcement agents would have picked up the whole group a long time ago” the politburo member said.

This view was supported by prominent national political players and analysts, with one of them describing the stunning allegations as “nothing more than mere sabre-rattling, and crass skulduggery”.

The State-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper fingered two of the VP’s closest allies yesterday – former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and current secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa – accusing them of having recently “spoken of assassinating” Mugabe.

The paper also said its “investigations” had also revealed that another senior Mujuru ally, an unnamed Cabinet minister who hails from Mashonaland Central where the VP comes from, had “made contingencies for such a scenario (Mugabe’s planned assassination) during recent meetings with potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel”.

But Gumbo flatly rejected the accusations.

“Vanondipa mbiri yandisina (they are giving me fame that I don’t deserve). I will not do anything to harm anyone. Now I am suspended what more can I do. All I can say is I dismiss the allegations with the contempt they deserve.

“My stance has always been the same, that the party has been infiltrated. I remain resolute and convinced that there are people destroying the party from inside. Now I will be watching from the terraces and see what will happen,” he said.

His alleged partner-in-crime, Mutasa, politely declined to comment on the matter.

But former Cabinet minister Dumiso Dabengwa – who also faced treason charges and was incarcerated by Mugabe’s government in the early years of Zimbabwe’s independence – said the accusations against Mujuru and her allies appeared designed to “cripple her (Mujuru’s) chances” of retaining the VP post at Zanu PF’s December congress.

“I hope this is not being done to de-campaign her so as to disqualify her from retaining her position. If there was any truth in the accusations we would expect that she would have been charged already,” the Zapu leader said.

Dabengwa said when Mugabe wanted to have the Zapu leadership arrested in the early 1980s, an arms cache had allegedly been planted to nail them.

“When we were charged with treason, an arms cache was found at our farm, the whole idea being to destroy Zapu,” the former Home Affairs minister said.

Dabengwa, a revered former freedom fighter and liberation war icon, said knowing the character of Mujuru as he did, it was “impossible to imagine” that she would ever contemplate a coup against Mugabe.

“Knowing her and her character… I doubt she would ever contemplate or associate with anyone plotting a coup. This mudslinging doesn’t do us any good. As political leaders we should respect our party constitutions. How will you uphold the country’s constitution when you do not respect your own,” he said.

Asked whether Mujuru’s arrest was possibly imminent, Dabengwa said “if there is any genuine charges against the vice president the investigators should have by now compiled the docket on her, and have the constitutional right to arrest her on those charges, but I doubt they have any evidence”.

But Dewa Mavhinga, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson, said the very serious allegations “around Mujuru and business people perceived to be financing her amount to warning shots before drastic action is possibly taken”.

“Whether or not it is true, or whether or not Mai Mujuru can possibly have that capacity is neither here nor there, the bottom line is that the bigger picture is a political game which goes beyond Zanu PF circles,” the senior researcher with Human Rights Watch said.

“Mujuru’s problems are mounting and things could get worse before they get better. Her perceived allies in the provinces have been purged and this latest round of troubles is an escalation of pressure for her to resign before congress,” Mavhinga added.

Giles Mutsekwa, an ex-soldier and former co-Home Affairs Minister in the unity government, said no one in Zimbabwe could ever contemplate assassinating the ever heavily-guarded Mugabe.

“It is not feasible that the vice president would ever contemplate that, and going by the kind of security that we have around the president it is absolutely not possible.

“They are just trying to soil the vice ahead of congress,” he said.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a director of local political think-tank Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), said people behind the smear campaign were “evil”.

“Those allegations are legally, coherently and politically very shallow. Zanu PF should do the honourable thing and fire Mujuru if it no longer wants her. To criminalise the VP in that manner is archaic and existed in medieval politics.

“If Mugabe wants to maintain the little left of his legacy, he is (better) advised not to criminalise that liberation war widow. That woman contributed much along with her family, for this nation to be where it is today,” he said.

Asked if the guerrilla war heroine was capable of plotting a coup, the ZDI founder said: “The VP could not be that naïve to be involved in a coup. That story is treacherous and those who are advancing it are the most evil people in this country. There is nothing wrong in constitutionally removing the VP, but not in the manner they are doing.

“If her husband Solomon, who was an army commander did not attempt a coup, what about her? She has only been an acting Defence minister and never a State Security minister, so how then can she plan a coup,” Ruhanya asked.

“Her history does not show what these people are saying and, with due respect, the president should just behave like a statesman and stop this,” he added.

Ruhanya described with the current developments, including the possible arrest of a sitting VP, as “sheer political madness”.

“Anything can happen when lawless takes precedence, but it will be unfortunate…. When the history of this country is written, Mugabe will be portrayed as the villain if this woman is arrested,” he said.

Quizzed about the possibility of people like Nigel Chanakira and Ray Kaukonde helping to mobilise resources for the ouster of Mugabe from power, economic commentator Chris Mugaga said he doubted “the authenticity of the story”.

“Isn’t it more or less the same accusations that Mujuru has faced that she owns 10 percent of the Daily News? It’s hogwash. It’s unsubstantiated. Is there any evidence to what is being said?” he asked.

“Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole, Justice Dumbuchena, Patrick Kombayi, Morgan Tsvangirai and now Joice Mujuru have all, among many others, been accused of treason each time Mugabe’s power has come under threat,” Mugaga observed further.

Comments (28)

we jus watching

mr chix - 17 November 2014

I think this article is well written an balanced. I like the number and caliber of your interviewees. This is far much credible than to just say unnamed, analysts, etc. However the angle which needs your analysts to spend some more time thinking about is how Zimbabweans can stop this nonsense. Mudhara Nkomo was accused of treason, Dabengwa, Sithole, Tsvangirai, etc. Just for aspiring or having support of the people. How long are we going to allow criminalisation of basic human ambition?

Prof Mlambo - 17 November 2014

Ini ndadzidza kuti sabre-rattling and crass skulduggery

on the other side - 17 November 2014

<><><><><> The ongoing feuding within Zanu pf is quite entertaining, but seriously tragic. The head honcho / chief dictator is now paying the price for clinging onto power for too long, and for not allowing free debate on succession matters. The reality is that the despots time is nearly up. All of the Zanu pf aspirant contenders are unfit for any form of civilized leadership. They all have multiple blemished track records. They have applied the parties evil self-serving doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative such as plundering, delusion, human and property rights violation, and self-aggrandizement. Therefore the demise of Zimbabwe will accelerate and continue unabated. The belated introduction of “The Assumptive High Priestess” reflects the desperation that the lonely leader feels about his succession. It is also a belated endeavor to set up a dynasty. The implosion of Zimbabwe remains inevitable. And to think that the last shameless EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe (Aldo Dell'Ariccia ) averred that the was no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe !

Arthur Tutisani - 17 November 2014

When a hyena wants to eat its cubs it first of all accuses them of looking like goats. Though crass and ridiculous this might appear that a kid goat can be likened to a cub hyena we should understand that in the underworld of Zanu PF politics anything can go. What is at stake here is power retention and protection of wealth primitively accumulated over the years of looting. There is now a realization that the end is nigh by those at the helm hence the panicking and stupid allegations of assassination plots. Anyone who harbors the notion that the dear leader is mortal and and talks of succession is deemed a traitor and the act itself treasonous, what a shame. Even those who yesteryear wanted to appear to be more Zanu PF than Zanu PF itself are being pilloried. Who would imagine that Chihuri of the "creeping maggots" infamy (in reference to harare's poorest of the poor during Murambatsvina 2003) would also be on the firing line. Now the national police that he commands is being accused of supporting the VP. Zanu PF mandarins have gone to the archives to unearth his past in a bid to soil his image, Now Zimbabweans thanks to the sunday mail know that he was one of the chikarabotso (dungeons or pit prisons) inmate in Mozambique during the struggle after together with Gumbo and Hamadziripi they had criticized the growing dictatorship and personality cult in the party. Even Stalin's (one of the most wicked leaders this world has ever produced) cruel and evil purges would pale into insignificance compared to the evil machinations which have been unleashed on the heroine of our struggle by his detractors. But there is a season for everything, good will always triumph over evil.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 17 November 2014

I do not see why newspapers should cry foul now over the blatant lies and mayhem happening now in ZanuPF. For the last 34 years state-controlled and the private media have been glorifying lies about so-called liberation when some of us who were there as well-informed, working adults think it was a load of drivel. What is happening now is the result of unbridled lies by ZanuPF over 34 years that they defeated Ian Smith. If the state controlled Herald and Sunday Mail lie why should you be surprised when you have accepted their lies for the last 34 years? Gullible people have been told Joice Mujuru downed a Rhodesian helicopter when it was all a lie but was accepted as the gospel truth. Joice kept quiet instead of saying it was not true - we are told she is a devout Christian - Christians are not supposed to lie. Old politicians should not lie to the young generation that they “liberated” the country, but that it was the ordinary people's votes which got ZanuPF into power in 1980 after Muzorewa's reign. It is also untrue that life was unbearable under white rule - absolute nonsense. I was present as a working adult in Salisbury and I have no hesitation in saying we were a billion times better off under white rule and we expected any future black government to better or equal the white governments' performance. The other lie is that the fighting by Zanu and Zapu forced Ian Smith to the negotiating table. Nothing of the sort happened. Instead it was Nkomo and Mugabe who were forced by the Front Line Presidents to attend or risk losing the host countries' support. Zimbabwe is built on a hill of lies.

Musona - 17 November 2014

NOW IT EXPLAINS WHY THE CRIMINAL DEFAMATION LAW WAS SCRAPPED!!!! IT WAS TO PAVE WAY FOR THE STATE MEDIA'S FREE REIGN IN ATTACKING AND MUDSLINGING INNOCENT INDIVIDUALS WITH IMPUNITY. FORTUNATELY MANY ZIMBABWEANS CAN SEE THROUGH THIS SHENANIGAN AND THE PEPETRATORS OF THESE LIES ARE THE ONES BEING SCORNED. THEY ARE A PATHETIC DIPLORABLE LOT HEADED BY THE INCORREGIBLE JONATHAN MOYO. EVEN A GRADE 7 CHILD CAN SEE THROUGH THIS INSANITY!!!!

SHIBOBO - 17 November 2014

It's good for Mujuru and the rest of the crew. As long as there are people left supporting Zanu, what happens to them is good. They have failed to protect Tsvangirayi when he faced the same charges and stood by their president. Let it go to court. Arrest Mujuru now! It's good for the country.

Nduna - 17 November 2014

I don't understand anyone who has sympathy for Mujurus. Or anyone senior leader in that party. Mugabe can arrest everyone in that party I don't care. They don't care about the country!

Nduna - 17 November 2014

Mai Mujuru is second in command in a Mafia/Cartel organisation using the clan name Zanu pf. Such organisation have members who are self centred, ruthless,cunning and brutal. They desclipline their members as they see fit without any remorse. Mugabe keeps documentary, audio, and video evidence of all dark activities of his Clan(Zanu) members. Noone is clean in such organisation and the more dirty your hands are you rise in ranks. If they are bloody its added advantage. The problem comes once your name is mentioned as problematic to the existance of the clan. They will take your file and use it against you. In a blink of an eye you are gone. In mafia organisation thoughts or wishes to be the Boss is treason. You will be lucky not to be killed. The bottom line is mugabe will die being Zanu pf Boss. Chaos within the organiastion will ensue and then the real" knight of long knives follows" Someone must kill other members to become the boss then dust settles.It is very much normal for any democratic and progressing human being outside zanu to feel sympathetic to a mafia member who is being dealt in a Mafia style. Grace akati," pane vanhu vari kuda kumuZvuva mutara" Akati Ndiri monya for hire, "Kaukonde ndakakumaka" Baba munoiziva here inonzi "baby dumping" Munhu uyu toda kumuita...... Mai Mujuru will be lucky to attend the congress and definately relagated or post will be declared vaccant vari mu Remand Prison. Vanozipwa bail chigaro chaenda.

X-MAN IV - 17 November 2014

I also personally think that Mrs Mujuru is not capable of doing this because I think she is weak and naive. I have always failed to accept their/her story of downing a chopper during liberation war. Why because they(Mr Mugabe,Mrs Mujuru and all of them) are simply liars. However I still do not feel any sympathy for her. She is tasting her own medicine. Together with Mr Mugabe they have been dishing out this medicine to others and she used to enjoy it.Turning to Mr Giles' assertion that no one can or is capable of assassinating Mr Mugabe, I believe that is an opinion. Only God cannot be assassinated. All humans, that are flesh and blood, die and are 'assassinatable' (Mr Mugabe included even with security from mars).Isikhathi siyabe singakafiki/nguva inenge isati yakwana. As for Mrs Mujuru I think they are being lenient with her. Why, because they did far worse things to others accused of far less 'offences' than hers.Zanupf is a satanic cult where even life is of no value and is not sacred.In there they devour their own without hesitation. If they haven't yet called you a snake,devil incarnate, cobra in the house, then it's still okay. If Mr Mugabe hasn't hailed insults, curses and swearings at you while addressing a crowd of drunken hired youths at a funeral at heroes acre then know it's still fine.Mrs Mujuru should brace for the worst for the worst is yet to come. The problem is they are all a bunch of dummies and zombies they never learn. Mr Mugabe uses you like tissue(not condom). After use one cannot touch tissue with faeces, but with a condom at least one can still touch it after use. Once again Mrs Mujuru what went around has finally come around for you. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander not the other or any other way.Remember those days with Mr Tsvangirai and one Ben Menashe(or something like that).

mosquito - 17 November 2014

We all know this zanupf crap. It's just crap. The same crap has been used time and time again. It's now nauseating and disgustingly tasteless.The problem is these people, Mujuru,Jabulani, Chinotimba, Wadyajena, Kunaka, Obert, Jonathan, and many others ,when they are still in it they behave as if vakadyiswa dhodhi/badliswa uthuvi (they were bewitched). Some even go a step further by behaving as if they are in a trance or are possessed by ancestral spirits while addressing their fellows.They go to the extreme to please their boss who all now see is a deranged psycho. But then their boss is boa constrictor. By staying with a snake for 34 years and finding comfort with it, then you are also a snake. How else would one justify it. Unfortunately the bigger snake usually consumes its neighbours, siblings, parents and when it's through its children and eggs.

mosquito - 17 November 2014

Pamberi....Hon. Comrade Grace Mugabe is the real war vet. Pasi ne Mujuru....

Jongwe - 17 November 2014

say whatever you want!!!! . . . . . mujuru is just as treacherous as tsvangirai . its a public secret who is sponsoring mujuru .. . . . .the very same people who tried 22 times in the last 30 years to eliminate our internationally revered comrade Mugabe. mujuru is dangerously naïve and will soon be if not already in the same rubbish bin as tsvangirai!

mowongorori - 18 November 2014

Is it not a shame that politicians cannot stand on their merits when campaigning for election. They are very prompt in mudsling, character assainations and the like, on their oponents. They themselves hjave not got anything positive to offer the electorate so they run down the opposition. Most of them behave like immature school children. Why dont they stand on their merits - that is if they have any.

vortex - 18 November 2014

Is it not a shame that politicians cannot stand on their merits when campaigning for election. They are very prompt in mudsling, character assainations and the like, on their oponents. They themselves hjave not got anything positive to offer the electorate so they run down the opposition. Most of them behave like immature school children. Why dont they stand on their merits - that is if they have any.

vortex - 18 November 2014

Opposition parties please stay away from this circus. Let these gandangas sort it out among themselves. They know each other quite a bit. They have been playing these games from inception of ZANU Pfutseke Party...blaming Smith for the assassination of the Chitepos etc. Let us educate the young, encourage them to register on the voters' register. Mugabe is a fool but he knows that Jonathan Moyo is writting the articles in the state media attacking a sitting VP against party and government protocol. This is unprecedented so no one except Mugabe knows the desired outcome of these games. Sorry Joyce for now you have to deal with this on your own.

Garikayi - 18 November 2014

umwe anobuda nenyaya dzasmith ipapa. i was enjoying commends made by a lot of people on the current goings untill i read the smith opera by the same singer. the issue is about mrs mujuru and the dear president. do not divert people from their debate mr ian douglass smith with your colonial diploma.

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computer supplies - 18 November 2014

Internationally revered by who? revered my foot! Where is our $Zim? Where are our companies? Mugabe must just die, he is a scumbag

Nduna - 18 November 2014

Keep up good work ZRP these zvipfukuto are looking forward to mess around with everyone to create a total hulabaloo and justify all they need via evil machinations.Give them a wide berth for they arent gpoing anyway,those are the last kicks of a dying horse.

carson Macate - 18 November 2014

One can not be arrested because of stories published by these two papers. Where are the so called CIO what are they exactly doing. Can a Nation rely on what papers write then summon the Police to take action. This type of action is igniting a Fire that no one in ZANU PF will be in a position to quench . Carry out proper investigations then make your arrests. If not just wait and see how the true general public will react.

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Hardings Accomodation - 18 November 2014

What has given weevils strength to withstand gamatox all of a sudden? I suspect there is a strong relationship beyond political interests between Jonathan Moyo & Grace Mugabe given their loose moral.

Ndabazezwe Viki - 18 November 2014

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