Mugabe in politburo jibes

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday demonstrated clearly why he has remained at the helm of his now brawling party, Zanu PF, for as long as he has done, as he worked his charm on politburo members who were meeting in Harare.

The famed puppet master not only showed how unchallenged he remains in the party when it comes to the crunch, he also easily eased tensions ahead of the crucial gathering, joking about the party’s increasingly violent factional wars that are threatening to tear Zanu PF apart ahead of its key elective congress next month.

Greeting beleaguered Public Service minister Nicholas Goche — who has been fingered by State media as being at the heart of plots to assassinate the nonagenarian — before the meeting at the Zanu PF headquarters, Mugabe said, “Uri kunangwa uroyi (you are being fingered in witchcraft)”.

He went on to recite a famous old song, “Ndiwe muroyi ndiwe, ndiwe wapedza hama (literally meaning, you are the wizard who has killed all the people)”.

The State-controlled newspaper, The Herald, carried another story on Goche yesterday alleging that he had uttered treasonous words when he recently held meetings with officials from the Zimbabwe Sugar Cane Milling Union in Chiredzi.

“Yamunayo kuno haisi hondo, real war is coming ahead of the congress.Pfuti dzicharira (What you have here is not war as the real war is coming, shots will be fired),” Goche is alleged to have said.

So vicious are Zanu PF’s fights, pitting supporters of embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru and party strongman Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, that all but one of the party’s 10 provincial chairpersons have been booted out, because of their perceived support for the VP.

Goche, believed to be a strong Mujuru ally, at least according to State media, is alleged to have met potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel in the claimed plots to assassinate Mugabe.

But Goche told Mugabe yesterday that he was not part of the said plot, saying he was not even around during the dates that the State media claims he spoke of toppling Mugabe in Chiredzi.

Further told by Goche that The Herald had published the story, the ever cunning Mugabe said, “I have not read it”.

Earlier on, while greeting Masvingo resident minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — who has recently been under the cosh from alleged war veterans — Mugabe asked him why he was in the “wrong basket” (Bhasikiti is Shona for basket).

“Why are you in the wrong basket? You must be in the right basket,” Mugabe said in jest, to which the seemingly overawed Bhasikiti responded by saying he was a loyal and consistent party cadre.

“But they say you are inconsistent,” Mugabe quipped further.

Mugabe also light-heartedly requested Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe to sort things out in Masvingo.

And greeting the very mature Zanu PF youth league chairman, Absolom Sikhosana, Mugabe asked him why he was always smiling even when the party’s youth league was in turmoil.

But conspicuously, Mugabe did not greet Presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, who is one of those accused of plotting to assassinate the president.

Also earlier on, Mugabe did not hide his excitement when he came across a copy of Saturday’s edition of the Daily News that had been placed on the table in front of his chair and which had the headline, “Stop Jonathan Moyo: Mutasa”.

Speaking in isiNdebele, Mugabe quipped whether indeed it was Mutasa who had said the words, to which there did not appear to be anyone brave enough to respond.

Mutasa, another perceived ally of Mujuru, has also been fingered in the murky plots to oust and assassinate Mugabe.

Yesterday’s politburo meeting was expected to be as tense as the last two, with more Zanu PF officials perceived aligned to Mujuru expected to be shown the exit door.

But according to its agenda, the party said it was going to get a report from the acting Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo on the state of preparations for the elective congress slated for early December.

The meeting was also set to discuss the issue of a number of suspended provincial chairmen, while secretary for justice, Mnangagwa, was expected to present a report on proposed amendments to the Zanu PF Constitution.

As a mark of the importance of the meeting and the plotting that was going on, Water Affairs minister Saviour Kasukuwere, information minister Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao came out of the meeting at some point late last night, huddling in a corner and clearly exchanging strategy notes.

Analysts say Mugabe is coming under mounting pressure to stop the ruling party from imploding altogether as its factional wars turn increasingly violent and messier by the day.

So bad is the climate within the party, and the country by extension, that one senior politburo member asked rhetorically earlier this week, “Who is in charge?” when canvassed for a comment regarding the state and health of the party ahead of the key but potentially stormy politburo meeting.

“I hate to admit it but we are currently a rudderless party characterised by serious confusion and flux. There is neither discipline, direction nor unity of purpose at both party and government level.

“But even more damning perhaps, who is in charge?” the senior politburo member asked, alluding to the many competing centres of power in the divided party that include the quarrelsome First Lady Grace Mugabe, party hardliners and a faction of war veterans.

The party’s ugly infighting has since crystallised into Mujuru being accused by State media and her party enemies of being involved in a sensational plot to assassinate Mugabe.

The Sunday Mail fingered the VP’s closest allies last weekend — former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and Mutasa — accusing them of having recently “spoken of assassinating” Mugabe.

The paper also said its “investigations” had also revealed that another senior Mujuru ally, which stablemate The Herald has since fingered as Goche, “made contingencies for such a scenario during recent meetings with potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel”.

In the midst of this storm, and in a development that analysts say indicates that Mugabe and the anti-Mujuru faction are fearful of events unfolding in the party, The Herald has since also reported that Mujuru had allegedly “clandestinely filed papers to contest her current position” at the party’s forthcoming elective congress.

And in its lead story for the day, that observers also said exhibited serious paranoia in high places, the paper also claimed that representatives of Mujuru met MDC member Job Sikhala in Harare last week to “discuss modalities of joining forces” ahead of national elections in 2018.

Analyst Shepherd Mntungwa said “things are now coming to a head in Zanu PF” with the strategy to destroy Mujuru “seemingly beginning to backfire spectacularly” on Mugabe and the anti-Mujuru faction “irrespective of what happens at the party’s elective congress next month”.

“It is not helping matters that these suspect claims and conspiracy theories are being dredged from the sewer now. What this means is that the problems, at least at a perception level, have suddenly been magnified and internationalised to a point where even the country’s partners are now anxious about what’s happening in Harare.

“It is inconceivable that in such a climate, pressure is not mounting on President Mugabe to do something quickly to bring matters under control, as the instability can quickly deteriorate irreversibly if authorities continue to sit on their pants,” Mntungwa said.

Zanu PF veteran Cephas Msipa, who is also a politburo member, described the situation in the party as chaotic and requiring Mugabe’s urgent intervention if the party is not to split.

And while all this is happening, more pressure is being piled on Mugabe as the late Solomon Mujuru’s elder brother, Joel, says he wants to meet the nonagenarian to talk to him about the VP as well as the contested circumstances surrounding his brother’s death.

He says his family is shocked that some Zanu PF bigwigs are rubbishing the name of Solomon, who is interred at the national Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

Comments (14)

twist and squeeze something will come out of it. hatikushayiri nyaya kana tada hedu. VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE, suspend or fire which ever way you are gone kkkkkkk

The Atomic - 24 November 2014

Can someone raise the issue of motor vehicles number plates and who owns the company being favored by Govt to supply no plates on every change of ownership of a motor vehicle.

Kollen - 24 November 2014

The logical thing the vehicle must maintain its identity and the owner is the one who changes but because of greed these guys have done the unthinkable.

Kollen - 24 November 2014

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. How true is this of Shakespeare's eponymous protagonist Macbeth? Explain how Shakespeare uses language imagery and stagecraft to show his demise. Shakespeare's Macbeth was written in 1603 and is the enticing story of Macbeth's unlawful rise to power and his inevitable downfall. With power he becomes corrupt, a bloodthirsty tyrant and a victim of his own success. Throughout the play imagery, language and stagecraft are infused to create a malevolent and malicious image of Macbeth. With the influence of Lady Macbeth, he becomes ruthless and his vision is subverted with ambition, nothing will stand in his way. Nothing.

tsanga - 24 November 2014

This circus is getting out of hand!!!! We the silent majority are watching from a short distance...This is unprecedented...even SADC is now ashamed of this party called ZANU PF. What a shame

garikayi - 24 November 2014

ndiweka uri kupomerwa huroyi kkkk. pamberi na ngwena

ngwena ngwena - 24 November 2014

For all we know, this could be the change of fortunes we have been crying for all these past years. ZANU PF has successfully managed to weaken itself from within. They are now like a wounded animal that's no longer on all it's good fours, the other half is wounded, it has been rendered almost crippled and paralysed. My word of advice to the opposition though is that do not relax( as they seem to be doing with all this unfolding turn of events in ZANU), a wounded animal can spring a vicious surprise attack.

Dr Know - 24 November 2014

Ndiwe muroyi ndiwe, ndiwe wapedza hama, ndaseka hangu. Hokoyo iwe.

maita - 24 November 2014

"Mr Bhasikiti ,why are you in the wrong basket" oooh nooo! mukati kunosara munhu here uku?

Hapaz Hapanyengwi - 24 November 2014

which opposition @dr know? Do you mean mavambo project? mdc t yakafa kare kare apomutungamiri wayo akasiya party iri pa auto-pilot achimbono tsvaka madzimai ake. by the time he got back he could only find elections had already been stolen. there is no opposition in zimbabwe.

zvirozviyedzwa - 24 November 2014

Zvirozviyedzwa you are a day dreamer!

Matilda - 25 November 2014

matilda asi uri chimoko chake here

dafi - 25 November 2014

matilda asi uri chimoko chake here

dafi - 25 November 2014

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