Chilling purge against Mugabe adversaries

HARARE - The political persecution of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies for alleged misconduct in the discharge of their official duties are part of an accelerating purge being led by the new Zanu PF administration to stymie any challenge to 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe’s life presidency plan.

Throughout history, every culture has had maxims in law denouncing the openly corrupt and tainted sitting in judgment.

The so-called “clean dozen”, which comprises officials with a chequered history, is openly escalating a night of the long knives-style purge of their political enemies that should send chills up the spines of all Zimbabweans.

The team, comprising Environment minister Savior Kasukuwere (the convener), ICT secretary Jonathan Moyo (co-convener), Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Higher Education minister Oppah Muchinguri, Prisca Mupfumira, Monica Mutsvangwa, Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and Philip Chiyangwa, is virtually pushing for punitive action against the beleaguered former Zanu PF number two on a number of charges.

These include incredulous claims by the lickspittle State media that Mujuru supporters were plotting to assassinate Mugabe, illegally accepting shareholding in foreign companies, corruption, fanning factionalism and treason.

Before the allegations emerged, Mujuru was seen as a genuine contender for the 2018 presidential nomination and a potential foe of Mugabe.

It is now apparent that Mugabe’s wife Grace, launched a purge of Mujuru’s closest supporters in a bid to stymie the VP’s challenge to the president.

This was followed last week with the news that former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, who has not only lost his position in the party, but also in government, is facing arrest for corrupt allocations of farms in Manicaland to his “girlfriends and wives”, according to toadying State media. 

Mutasa’s opponent, Manicaland governor Mandi Chimene, is a vehement supporter of Grace and recently declared that she was on a crusade against the (ex-)administration secretary.

But the person probing Mutasa and accusing him of being immoral is under the spotlight herself in what critics have termed moral delinquency and as she also makes a futile attempt to sit in judgment over the Manicaland supremo.

Mutasa, who has penned a hard-hitting statement that has upset party hardliners,  has responded that he was unfazed by attempts to unleash the dogs on him, saying no-one could expel him from the “real Zanu PF”.

It is now apparent that the so-called “clean dozen” is going after the Zanu PF critics with indictments.

So far, the police has not been keen to be roped into that skulduggery, hence the recent personal attacks against the top echelons of the law enforcement agency for lethargy.

In light of the recent events and futile plans to use the police in stifling internal dissent, the arrests being pushed for by the “clean dozen” cabal should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Zimbabweans.

When Zimbabwean citizens begin to suspect that people are being arrested for alleged minor violations because of their vocal dissent against their rulers, it breeds disrespect and contempt for the law and suspicion of those officials.

If this unfortunate action against Mujuru, Mutasa and their allies is intended to deter the constitutional challenge to the damp squib Zanu PF “elective” congress last December, that effort will surely fail.

The new Zanu PF administration or rather the “clean dozen”, is criminalising political dissent in Zimbabwe.

Isn’t this plain retributive justice? The cabal is trying to criminalise as many Mujuru allies as they can.

It is trite to question the dubious coincidence of Mutasa being targeted by Zanu PF as a “Rhodesian spy” and Ian Smith apologist just after questioning constitutionalism in Zanu PF.

This is a man who served government and the ruling party at the highest levels for 34 years, and was at one point in charge of State Security.

And as the political purge continues, officials suggest the cabal  is pushing for a subpoena for every single financial transaction conducted by Mujuru over the past decade. 

There is some funny business going on, especially when there is so much corruption in Zanu PF and they are not going after the rest of the fat cats.

All  instances of Mujuru allies being targeted in just the last month alone, arrive after the damp squib congress, and the subsequent legal challenge to that sham congress.

When compared to the crimes and corruption of officials pushing for these arrests, from plunder of minerals to bombing of newspaper printing presses, Mujuru and her allies’ alleged infractions pale into insignificance.

Also recall that this cabal itself was responsible for blatant violations of electoral laws in 2013 that dwarf those allegedly committed by others.

This is not, though, designed to condone any form of corruption.

While these huge scandals were largely glossed over by the media, comparatively trivial cases against Mujuru, some bordering on outright lies such as the claim that she owns a 10 percent shareholding in the Daily News’ parent company, have been seized upon as part of the transparent persecution of Mugabe’s political adversaries.

This is clearly part of an unfolding purge designed to chill dissent and intimidate Mujuru and her allies against being vocal and politically aggressive.

This is about clearing a path for Mugabe’s life presidency by means of dirty tricks and bullying tactics.

Hardliners are notoriously the dirtiest when it comes to political campaign scandals, but they won’t hesitate to invent and exploit comparatively non-issue scandals if they can be used to sink Mugabe’s political foes.

If Zimbabweans don’t display outrage at these developments, then the purge will only accelerate, targeting an ever broader array of dissenting voices and enriching Mugabe’s executive dictatorship.

This major escalation in onerous political persecution can only be stopped with the ongoing legal challenge by Mutasa and his team, proceedings that should be set in motion in the High Court given the deluge of other clear Zanu PF constitutional violations Mugabe has overseen.


    Comments (5)

    I find this statement by the Daily News "When Zimbabwean citizens begin to suspect that people are being arrested for alleged minor violations because of their vocal dissent against their rulers, it breeds disrespect and contempt for the law and suspicion of those officials" very very much disturbing if not suicidal for a paper that purports to fight for justice. If Mutasa and co committed crimes, crimes which have contributed to our present scenario, they must be arrested. They must face the music and no amount of wailing by the Daily News should save them. That Mutasa is all of a sudden a saint or that they are now fighting ZPF is never reasons enough for the Daily News to gloss over their sins, we all have our comeuppance, theirs is now, maybe tomorrow it will be Mnangagwa. These idiotic long articles which serve no purpose for the impoverished should never find their way into the Daily News unless there is something sinister.

    Tonderai Gonzo Snr - 21 January 2015

    I thought at some point there was public outcry calling Mugabe to remove the old guard from government. Now he did it once again it seems there is public outcry why he did it. Zimbabweans, do we really know what we want? I doubt if we do. Of course some might say why then did he leave so and so; my answer is he couldnt remove everyone all at once; thats very impossible. Its a process. I think its the right thing to do; these old people were taking us for a ride lets move on with the Kasukuweres and the Moyos. At least these are relatively young and they resonate with the young generation. Forget about Mutasa and his other counterparts; they are too old to be at the helm of this nation.

    Worried - 21 January 2015

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the above article.If Mutasa was a Rhodesian spy, why is it only coming out now 34 yrs after independence?Why talk of arresting former colleagues for crimes allegedly committed years ago?What assurance do we have that the remaining officers in ZANU PF are not equally guilty of crimes similar to the ones currently being levelled against Mutasa&company? I am sure terrible corruption could be unearthed among the remaining people in ZANU PF.

    gadzirai - 21 January 2015

    Please noone in ZANU PF is clean. The purging of people from ZANU PF had absolutely nothing to do with age.It could have started with Mugabe himself.Who is older than the other Mnangagwa & Joice Mujuru?Age means nothing in ZANU PF. We have had such useless top civil servants like Tobaiwa Mudede , Mariyawanda Nzuwa, August Chihuri etc.

    kutsanzira - 21 January 2015

    @gadzirai I agree with you. None of the crop in cabinet is clean. Tomorrow it will be another bigwig in the party and you will hear all sorts of accusations leveled against him/her. Every one of them cvs is hid in a black box and will out when someone is purged or otherwise. who among them is clean?

    pride - 22 January 2015

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