'Zanu PF is a violent party'

BULAWAYO - Respected Zanu PF elder Cephas Msipa has confirmed what the country’s opposition has always complained bitterly about, that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party uses violence and other thuggish methods to win elections and to remain in power.

Speaking candidly in an exclusive interview with the Daily News yesterday, Msipa — who has been one of the few consistent voices of reason in Zanu PF — also warned former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) outfit to brace up for a violent suppression by the governing party, as has happened repeatedly to former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.

Msipa’s frank admission of Zanu PF’s violent tendencies come hot on the heels of similar sentiments by former Zambian vice president Guy Scott, who also recently said Mugabe used violence to remain in power.

“They (ZPF) have a mammoth task before them. I know Zanu PF are good at defending themselves and remaining in power. Since 1980, they (Zanu PF) have been using the same tactic.

“They will do everything possible to destroy their opponents. They use all sorts of dirty tactics, including violence and intimidation. They think to win an election they need to use force,” a sad Msipa said.

Ever since Mujuru formally launched her party, her supporters have been at the receiving end of Zanu PF’s jungle justice, with ZPF members being attacked wantonly around the country — as has happened to Tsvangirai and the MDC since 1999.

In 2008, Tsvangirai was even forced to withdraw from that year’s controversial presidential election run-off after serious violence broke out, amid reports of hundreds of MDC supporters being murdered in cold blood.

But the retired Msipa said it was a matter of time before Zanu PF’s violent tactics would run out of steam and come to an end, as almost all Zimbabweans were now tired of Mugabe’s and the ruling party’s misrule.

“We have reached a stage where people are saying we have had enough. Look at the National Railways of Zimbabwe workers and the Grain Marketing Board workers.

“It’s a terrible sight that people should camp at the stations with their families there and the government appears unconcerned. I think we are reaching a stage where the situation has become completely intolerable and unacceptable,” he said.

“Our problem in Zimbabwe is one of fear and Zanu PF is taking advantage of that, which is very sad,” he added.

Msipa said it was not only ordinary Zimbabweans who were fearful of Mugabe and Zanu PF, but also ruling party bigwigs.

“I know that for a fact, and my friends in Zanu PF are now even afraid of talking to me since I retired from politics. They fear that if they associate with me they will be chastised. That is why I wrote my book, In Pursuit Of Freedom and Justice.

“People must feel free. People died for this freedom. We suffered and sacrificed so that people can be free. I really get very angry when I realise that people are not free to exercise their freedom,” he said.

Asked about embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s future in the faction-riddled Zanu PF, Msipa was pessimistic about the chances of his Zvishavane homeboy.

“I feel sorry for Mnangagwa, he is really in big trouble. He is my sekuru (uncle) as you know he is also my homeboy. We both come from Zvishavane. Naturally, I would have been happy with my sekuru going up.

“Unfortunately, he has problems. I don’t know how he will overcome them. I think his main problem is the so-called G40 who want to destroy him completely,” he said.

Turning to Mugabe’s powerful wife Grace, Msipa said he was forced to retire from active politics following the surprise 2014 entrance into formal politics by the first lady, whom he accuses of being “the mastermind” behind Zanu PF’s mindless bloodletting.

“I think Mugabe has a problem because his wife has her own ways of doing things and this has brought serious problems in the party. From what I can see she is a big problem.

“She came with an agenda and one of them was to attack Mujuru. I told Mugabe that I was not happy with the way he had handled the Mujuru issue. I told him in the strongest terms that if ever he angered me, it was when he fired Mujuru,” he explained.

Last week, Msipa said keeping Mugabe in power was tantamount to “punishing” the increasingly frail nonagenarian, further urging the long-ruling leader to retire immediately.

Speaking in another exclusive interview with the Daily News, he said Mugabe’s 56 years in politics were long enough for a “normal human being to hang the boots”.

“My serious advice to him (Mugabe) is that he should rest now, as he has done so much for the country,” he said.

Msipa, a close friend of Mugabe of many decades, said the nonagenarian — who is the only leader that Zimbabweans have had for the past 36 years — cannot rest after death.

“In a way, he has done a lot for this country, and really in all fairness we are punishing him. When will he rest, when he is dead?” he asked rhetorically.

“I feel sorry for him as a friend. I think he must just be given time to rest. We live in this world for a much shorter period than we realise. He really needs a rest. A race is run up to a certain point and there comes a point when you must rest.

“It’s good for him, good for his family and good for the party. We need new ideas. These can only come with leadership renewal. I would like him to rest,” the concerned Msipa emphasised repeatedly.

The former Midlands Provincial Affairs minister — who fondly refers to Mugabe as muzukuru (Shona for nephew) — said there was no doubt that Mugabe had played his part, which was why he now needed to pass on the baton.

He challenged some Zanu PF hardliners who were advocating for the nonagenarian’s further stay in power to be “human and stop punishing” him.

“We should all feel sorry for him. We are punishing him. Those who are saying he should continue, we don’t seem to care about him. I know some people want him to stay for their own protection.

“I also know some of them feel he is protecting them. He gave them certain positions and so they are afraid that if he goes they will lose those positions. It’s unfair for us to punish a man for all this time. Let him sit back and watch. It’s very important after all that hard work,” Msipa said.

He also claimed that just before he left active politics he had asked Mugabe to retire, an offer that was turned down.

“I went to see Mugabe with my two sons where I told him to retire. He told me that in politics you don’t retire, but that you rather die there. That’s his philosophy.

“So in a way he seems to be enjoying the position, but he must also think of rest, because he is punishing himself physically. We are all human beings and the fire in us burns out and you can’t go on trying to keep putting on some light when it’s burning out,” he said.

Asked what kind of a person Mugabe was at a personal level, Msipa described the nonagenarian as a “difficult” character to understand.

“He is in a way difficult to understand. He can be very charming but also he can be repellent and very cruel. He can be very charming and the next moment he can do things that you cannot believe he can do.

“For instance, when Murambatsvina (operation clean-up) started, I phoned him because I thought that was uncharacteristic of him, but when he has decided that this man is my enemy, he will do everything to crush you.

“That is his problem, there are no two ways about it. So in short, he can be very cruel if you stand in his way because he wants things to be done in his way,” he said.

Comments (20)

A very good observation Cde Msipa . You really know this man in and out . The problem is that this man is not related to any man in our country , that is why he is so cruel to the people of Zimbabwe. His Father was stolen by a mistress form Bulawayo that why he is a bitter man . So he is vending his anger on every Zimbabwean he comes across. Under normal circumstances no man can treat his own kith and kin like that.

Truthbesaid - 11 April 2016

msipa just retire in peace or you are not sure of the security of your familys investments and lacoste has promised to shield your family from corruption probes

truth - 11 April 2016

you are exaggerating your importance to the president and the country,the fact that the president has rubbished your advice shows that to him you are just an irritant,if not idiot

TRUTH - 11 April 2016

What a man Madyira! Only those who threaten you with your shadow are foolish. You saw enough and you have lived life to the full. Only people like you are worthy to be called heroes in this country. You fought for everyone to enjoy. You were the only sane Provincial Gvnor at one point with Ray Kaukonde as you really worked for the masses. Kusi kufa ndekupi?

dollarman - 11 April 2016

Stop on Msipa zanu is very violent ,thuggish,and foolish that is why they have turned this country upside down destroyed everything they put their hands on . 2008 Morgan beat Mugabe and when zanu saw that they had no chance for a rerun they went into a killing spree of mdc t supporters threatening everyone and they did the same in 2013 threatened everyone in rural areas lied that once they loss war will come back . Suwa that is being violent barbaric sticking to such a political party is being dander hand and haunted by the spirit of poverty indlozi lo bunja muzi wabuubwaa mudzi weumbwa nenzara ,Pasine zanu.

Diibulaanyika - 11 April 2016

@diibulaanyika,is samanyika your cousin?

jojo - 11 April 2016

Msipa baba vaElijah nyararai Mazvimbiwa

Colonel - 11 April 2016

Who are Mugabe's relatives and for the sake of the country can they persuade him to retire. All those asking him to continue leading why they do not take over that we have renewal of leadership. it would be even better t continue paying a retired President than having a ruling one who is no longer in charge. My heart is bleeding seeing people suffering under an old old president.

mapfungautsi - 11 April 2016

Msipa had said he had retired from politics. But now he has clearly become a tool to destroy the image of the First Family hoping to assist hid homeboys in politics. He has overdone to the extent that he is now losing respect.

NGOMALINGUNDU - 11 April 2016

Why didnt Msipa say all the hogwash he is saying now when he still active in ZANU PF , as Minister? Why didn`t he resign,instead of lying today to decorate his regional politics

Ant-Msipa - 11 April 2016

the mo yu open yo mouth the mo this forum will expose yu cephas msipa fo who yu are really are and that your intentions are regional politics,seeking to raise your profile by constantly criticising the the president wont fool us,you have nailed your succession colours to the mast

jojo - 11 April 2016

No one is urging Mugabe to stay on except he, Mugabe himself. The reason is there for everyone to see, including (especially) the likes of Msipa who knows, as well as every Zimbabwean, that Mugabe is afraid consequences befitting a villain soon after his retirement. He would have passed on the baton to someone long ago like his friend Mwalimu did, but he remembers what happened to Chiluba of Zambia when he let Mwanawasa to take over the ruling office. However Mr. Msipa's remarks are welcome in that Mugabe gets more and more exposed as one who thrives on murder, lies and intimidation to stay on as leader of the country, whether the people like it or not. While ALL Zimbabweans know that it is suicidal to walk around in broad day light with an opposition T/Shirt on, sadly, it is fiction in other countries where they believe the Zimbabwean electorate loves Mugabe. They do not know that an MDC member victimised by Zanu PF will be arrested on arrival at a police station while in the middle of making the report. Conversely, a Zanu PF member lying to the police about an attack by MDC members will be taken seriously and arrests will promptly be made. Who does not know that Chinotimba shot a woman neighbour who thought Zanu and Mugabe had overstayed their welcome. It is well known that for his 'gallant' act, Mr. Chinotimba was rewarded with a house in another but less dense and more protected suburb.

Yeoman Thomas - 12 April 2016

@Jojo please mind your business idiot

Diibulaanyika - 12 April 2016

zanu is a riotous and militant cult that succeed in fallacious provocation, torture and intimidation of anyone or anything opposed to its populist, yet deceitful, ideals! now that it has become a house divided against itself, every member is now hallucinating like what msipa is doing. the spirits of the maimed and murdered are now avenging and they will confess to their evil deeds. they will bleat in broad daylight and they have just started.

SaManyika Chaiye - 12 April 2016

@diibulaanyika:just read the comment by samanyika,lizalwa ngu mama munye

jojo - 12 April 2016

@ Jojo and you are Viola 's husband if not so you are her boot licker . On top of that you sound insane bcoz you are just hallucinating .If you have nothing to say just go and look for amagundwane .

Diibulaanyika - 12 April 2016

@ Jojo you have been provoking me for a long time but when i hit back please do not cry foul sihlama senja.

Diibulaanyika - 12 April 2016

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