Robert Mugabe flies into bomb storm

HARARE - Former president Robert Mugabe returned home yesterday to face a torrent of allegations, inflamed by the recent bomb explosion that rocked the second city of Bulawayo on June 24, claiming two lives.

The 94-year-old teetotaller, who was receiving medical attention in Singapore, is being viewed with suspicion by his former allies in Zanu PF, who accuse him of working against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

In the wake of the bomb attack at White City Stadium, relations between the Mugabes and the so-called “new dispensation” plumped to their lowest depths, with Mnangagwa’s government accusing the former first family of having been behind the blast.

Government claims the attack, which injured over 40 people, including Vice President Kembo Mohadi and Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, was an attempt on Mnangagwa’s life.

Although police are still searching for clues in a bid to nail those behind the attack, Mnangagwa has set the cat among the pigeons by claiming that he has a hunch that Mugabe’s allies, who go by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), were behind the dastardly incident.

Asked during a BBC interview if he trusted Grace, Mugabe’s wife, Mnangagwa said he could not trust a person who attacked him before being silenced by guns.

“On what basis would I trust someone who was used by a cabal (G40) to say things that had no basis?” he said.

A source close to the Mugabe family told the Daily News that the former first family was unperturbed by the allegation, and was expected home yesterday.

The Mugabes boarded their flight back home from Dubai yesterday where they are understood to have a holiday home.

“He (Mugabe) is coming back home. There is no-where else he can go because this is his home; whatever threats may come from government, he is coming back home,” said the source.

Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, was not immediately available for comment yesterday as he is accompanying Mnangagwa to the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Mauritania.

Before he rose to power through a military intervention that toppled Mugabe in November last year, Mnangagwa and some of his key allies had been hounded out of government and Zanu PF on allegations of scheming to topple the despot, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years.

At the time, G40 had made it clear that Mugabe was going nowhere, although it was quite apparent that the faction was also doing the bidding for Grace to succeed her husband ahead of Mnangagwa, who had the backing of the Team Lacoste faction.

Less than two weeks after he had been fired from the ruling party, and skipped the country into neighbouring South Africa, Mnangagwa made a dramatic comeback to assume the top office through a military intervention that forced Mugabe to resign.

Mugabe has described the new dispensation as illegitimate and is linked to the National Patriotic Front — a political outfit that emerged post the military intervention to contest for power.

He has repeatedly called for the country to return to “constitutionalism”.

His fallout with Mnangagwa’s administration has been worsened by indications that the former first family has warmed up to the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa ahead of the July 30 polls.

Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, who is one of the alleged G40 kingpins, wrote to British Prime Minister Theresa May recently warning her that Mnangagwa could use the Bulawayo bomb blast to go after his perceived enemies, including Mugabe.

“Mnangagwa’s interview that was aired on BBC on June 27, 2018, places the blame for the Zanu PF bomb explosion on what the BBC referred to as ‘... Grace Mugabe’s faction’ on the basis of what Mnangagwa said was a ‘hunch without evidence’. Although that laughably ridiculous reference has spawned a social media parody under the hashtag ‘MyHunchWithoutEvidence’, my knowledge of the way Mnangagwa operates is that he is planning to launch a crackdown in the same way that he has done over the last 38 years, notably in 2008 and during the Gukurahundi massacres,” said Zhuwao, a former Cabinet minister, in a letter to May.

According to Zhuwao, the fact that Mnangagwa attributes blame to a broad group of people on the basis of his hunch without any evidence was an ominous signal to those people that he intends to target them and their communities with violence akin to that of 2008.

“The use of the BBC to disseminate that ominous message is meant to communicate that, like during the Gukurahundi massacres, Mnangagwa has the unconditional support of the British government. The implication is that your government will turn a blind eye on the abuse of the tragic Zanu PF bomb in Bulawayo to violate human rights in the same way that the British government turned a blind eye on the Gukurahundi massacres,” said Zhuwao.

Another G40 functionary, Jonathan Moyo, said Mnangagwa’s administration was now seeing ghosts everywhere.

“After the White City blast, nightmares about fake Mugabe meetings and sending criminals who failed to get pieces of the Njelele stone for him by dynamiting the Shrine last week, Mnangagwa has now chickened out of rallies earmarked for him in Matabeleland,” said Moyo.

Comments (4)

Treeza is very far from Harare , trust me. Kana akashaya zvekuita anondisheedza kuzomwa tea. There are important issues to attend to. Mune twuma powers twakawanda mubhuriteni , ndiyo problem.

The Duke of Matebele , Vic Falls. - 4 July 2018

In America the former presidents retain the title President, in Zimbabwe we call former ambassadors are called Ambassdor XYZ. Why not respect our founding father Cde Robert Mugabe as President Mugabe whatever his excesses? Are we afraid that Zimbabweans will find it difficult to relate to the two? In any case he acted with our support and many times our encouragement...we were as the lawyers would say in pari delicto.

Zum - 4 July 2018

Sure Mugabe is still our president nommatter what. why calling him former, its very bad indeed.

wishes - 5 July 2018

Kunemi vaviri Zum na Wishes:kana anochida chidhoma icho chinonzi Robati ngachitore aite chikwambo chake mugoenderera mberi nekuromba Zimbabwe. Imbwa dzevanhu !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 5 July 2018

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