Mugabe ‘courts Dabengwa for Zimbabwe Vice President’

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is reportedly dangling the second vice-presidency carrot to Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa so that his party can return and work with Zanu PF to “consolidate the gains of independence and the spirit of unity”, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

By Elias Mambo/Herbert Moyo

Sources close to the developments claim Mugabe, who is keen to heal a deep rift with Zapu members, sent emissaries to Dabengwa to negotiate with the party.

Dabengwa left Zanu PF in 2008 to revive Zapu together with the likes of the late Thenjiwe Lesabe and Welshman Mabhena, all former PF-Zapu, although others like current national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo and the late vice-president John Nkomo remained in Zanu PF.

History suggests Dabengwa has always had a difficult relationship with Mugabe who detained him in the 1980s along with senior Zapu colleagues Lookout Masuku and Vote Moyo (both deceased) on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the Zanu PF government. Even when he was offered a deputy home affairs ministerial post by Mugabe shortly after the Unity Accord in 1987, Dabengwa dragged his feet saying he needed to think about it, before eventually accepting.

However, reports of Mugabe’s offer feed into speculation why Zanu PF has been delaying filling the post of second vice-president despite the office becoming vacant in January 2013 following the death of John Nkomo.

The second vice-president post is traditionally reserved for former PF-Zapu members in accordance with the Unity Accord between the party and Zanu PF and there is widespread belief that it will be offered to Khaya Moyo — a former PF-Zapu member before the Unity Accord.

In an interview with this paper on Wednesday Dabengwa would neither confirm nor deny that talks are underway with Mugabe.

“We have heard about that too,” said Dabengwa, before adding “but no formal approach has been made to our party”.

“We have put our position to them (Zanu PF) and if the president is serious, then the ball is in their court,” he said.

However, Dabengwa was not prepared to elaborate on how his party had sent a position paper to Zanu PF if they had not been approached in the first place.

“We have set clear parameters which we sent to Zanu PF and we have no problems in going back to Zanu PF if these are met.”

Dabengwa also said he still enjoys a cordial relationship with Khaya Moyo and other former PF-Zapu members who remain in Zanu PF although they had political differences.

“Those who remained in Zanu PF have a different political outlook, but they remain our colleagues.”

However, highly-placed sources insist talks are underway between Mugabe and Dabengwa.

“There are talks going on and Dabengwa has given Zanu PF his party’s position with regards to Mugabe’s plea and promise,” said one of the sources.

During the Unity Accord commemorations on December 22 in Bulawayo last year, Mugabe implored former PF-Zapu cadres who left Zanu PF to return, describing their departure as an act of infidelity and dishonesty to the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo.

“That is an act of infidelity and disloyalty to Umdala Wethu. Yesterday, you were under his command. Some of us are war veterans and so, now that he is gone, do you think as he is in the grave, he can now be disobeyed,” said Mugabe.

He added: “As war veterans, we fought one war, whether Zipra or Zanla (the military wings of PF-Zapu and Zanu PF respectively). So, get together and come back and be where you belong. Do not get lost.”

If the vice-presidency talks with Dabengwa are anything to go by, then Zapu is headed for a collision course with those PF-Zapu members who remained in Zanu PF and have since given a greenlight to Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo to become the country’s second vice-president.

The former PF-Zapu members met in the Midlands province towards the end of last year and agreed that the former diplomat will ascend to the vice-presidency without going for a special congress.

Sources claimed central committee and politburo members and other senior Zanu PF officials from all over the country, who were loyal to PF-Zapu before the Unity Accord, attended the meeting. Khaya Moyo shrugged off a potential challenge from Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and Deputy Senate President Aniston Ndlovu.

This is not the first time Mugabe has tried to bring Dabengwa back into the Zanu PF fold. Following the death of the then vice-president Joseph Msika in 2009, Mugabe offered Dabengwa the post before John Nkomo landed it.

Two emissaries were dispatched to Bulawayo to persuade the former Zipra commander into accepting the offer and in his defence of the choice of Dabengwa, Mugabe said he would like to be “flanked by fighters” in the Zanu PF presidium.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo professed ignorance of the talks saying he was not around last month and referred all other questions to Khaya Moyo.
“We are already united with Zapu; so there is no need for other talks.

“I was not there in December when the president went to Bulawayo; so there is nothing I can comment concerning what happened there. So talk to the national chairperson (Khaya Moyo),” Gumbo said.

Khaya Moyo was unreachable for comment.

15 thoughts on “Mugabe ‘courts Dabengwa for Zimbabwe Vice President’”

  1. Crazy world says:

    Life is so full of crazy things.When we met in Tsholotsho-Dinyane (2004) to strategise for the Vice Presidency post,we were punished.Others met met in Gweru to strategisde for the same post and went on to chose a canditateSimon (Khaya Moyo)-they are honoured!!!!!

    This is a very crazy world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. molly says:

      God has the answer, don’t wory Crazy world

    2. See Gee says:

      Dumiso Dabengwa is an intelligency cadre. So he must see which road leads him the right way of his choice too. They say return home!!! Which home do they refer to? Why dont they come to his home if they really want balanced equations? The ball rolls.

  2. Excom says:

    It seems The Independent has been sponsored to peddle lies about goings on in ZANU PF. There is and there will never be such approach to Dabengwa by the President. It’s just wishful thinking by agents of negation. Dabengwa has nothing to offer to ZANU PF let alone his failed parties Mavambo and so called ZAPU.

    1. Ruramai says:

      Excom, if Davengwa has nothing to offer, how come Mugabe publicly begged him to come back to Zanu p.f. using the name of the late Joshua Nkomo?

    2. See Gee says:

      ….let alone your failed life.

  3. mapungubwe dundilabazwele says:

    This is a political game aimed at testing the extent of desperation within ZAPU party memebrs, especilly Dabengwa himself. If Dabengwa appear to agree to this fake invitation, there wil be change of goal posts until ZAPU get confused. The best will be for Dabengwa and friends to re-re-join ZANU (PF) if they decide to; without conditions or to reject the invitation to re-re-join. Honestly, for the status of person like Dabengwa, the result is the same; he is a hero in or outside ZANU (PF). I am also tempted to believe that the invitation will never be made but it is an ‘invitaton” that was made. Remember if it is true that terms of unity between ZAPU and ZANU were never implemented since 1987, what will make a difference now.

  4. Shepy Tarzy says:

    Dabengwa responds to ‘Mugabe Courts Dabengwa for VP post’
    by D. DABENGWA (Dr.)
    10 January 2014 |
    “RE: Mugabe Courts Dabengwa for VP post”

    Dear Editor

    I would like to correct some misconceptions that have been created by an article published in the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper of January 10, 2014, headlined “Mugabe Courts Dabengwa for VP post”

    In this telephonic interview with their Elias Mambo, I explained to him that Zapu had responded to the challenge to Zapu members and others to return to Zanu. ZAPU, and I personally, did not send this response to the ruling party offices or any other official channels.

    We used the same method they had laid down the challenge on, the public media. I further emphasised that our response had only been published – in full – on page 8 of the 30 December edition of the Southern Eye newspaper.

    I also clarified that there had never been any formal approach made by Zanu to us, except what we read in the media.

    I explained that in our response to the Press utterances by Zanu and its acolytes, we had set clear parameters and I had no wish to distort them by further comment. Those in Zanu wishing to engage us in any discussions would have to take them into account before approaching us.

    Please note that there have been no formal approaches except what seem to be challenges issued in the media. I never said that “we would have no problems” going back to Zanu, those are mere figments of a very fertile and hostile imagination. After all, this issue is well explained in our Press Statement of 29 December, which makes it clear that ZAPU would never return into the Unity Accord arrangement.

    1. See Gee says:

      Thank you very much for a clear mark.

  5. Philani Mhlanga says:

    who is Dabengwa we don need him ku zanu pf hapana chaanombouyisa coz haana saport ane vanhu 100 chete todya zvana nkomo nana Zapu here panapa he left Zanu pf ngaaite zvake ikoko neka fek zapu kake hatimude ku zanu pf mutengesi uta khaya moyo kana akaramba post hazvina basa inyika yekupi ina ma VP maviri mai mujura vakatokwana vakadaro PAMBERI NEZANU PF PASI NEMADZAKUTSAKU.

    1. Zwide Ka Langa says:

      Yini ungabhali ngolimi lwakho ukhetha olwabanye siphukuphuku?

  6. Sam says:

    Simba makoni the only one that can take over even mugabe knows it . He panicked when makoni contested , but the foolish idiots like that fool that knows how to whisel and wave his hand. Just like the fools in South Africa voted for that idiot cause he can dance

  7. Peter Levy says:

    Succession issues here. Mugabe is a clever fox he is using chairman Mao’s tactics in regards to succession “discuss the succession issue openly in other words let the flowers bloom publicly but when he talks to his close confidants and intelligence goons he is saying let the snakes come out and we can deal with them.

  8. fletcher says:

    iziphukuphuku zinengi esweni. let credit go were it sould. if we need peace, let us demonstrte it. Dabengwa is not a vice president material but presedent material. Iziphukuphuku zilokhu zikhangela umhlobo zona zilabhe for the past 33 years

  9. charakupa says:

    The independent newspaper has always and will be always be a ZANU pf mouth piece. Since its inception , it has a big soft soft spot reserved for ZANU pf. I am pretty sure Trevor Ncube is a card carring Zanu pf member. There is nothing wrong about it but he want to give a picture that he is not a Zanu pf cadre, why? Just come in the open.
    Now he is of the opinion that if Zapu and Zanu re-unite , they will dominate the Zimbabwean political arena. Cheap hypocrisy!!!

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