Mujuru throws down gauntlet

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VICE-President Joice Mujuru threw down the gauntlet at President Robert Mugabe in the heat of the moment at the tension-filled politburo meeting last week to come out in the open if he wanted to remove her from her post ahead of the Zanu PF elective congress in December, instead allowing his wife Grace and her political gang to publicly abuse her.

Faith Zaba

In private briefings with the Zimbabwe Independent this week, senior politburo insiders said Grace was effectively also attacked at the explosive, no-holds-barred meeting which lasted more than nine hours.

During exchanges, party heavyweights from opposing factions were at each other’s throats amid accusations and counter-accusations of plotting against Mugabe.

The politburo sources said Mujuru, who has been savagely attacked by Grace and her allies through the public media lately, reminded Mugabe about the good old days when they worked closely together during the 1970s liberation struggle and her rise after Independence to the vice-presidency under his guidance.

“Mujuru spoke about her history — how she went to war in 1973 and met with Mugabe in 1975 (Mujuru welcomed Mugabe and Edgar Tekere in Mozambique) and how from there she was under the guidance of Mugabe throughout. She said she considered Mugabe like her father because hers had died and Sally was like her mother and she called her mai (mum) and that she also calls this one who is there (Grace) mai,” said one politburo member.

“She said at Independence it was Mugabe who deployed her at the Mt Darwin parliamentary seat although she initially replied that she had dropped out of school at Form Two and not qualified to be MP. She said she was also appointed deputy minister and again she still told him that she was not qualified for that position, but Mugabe insisted that he would teach her.”

He added: “She said she was later appointed governor of Mashonaland Central during which time she did ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels after which she said she was also appointed to head different ministries. She said there was not a day when she lobbied Mugabe for those appointments. Then she said it was Mugabe in 2004 who actually said she should take up the vice-president’s post.”

This was part of Mujuru’s blunt rejection of claims she wants to topple Mugabe and a challenge to him to come out in the open on whether he still wants her or not.

Mujuru was debating a report by outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri on the First Lady’s meet-the-people rallies, which torched a storm in Zanu PF and deepened factional lines.

“Mujuru said she had been VP for 10 years and if Mugabe no longer wanted her to be VP he should just tell her that he wants to remove her and she would go. She also said if Mugabe wants her to resign, he should simply say so and she would do that,” said the source.

Mugabe all but endorsed calls by his wife for the removal of Mujuru when he said last week “when a marriage breaks down, a divorced wife is given time to pack instead of chasing her on the spur of the moment”.

He said this while addressing a rented anti-Mujuru crowd at the party headquarters last week on Thursday after attending the crucial politburo meeting for about an hour.

Mugabe said Mujuru must be given time, just as a “divorced wife” is given an opportunity to pack her belongings to prepare for a different life after marriage.

This came a week after his wife declared war on Mujuru, telling her to resign or risk being “baby-dumped”— meaning booted out — at the party’s watershed December congress.

The politburo insiders said those who fought in Mujuru’s corner during the meeting included party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa, Tshinga Dube, Angeline Masuku, Cephas Msipa and Herbert Murerwa.

Another politburo source said: “Gumbo, when they were debating that Mujuru wants to oust Mugabe, asked Mugabe if he seriously believed that she (Mujuru) wanted to remove him from power.

“Gumbo then told Mugabe Mujuru was just a pawn in the game of power, the target was him. He warned him that he was the main target and one day he would realise this.

“Gumbo went further to say the source of the problem was Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao and Oppah Muchinguri. He pointed out that they were the ones who have misled the First Lady and the First Family because they have access to them. He told Mugabe that the four were misleading, misinforming and abusing the First Family, telling them lies.”

Another politburo member said Mutasa queried how Mugabe could after all these years of working closely together with him think that they were planning to oust him and how he could trust Moyo, Kasukuwere and Zhuwao ahead of them.

Masuku said she took great exception to what Grace said in Matabeleland attacking people during her tour.

“She told the President that his wife came to Bulawayo and insulted them yet she sees her like her daughter, while Tshinga Dube complained Mujuru’s husband (late retired general Solomon Mujuru) was eliminated and now people were attacking her on spurious grounds. Victoria Chitepo said Grace’s behaviour was not befitting a First Lady as she should behave in a proper way.”

The politburo resolved that a committee be set up to investigate factionalism in Zanu PF.

“The president said he has heard that there are two factions — one belonging to Mujuru, which has the backing of Gumbo and Mutasa, and another headed by Mnangagwa with the backing of Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Josiah Hungwe. That’s when he said the party should set up a committee to investigate the factions,” said the politburo source.

Mugabe later said Mujuru and Mutasa had made sound contributions to the meeting.

15 thoughts on “Mujuru throws down gauntlet”

  1. Chindori says:

    Who is your source…..if this is true then….

    1. fatso says:

      sour grapes and misunderstanding of the issues. no one has the right to steal or loot national resources. by the same token, no one who is not in the presidium can fire a vice president. Grace needs re-education and Joice needs the anti-Corruption Commission

  2. fuyane says:

    Faction fights or not, the bottom line is that Mai Mujuru is a respected liberation war hero and contributed a great deal in all aspects of governance in this country. In all the mud that has been thrown at her she remained respectful and dignified. Must we forget the roll that she and her late husband played in the liberation of this country? Must we treat our heroes in this manner? All this could have been quietly discussed before the Politburo without the accusations being made public.

  3. Cash Talk says:

    Politburo meeting last week, the same day Mugabe said all those things? A day after he accused Joyce of not being a good VP and contributing nothing? The same day same Mugabe asked Gumbo why he is not being investigated for Baba Jukwa? And then Gwanetsa and Midzi subsequently being booted out?

    1. Muza Sibanda says:

      Respected by who?

    2. marikos says:

      @Fuyane if she is a respected liberation war hero she surely does not exhibit the qualities.As for being respectful it is more fear than that. Because any bad word or insult towards Grace will be met with reprisals and she knows this. Mai Mujuru is not a saint as you want to make her out to be. What has she got to show for almost 3 decades in government? Any achievements or a legacy you can point out? Nope, none.

  4. ma key says:

    zvimwe zvenhu zvinopedza power O.o uhmmmm =P

  5. Dinga says:

    What a one sided drivel. Is this what you have reduced to in Zimbabwe?

    1. Mablazo says:

      “Gumbo then told Mugabe Mujuru was just a pawn in the game of power, the target was him. He warned him that he was the main target and one day he would realise this.

      Trully true

  6. Mike Rook says:

    The First Lady never questioned or criticised VP Mujuru’s past liberation credentials. What she did do was expose VP Mujuru’s present corrupt practices.

    1. Billy Pule says:

      And are you suggesting that Grace herself is clean? How did she acquire all this wealth, and have you forgotten Gracelands built from tax payers’s money just to name a few? Indava wakapusa kudaro purizi!

    2. Grace accusing Mujuru of being corrupt, the kettle calling the pot black me thinks.

  7. David says:

    Kikiki Bob has no solution to all of this, he’s just buying time when he appoints committees to deal with factionalism.

    His only strategy is to die in power.

    It reminds me of Pres. Zuma he appoints a committee to look into his Nkhandla scandal when a thorough report done by Thuli madonsela is already in place.

    Just buying time…

  8. maita says:

    And Herald say Mai Mujuru is a beneficiary of Mugabe not the other way round.

  9. Ngonyamo says:

    The Chinese say “there is no house without a toilet”. Who in Mugabe’s cabinet is not corrupt?
    Who looted the Pension Funds in the late 1990s to build a house in Mt. Pleasant?
    Mugabe ate other people’s time. He should just let Dr. Mujuru take over if she is chosen at the Congress. Why now. Were they not aware of what she was doing all along? They have been saying there is no position which is not going to be subjected to election save for President Mugabe’s only. Now we hear that the consistitution is to be amended so that the President appoints his own people into the politibro and presidium. Moving goal post! Now muchanyara, Dr Mujuru is going to be elected at the congress. You cant cheat the people every time all the time.

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