Mujuru siege: History repeats itself

ABOUT a fortnight from now the ruling Zanu PF will hold its elective congress with all eyes trained on President Robert Mugabe to see whether he will once again illegally amend the constitution, this time to oust Vice-President Joice Mujuru — exactly a decade after tinkering with it specifically to facilitate her surprise ascendancy.

Herbert Moyo

Mujuru, once the darling of Mugabe, who famously declared that she should aim higher — a statement widely interpreted to mean that she would succeed him — has gravely fallen out of favour with the First Family particularly Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has traversed the country publicly accusing her of abuse of office, subversion, extortion, illicit underworld diamond dealings, blackmailing corporates to grab 10% equities and corruption in general, and demanded she resigns immediately or be fired.

However, indications are that despite her generally muted public response to Grace’s outbursts and demands, Mujuru is not considering resigning and her party supporters in and outside the politburo are defiant. It will take no less than constitutional manipulation or political thuggery to boot her out.

Back in 2004, Mujuru was sensationally catapulted to the vice-presidency through the back door courtesy of a controversial constitutional amendment by Mugabe and other pro-Mujuru members of the politburo, including her late husband, retired army commander Solomon. Mugabe accepted their proposal to illegally impose Mujuru which ironically was supported by Grace and outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri.

Grace recently proudly confessed Mugabe, herself and allies imposed Mujuru illegally to block Mnangagwa.

Mugabe then inserted a clause that one of the party vice-presidents must be a woman — a resolution made in connivance with the Mujuru faction in order to block Mnangagwa’s rise after he had won support through most party provincial nominations, leaving him poised to fill the vacancy that had arisen after Simon Muzenda’s death in 2003.

Mnangagwa was the clear favourite after a series of meetings by the party’s provincial chairpersons and provincial governors chaired by the late political commissar, the late Elliot Manyika, culminating in a meeting held in Mugabe’s own backyard of Zvimba which endorsed his candidature ahead of the party’s elective congress that was to be held in December that year.

At that meeting, the seven provinces of Masvingo, Midlands, Manicaland, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo and Mashonaland West voted in favour of Mnangagwa.

The Mujuru faction, which included elements from three disaffected provinces in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Harare, however, came together to devise a strategy to undermine the Mnangagwa group.

Commenting on the events of 2004, which saw Mujuru being elevated after the suspension of six party provincial chairpersons who supported Mnangagwa, former Zanu PF MP Pearson Mbalekwa said that “the story of Tsholotsho has been told albeit by the beneficiaries of a political party that is fraught with hate, fear and a tyrannical leadership”.

“The actual coup d’état against the constitution was not by the so-called Tsholotsho conspirators, but by the politburo that sat at Zanu PF headquarters on November 18, 2004 to undermine the party constitution,” wrote Mbalekwa in the Zimbabwe Independent on September 15, 2006.

“The constitution was illegally amended to accommodate the preferred candidate of the political mandarins of Zanu PF (Mujuru) when it had become clear that Mnangagwa was heading for a clear victory if the party procedure was followed to elect a new vice-president during the next congress which was due in December 2004.”

Nominations for posts in the presidium from the provinces were set for November 21, 2004, but under the cover of a prize-giving ceremony at Dinyane High School in Tsholotsho, the Mnangagwa faction gathered on November 18 that year. Mnangagwa was invited as guest of honour and “coincidentally” chairpersons of the provinces were present, but he did not attend after the plot was exposed. His allies later regrouped in Bulawayo.

The Tsholotsho meeting was seen as a direct challenge to Mugabe’s authority given that he had made his support for Mujuru clear, while members of the Mujuru faction conveniently saw the gathering as a “palace coup plot”.

Mugabe had called an emergency politburo meeting on the same day that the Dinyane meeting was to take place.

The politburo illegally “amended” the party constitution to include the demand of the Women’s League that one of the vice-presidents be a woman.

Fast-forward 10 years to 2014, Mujuru is now having the taste of her own medicine. The same dirty tactics of unsubstantiated allegations that were levelled against Mnangagwa and his allies of plotting to overthrow Mugabe are now being used against her.

One after the other, provincial chairpersons who support Mujuru are being purged ahead of the congress, some illegally and on false charges. Mashonland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa, who openly supported Mujuru, has already been booted, while other chairmen Callisto Gwanetsa (Masvingo), Jason Machaya (Midlands), Andrew Langa (Matabaleland South), Amos Midzi (Harare)and Ray Kaukonde (Mashonaland East) faced the axe ahead of yesterday’s politburo meeting following votes of no confidence from their provincial executives and allegations of plotting to remove Mugabe.

Langa, Midzi, Machaya and Gwanetsa have purportedly received votes of no confidence, while mob rule is being used to force out Mujuru.
History seems to be repeating itself.

17 thoughts on “Mujuru siege: History repeats itself”

  1. Stanley Nyamupingidza says:

    The developments in ZANU PF show one thing and one thing only, that ZANU PF is beyond redemption. It is so rotten to the core that it can not be salvaged. My advice to my sister, Joice Mujuru, is that she must immediately quit and never even attend the Congress. Everything has been so predetermined and Joice has no chance in hell of winning.

    1. cheyameni says:

      ooh,so zanu pf is beyond redemption only because your preferred sister as you call her is on the ropes.when she was smuggled into number 2,why didn’t you complain? is it becoz it suited you,RUBBISH.joyce made her nail bed and must lie on it

    2. Wilbert Mukori says:

      JOICE IS YOUR SISTER, WHY DID YOU NOT ADVISE HER ALL THESE YEARS NOT TO PLAY MUGABE AND MNANGAGWA’S GAME OF VOTE RIGGING AND INTIMIDATION. IT IS TOO LATE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THESE THINGS NOW!

  2. busani says:

    at this point in time, Zimbabwe needs a moderate,pragmatic and reasonable politician to get us in good terms with key multi lateral institutions. chigandanga chisinamusoro had its era. The era is over. wellcome to the 21st century politics. Politics of the economy. I am not sure if Mnangagwa is a viable candidate based on what Zimbabwe wants the most a sound economy. He is not diplomatic. a dangerous weakness in the 21st century.

    1. Abbie says:

      Cheyameni, Zanu p.f. is beyond redemption because they have destroyed the country. The economy is ruined and all they talk about is their party nonsense which doesn’t benefit the country. Why would us the long suffering Zimbos have a preference for any of the contenders to the throne. They are part of the rot.

      1. Wilbert Mukori says:

        THE WEEDS DO NOT STOP GROWING JUST BECAUSE THE LAZY FARMER HAS SPENT YET ANOTHER WEEK FISHING OR CHASING WOMEN OF ILL REPUTE LIKE TSVANGIRAI; THEY WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND CHOKE THE CROPS. WHEN THE DOG-EAT-DOG FIGHT IN ZANU PF IS OVER THE REGIME WILL FIND THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN HAS CLOSED A FEW MORE COMPANIES, THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IS MORE DESPERATE THAN EVER!

        THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN WILL NOT BE SUCH AN EASE PUSHOVER AS MUJURU AND TSVANGIRAI HAVE BEEN FOR THE TYRANT!

    2. Wilbert Mukori says:

      I AGREE. MNANGAGWA IS GOOD AT RIGGING ELECTIONS AND THUGGERY AND LITTLE ELSE.

      WHAT WE WANT IS FOR ZANU PF TO STEP ASIDE SO THE COUNTRY CAN FINALLY HOLD FREE, FAIR AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS. A DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL PROCESS WILL SEPARATE THE COMPETENT LEADERS FROM THE MEDIOCRE AND IDIOTS JUST AS A RACE SEPARATES THE WANNABES FROM THE USANI BOLT OF THIS WORLD.

  3. Kufandada says:

    People went to war to allow everyone to be able to express their political will freely.The goings on in ZanuPF are not democratic.

  4. ana boys says:

    What goes around comes around, chinomhara chinobhururuka

  5. MuChinja says:

    Some of us have stated over and over again that Zanu PF (Pvt) Ltd. is the sole property of Robert Mugabe as the Managing Director. Everyone else in ZANU is a puppet and stooge . Mujuru allies have abandoned her for fear of being killed by Bob who is now a century old. No tears for any ZANU PF victim. Let the circus continue . Bob is making sure he dies with ZANU . And the loudest and longest laugh is from Jonathan Moyo .

    1. Wilbert Mukori says:

      JONATHAN MOYO WAS REJECTED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE IN LAST YEAR’S ELECTIONS, EVEN THEY KNOW HE IS A DANGEROUS SNAKE. THE DEMISE OF ZANU PF WILL MEAN HIS OWN DEMISE.

  6. Taliban says:

    Yeah mujuru has to go!! Ngwena for president!!

    1. Wilbert Mukori says:

      BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE NGWENA WILL NOT CHANGE ANYTHING!

  7. Chris Veremu says:

    There is a tale which has a biblical bent…the lion shall lie down with the lamb, it says…. In real life things are more…whats that word…mm mm somewhat incongruous, yah? I believe the lion can lie down together with the lamb but only the lion will get up.. However this need not necessarily be always the case, especially if the lamb (GMO?) develop a taste for lion steaks. In the latter case the lamb might actually be the one that gets up while the lion kisses life as known ‘adios’. The present game of politics across the political divide is giving analysts a headache as nothing seems to be what it looks…It is lifelong work trying to penetrate the foliage and make an intelligent decision as regard what will happen next. It is made worse when the MAIN players themselves have no clue what lies around the corner!Its all fembera fembera all round…No one appears to have a clue where they are headed and we the followers are best advised to look the other way…..The madness that has visited our political class is new virgin territory for all. This is more TRUE for the political class themselves!

  8. Chris Veremu says:

    There is a tale from the biblical tent…the lion shall lie down with the lamb, it says…. In real life things are more…whats that word…mm mm somewhat incongruous, yah? I believe the lion can lie down together with the lamb but only the lion will get up.. However this need not necessarily be always the case, especially if the lamb (GMO?) develop a taste for lion steaks. In the latter case the lamb might actually be the one that gets up while the lion kisses life as known ‘adios’. The present game of politics across the political divide is giving analysts a headache as nothing seems to be what it looks…It is lifelong work trying to penetrate the foliage and make an intelligent decision as regard what will happen next. It is made worse when the MAIN players themselves have no clue what lies around the corner!Its all fembera fembera all round…No one appears to have a clue where they are headed and we the followers are best advised to look the other way…..The madness that has visited our political class is new virgin territory for all. This is more TRUE for the political class themselves!

  9. Wilbert Mukori says:

    @Herbert Moyo

    MUJURU IS POLITICALLY FINISHED; YOU CAN START WRITING HER OBITUARY.

    I HAVE HER EPITAPH COVERED: HERE LAYS THE POLITICAL REMAINS OF A WOMAN OF NO SUBSTANCE WHO WAS PROMOTED WAY ABOVE HER LEVEL OF COMPETENCE AND MADE A COMPLETE ARSE OF HERSELF! INSTEAD OF STOPPING THE MADNESS IN ZANU PF SHE WAS BUSY LOOTING AND DENYING THERE WAS NO CORRUPTION.

  10. Warrior says:

    These activities are showing the true colours of politics. It is a contest for power. I am enjoying it big time. Let the games continue. I need a future president who is clever and bold enough to fight and defend this nation. The first evidence is ability to outfox oponents in own party. Whoever wins this contest will deserve a shot at the presidency.

    The other interesting thing to come out is how the press has amplified the fighting. I hope MDC has a hand in it, which would mean they have now learnt the art of hitting your opponent when he is down.

    LET THE GAMES CONTINUE.

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