Zanu PF congress a charade: Gumbo

SUSPENDED Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo (RG), who unwaveringly stood behind under-fire Vice-President Joice Mujuru as he demanded Zanu PF must resolve its succession conundrum at congress next week, has opened up on the tumultuous events rocking the faction-riddled party, and how he feels betrayed by party leader President Robert Mugabe.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Zimbabwe Independent political reporter Elias Mambo (EM) this week, Gumbo ominously said all progressive forces being purged ahead of congress will not watch forever as their party is destroyed from within by opportunists and infiltrators.

Below are excerpts:

EM: Where to now after your five-year suspension from the politburo?

RG: I have always been on the battlefront all my adult life and I remain resolute that the struggle has to be fought. I am not out. I will make sure the people of Zimbabwe get their freedom and my views of genuine freedom will never be compromised. I will never deviate from principle.

EM: How are you going to continue the fight since you have been booted out of Zanu PF?

RG: Revolutions are fought from different angles. I will continue fighting on behalf of the people to ensure freedom, economic recovery and development.

EM: Do you regret speaking out? Do you feel you owe the President an apology?

RG: Hahaha! I am not apologetic for whatever I have been saying. That has always been my stance and there is nothing to apologise for. Zimbabweans want real issues to be resolved and not for us to remain prisoners of fear.

The succession issue is wreaking havoc with the turnaround of this economy. It cannot be ignored. So why should I apologise? For what? Focused leadership should be aware that one day leadership will change and this calls for robust discussion and not to whip people into line and suppress debate on such a crucial issue.

EM: Take us through events of that fateful day when you were suspended. Were you aware of your impending fate?

RG: I was shocked. Not only me, but everyone else. I knew there were plans to deal with me maybe after congress but not on that day. I was not given a chance to defend myself on the allegations levelled against me and I was not happy that a very junior person (Edson Chakanyuka, Zanu PF Youth League deputy secretary) who has no clue of how this country came to being was used to move a motion to suspend me.

I am a veteran of the struggle and that is not questionable. Mugabe should have moved in to stop that madness considering my role in the liberation struggle and independent Zimbabwe. He should have considered that instead of allowing a representative of a faction that wants power to push me out. Obviously, it was pre-planned and Mugabe knew about it.

EM: And how did the others react, especially those who subscribe to your views of the need for a robust discussion on the succession taboo?

RG: Everyone was shell-shocked. They were taken by aback and no one thought it would come to this. They were scared and there was no dissenting voice to stop the motion. They all kept quiet. I felt that Mugabe should have engaged me before the politburo and not expose me to open attacks.

I was never elected into this position. He appointed me so he betrayed me in the sense that he used some people to help him boot me out. He appointed me so he was supposed to be the person who should have told me openly that he is dropping me, not some dubious character who is ignorant of the history of the struggle and is being used by those who are power hungry. As they say, the one who appoints can also disappoint.

EM: What was your reaction?

RG: I stood up and told Mugabe that I was leaving since I no longer had any role to play. Why would I have wasted my time when I had been chucked out?

EM: What did he say?

RG: He said he thought I should wait until the politburo was over.

EM: And what about the allegations that you wanted to topple or even assassinate Mugabe and replace him with Mujuru?

RG: Pure lies. Blatant lies being peddled by the faction that wants to take over power. It is not possible after having spent my life serving the party to think of overthrowing a sitting president.

I have done nothing wrong. Supporting Mujuru is not a crime. She is the number two in command and if anything happens to the president she is entitled by the constitution of this country to take over. She should be supported and we should not apologise for that.

The president himself said so in 2004. Are we selling out if we are supporting his deputy? No! She is not an enemy so she needs our support.

EM: Are you saying you support the Mujuru faction?

RG: I do not have a faction. I support Mujuru because naturally she was supposed to take over. Mugabe should also support her because he groomed her and that is not a crime.

EM: Do you think Mujuru will take over given how events are taking place in Zanu PF?

RG: Mujuru is going to survive. She is strong and she has a very strong support base. She is well-groomed and mature. There is nothing to stop her from taking over in future.

EM: But those who are supporting her are being purged just like you. How will she survive at congress?

RG: Those suspensions and removals are illegal. They are unwarranted, they are unfair, uncalled-for and they do not consider the contributions of those people to the struggle and development of this country.

EM: But the removed people will not take part at congress? So what will happen?

RG: If Mugabe is given the power to appoint, then it ceases to be an elective congress. In fact that congress is now a sham because illegal structures will be playing crucial roles. Those acting chairpersons are not elected individuals and the constitution does not allow that.

The whole congress is a non-event because the constitution has been manipulated and violated, so where is democracy. It is not a congress at all. It’s a charade.

EM: But it will go ahead as planned and you and others will be left out. What are you going to do?

RG: It is up to the people to react to that. All those sidelined democratic forces can raise their concerns.

EM: Are you saying those people may form their own party?

RG: I am saying people will not sit and accept injustice forever. They will not accept a leadership that is not focused and which they would not have voted for. It is not a people-chosen leadership.

EM: Lastly, are we seeing the end of Zanu PF?

RG: Zanu PF is above any individual. We will not allow our party to be destroyed from within. Those who have highjacked the party will soon realise that power belongs to the people and not them.

11 thoughts on “Zanu PF congress a charade: Gumbo”

  1. Wilbert Mukori says:

    The succession issue is wreaking havoc with the turnaround of this economy. It cannot be ignored. So why should I apologise? For what? Focused leadership should be aware that one day leadership will change and this calls for robust discussion and not to whip people into line and suppress debate on such a crucial issue.

    Rugare Gumbo is waking to the reality of the need for robust discussions now but has said nothing all these years he was in power. We have seen this happen again and again in Zimbabwe; look at Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, etc. they all remember the suffering masses before they got into power, forgot once they got into power and remembered again when the lost power. Zimbabweans must learn to avoid these chameleons!

    The right to free and fair elections, the right to life, etc. these rights and freedoms should have been settled back in 1980 if Zanu PF chameleons had not betrayed us or in 2008 if MDC chameleons had not in turned betrayed us. These rights and freedoms will be settled this time, no if no but; all we must avoid is trust the chameleons to do it!

    Rugare Gumbo is not to be trusted, he is a chameleon.

  2. maposa says:

    Very strong words from a very strong man PAMBERI ne chokwadi. Mugabe must stop running Zimbabwe as his own company.

    Chinobhururuka chinomhara

  3. jonsina says:

    Well, well Mr Gumbo, sorry, Comrade Gumbo. You are very right in saying the succession issue has to be solved once and for all. However, Mujuru does not have the stamina nor sophistication needed to salvage this country out of this deep mess caused by sanctions. Her reverence for western leaders would compromise our strategic resource based investment bargain with our erstwhile western ‘ friends’ who mistakenly think we enjoy receiving a few million dollars of ‘aid’ money instead of allowing us to generate our own . Mujuru is gone and done forever if mugabe does the only wise thing of giving power to younger fellow.

  4. Patriot says:

    Pamberi nen Cde!!!!!!!

  5. Joseph Kaundura says:

    So many stories are abound about whether Mr. R. Gumbo is an independent thinker or not. The merits and most probably the demerits of it borders around role playing in organisations. Here we had a whole spokes person of a political party who was headlong into succession politics to an extent of abrogation of group policy on information management.

    To me such a person is a dangerous component of any grouping and groups by nature are run on compromise and consensus. Therefore Rugare Gumbo was not smart not to see the calamity of moving from the centre in the role that he played in ZANU Pf.

    Like others before him he can bark , wail, sing or shout about his expectation the truth of the matter is he is now fish out of water. On the contrary we have very green politician like Nelson Chamisa whose political life has been compromised at MDC T yet he has accepted and taken time to reflect on what went wrong at MDC T congress.

    I read that Rugare Gumbo has a craving for disorder and chaos. Comrade Mbita spoke about it and so was the late comrade Kumbirayi Kangai. Wisdom is not bought anyway, strive and crave for it former comrade

  6. Wezhira Wezhara says:

    Gumbo mentality is the problem with Mujuru faction….Is it my fault if I was born after 1980 and didn’ t participate in the liberation struggle? Does that mean Gumbo’s contributions to the national discourse take precedence over mine or that he must remain my senior until he dies? Isn’t thst hypocrisy from him considering he wants to replace the most senior icon Mugabe?

    ….Gimbo’s so called outspokenness has served no purpose as it has been full of half truths,lies and self serving propaganda for himself and his faction….He has never been his own man since the hondo he has always been associated with faction us nhingi and every time he has associated with ideologically bankrupt characters who have ended up as losers….

    the private media which panders to him in the hopes for him to spill some juicy insider info on Zanu will soon tire of him and the natural depression from not being centre of attention will follow and he will shrivel into the pathetic old man many of us know him to be.

  7. Godwin Phiri says:

    U are obviously part of the problem Mr Gumbo why do u continously remind us of your liberation credentials and tht those who did not participate cannot act against you and your friends. Are u suggesting that over 70% of the population of Zimbabwe who were too young to have fought or were not born at all have no role in determining the future of this country. U are just as bad as those that booted u out.

  8. General Moyo says:

    Gumbo,u were only genuine the time u were in Mozambique!The moment u started enjoying and looting money and other resources destined for Zimbabweans u became irrelevant to the struggle.So enjoy your suspension Mr Gumbo.Zvamakadya zve vana ve Zimbabwe zvakakwana.Even vakakudzingai naivo its long time up for them!Chisingaperi chinoshura!

  9. Tanetanemi says:

    Gumbo, you are now right but you were in the wrong basket. You are now worried about the majority Zimbabweans who are suffering because of your leadership since 1980. Thank you for telling us that we are prisoners of fear. Its you who had allowed RGM to think that he is the only person who must rule this nation or you were also acting just like any ordinary to RGM during your time in Zanu Pf? Help us Zimbabweans to open our eyes but also remember that all young dogs (puppies) will never open their eyes in one day. Other puppies will see while others are still closing their eyes. Pembe ye nyika yakapiwa wrong man haaisiye, yaveyake kusvika atorerwa na mwari.

  10. Tanetanemi says:

    Welcome Gumbo for joining us. Pamberi na RG Mugabe, Pamberi ne nzara, pasi nama investors

  11. Ngqondongqondo says:

    Gumbo. You made this bed of thorns. Lie on it. You from 1980 helped concoct this poison. Drink. You nurtured the beast hoping it will always find victims elsewhere. Do you remember Gukurahundi? Where were you and your democracy a and concern for the wellbeing of the people. You know nothing about living in fear. Now you find a voice because the door has been shut at your face. You are as bad as your former colleagues, you, Mujuru,Mutasa and all still inside ZANU are responsible for this economic international disaster and the murder of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters by GUKURAHUNDI.

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