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Cde Rugare Gumbo’s utterances confirms plot to oust President

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo’s utterances on ZBCTV’s Media Watch ...

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo’s utterances on ZBCTV’s Media Watch programme on Monday that the succession issue is the most critical matter for the party’s forthcoming elective 6th National People’s Congress all but confirms plans that a faction within the party has been working to oust President Mugabe.

Despite the fact that President Mugabe won a resounding mandate, garnering 2 110 434 (61.09 percent) of the vote, to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s 1 172 349 (33.94 percent), Welshman Ncube’s 92 637 (2.68 percent), Dumiso Dabengwa 25 416 (0.74 percent) and Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe’s 9 931 (0.29 percent); a faction within Zanu-PF has been working to replace him with Vice President Joice Mujuru just a year after the election and four years shy of the next presidential poll constitutionally due in 2018.

Mindful of this fact, the faction has been employing underhand tactics, including vote-buying and manipulation since the provincial elections held last year with the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe coming out guns blazing during her Meet The People Tour to identify the faction leader as VP Mujuru.

Analysts who spoke to The Herald yesterday said the remarks by Cde Gumbo, while confirming intentions of the faction in Zanu-PF, were also baffling given that the President got a fresh mandate to implement various programmes as espoused in the revolutionary party’s manifesto and Government’s economic blueprint Zim-Asset in last year’s elections.
Cde Rugare Gumbo’s utterances confirms plot to oust President
Cde Rugare Gumbo’s utterances confirms plot to oust President
Congress, they said, should be about evaluating progress made in implementing Zim-Asset, consolidating the gains made in its implementation and mapping out how the four years to the next election can be used to defend and build on the electoral gains made last year.

In the interview that was aired on ZBCTv on Monday night, Cde Gumbo said the congress would provide “a clear direction” on the succession issue.

“My real response to what is happening now as we go to congress is that there are obviously critical issues which are affecting us, one of them is obviously the issue of succession.

“We have to have a clear direction as to what we want to do in terms of succession, how do we do it? What are the procedures and so on and so forth.

“Eeh, some suggest that we should have appointment of leaders, the President has been very clear on that one. He said he who aspires to a high post must be elected by people.

“People are the critical element in the selection of leaders, so let’s stick to the Constitution, let’s stick to the procedures as we go to congress,” said Cde Gumbo.

“If we want to amend the Constitution, let’s amend the constitution so that it gives us a clearer picture of how we want things done in the country.

“So these are my concerns, not the concerns aah allegations unsubstantiated, allegations which do not make any sense.”

War veteran and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said last year’s elections and pronouncements by all the Zanu-PF 10 provinces had settled the succession issue.

He questioned Cde Gumbo’s continuous reference to the matter.

“The succession issue was settled by the overwhelming electoral mandate given to His Excellency President Mugabe in August 2013, when the votes were tallied” he said. “All 10 party provinces have so contended that they have all endorsed the President as the party’s leader at the elective congress, so it is baffling as to why Gumbo continues to trumpet this item from his unused and now untenable position of spokesperson of the party which he has converted to spokesperson of an ambitious clique that is corrupt to the core,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

Cde Mutsvangwa said the congress should focus on economic policy issues outlined in Zim-Asset.

“Congress will be about the President announcing a new Economic Charter under the Zim-Asset banner, so he can now address long standing the needs of educated expectant youths,” he said.

“This prospect is even more exciting as the European Union sanctions shunted aside, Western businessmen begin trooping back to Zimbabwe and China and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) capital being ploughed into our enabling power, water, transport and logistics infrastructure,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

“Obsessed Gumbo cannot disabuse himself from the delusion of power game dream that is going nowhere. Once a rebel, always a rebel. It’s still not too late for Vice President Mujuru to dissociate herself from such hallucinations and salvage her vestigial integrity.”

Chairperson of the University of Zimbabwe political science department Dr Charity Manyeruke said it was unfortunate that there were a few elements within Zanu-PF who wanted to confuse people on the purpose of the congress.

“The congress is not a succession congress, but an elective congress and we know all the provinces and the Zanu-PF structures like the Women’s League and Youth League have endorsed President Mugabe as First Secretary and President of Zanu-PF,” she said.

“So, what is coming out that it is about succession is exactly the opposite of what will take place and is a slap in the face of people who have endorsed and the structures that have endorsed the President.”

Dr Manyeruke said from Cde Gumbo’s statements it was clear that there was a plan to oust President Mugabe.

“It is clear that there is a plan to remove the President and it vindicates what the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe said that there were people planning regime change,” she said.

“It is shocking coming just one year after the President was overwhelmingly elected by the people of Zimbabwe. This congress would be about endorsing the President and celebrating his victory and the success of Zim-Asset as seen in the various deals that the President signed with the Chinese, the Russians and the re-engagement with the EU and the British that has seen a number of business delegations coming to Zimbabwe as relations improve.”

A Harare based Sadc envoy who did not want to be named for diplomatic reasons expressed shock at Cde Gumbo’s utterances.

“I could not believe my ears when I heard Mr Rugare Gumbo speaking on ZBC television the other day and in his own words saying that one of the most critical issues of the forthcoming Zanu-PF Congress is the succession issue. He was as audacious as he was reckless. He was audacious because I think it takes bravery for a spokesperson of the ruling party to come out sounding like an opposition mouthpiece and this is precisely why he was reckless because it can be costly for a spokesperson of the ruling party to just regurgitate sentiments or views that are firmly associated with opposition ranks.

‘’ At the moment it is clear that the succession issue in Zimbabwe is a preoccupation of a faction in Zanu-PF and opposition parties that want to deny President Mugabe his electoral mandate which he resoundingly won only a year or so ago with four more years to ago. While it is obvious that Zimbabweans have to sort out their own national politics, it is a hard sell to claim that succession is a critical issue for Zanu-PF one year after the last general election and four years before the next. The talk among most diplomats about the Zanu-PF Congress is not about succession but about whether that Congress will give new impetus to Government’s thus far commendable efforts to turning around the economy under Zim-Asset.

‘’Many of us are encouraged that despite all the political stuff in the newspapers these days, the theme of the Zanu-PF Congress is about accelerating the implementation of Zim-Asset. That stands to reason”.

Political commentator Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the statements by Cde Gumbo were treasonous coming just after President Mugabe led Zanu-PF to a resounding victory in last year’s elections.

“While it is not illegal to aspire to be Head of State, it is treasonous to harbour thoughts of the departure of a Head of State especially when he is still sitting and moreover has just won an election resoundingly,” he said.

“Those people talking of the departure of President Mugabe have been pushing for his ouster since 2006 at the Annual People’s Conference in Goromonzi.”

Mr Mureriwa said the same faction plotting the ouster of President Mugabe wanted to field their own candidate in the 2008 harmonised elections and when their efforts failed they began devising other plans.

“At that conference (2006) some people wanted harmonised elections in 2010, but they pushed for 2008 where they hoped to put their candidate,” he said. “When the elections were eventually held in 2008 and President stood as the Zanu-PF candidate that is when we had the “bhora musango” phenomenon.

“Since then they have been working to undermine President Mugabe and continuously pushed for the postponement of harmonised elections during the era of the inclusive Government despite there being Zanu-PF resolutions that elections be held as soon as possible.

“They even wanted last year’s elections to be postponed to a later date hoping that they would field their candidate if elections were pushed further.”

Cde Gumbo has been criticised by President Mugabe, war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters for resuming his devious behaviour that saw him being incarcerated together with like minded rebels in the last years of the liberation struggle for opposing the Zanu-PF leadership.

He was only released at the request of the British government as one of the conditions for holding democratic elections.

In a Politburo meeting held on October 30, President Mugabe questioned Cde Gumbo’s loyalty and told him to his face that he was selling out again.

“Madyira mavekupandukira President kechipiri,” the President was quoted by the Sunday Mail this week as having said referring to Cde Gumbo’s clan name.

This was in reference to allegations that the Zanu-PF spokesperson was using his position to push views of a faction accused of plotting to topple President Mugabe at the forthcoming National People’s Congress early next month.
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