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Crux of President Mugabe ‘assassination plot’

HARARE – In this report, the Daily News summarises and attempts to shed some light on the nub of the allegations relating to the “planned” t...

HARARE – In this report, the Daily News summarises and attempts to shed some light on the nub of the allegations relating to the “planned” toppling and assassination of President Robert Mugabe by alleged allies of embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru, as sensationally reported by the State-controlled newspaper, the Sunday Mail yesterday.
The weekly said Mujuru was at the centre of the plot to assassinate the 90-year-old, a development that its well-known cast of “analysts” said made her continued incumbency as the nonagenarian’s number two untenable.

However, no cogent facts were put on the table to show what exactly it was that her allies were concretely doing to plan or effect the assassination. No evidence was also published on how the beleaguered widow of the late liberation war hero, Solomon Mujuru, fitted in all this.

This was despite the fact that the Sunday Mail fingered two of the VP’s closest allies — former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, and current secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa — as having recently “spoken of assassinating President Mugabe”.

The only allusion to some potential “evidence” of this was an alleged voice recording of Gumbo making the assassination threat, saying, “Kana Mugabe akaramba achipusha Mujuru out tichamubvisa sezvakaitwa (Laurent) Kabila”, as well as a report to party authorities of Mutasa saying president “Mugabe will be shot”.

The paper also said its “investigations” had also revealed that another senior VP Mujuru ally, a Cabinet minister from Mashonaland Central, “made contingencies for such a scenario during recent meetings with potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel”.
President Mugabe
But even going by the paper’s purported Gumbo sting recording, that says “Kana Mugabe akaramba achipusha Mujuru out tichamubvisa sezvakaitwa Kabila (If Mugabe keeps trying to force Mujuru out, we will remove him like what happened to Kabila)”, a prominent lawyer said yesterday this did not in itself indicate or suggest in any way that Gumbo and or his associates were planning to assassinate Mugabe.

“The claim that this statement is in itself an intention to assassinate Mugabe, is with respect to the many learned lawyers and experts who were quoted by the newspaper (Sunday Mail) laughable.

“There is not a single court under the sun, not even in Boko Haram-controlled territories in Nigeria, where any court can convict anyone on such a frivolous charge,” the lawyer said, adding that unless someone knew exactly the full context of what Mutasa had also said as well as where and how he had come to say what he said, this was also “probably a pretty harmless statement” as well that could be easily defended in court.

“As for the attempt to link Mujuru to all this, it is so tenuous as to not merit any serious legal comment,” the experienced and famous human rights lawyer said.

Curiously, the Sunday Mail did not provide any details as well or feel confident enough to name the “Cabinet minister from Mashonaland Central” who “made contingencies for such a scenario (Mugabe’s assassination plot) during recent meetings with potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel” — despite the fact that it had openly fingered Gumbo and Mutasa as two of the central plotters.

Political analyst Shepherd Mntungwa said this clearly showed that the story was “a fib, deliberately planted to inflict maximum damage on Mujuru”.

“Look, Zanu PF is in the season of high smear campaigns and character assassinations, presided over by Mugabe himself, as the party prepares for its elective congress soon.

“If there was any grain of truth in any of this at all, all the people named in the story would be at Chikurubi as we speak now,” he said.

The Sunday Mail also reported yesterday that a clique of business people — including Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde and Kingdom Bank founder Nigel Chanakira — had allegedly been financing Mujuru’s purported attempt to topple Mugabe.

Almost curiously, the paper said these business people were “struggling financially at present” and hoped to “secure their future by capturing State power and investing in the palace coup in the hope of reaping bigger dividends in the event that VP Mujuru becomes president”.

The question then is, if both men are in such “unenviable financial positions”, as the paper itself said, where were they getting the money to invest in Mujuru’s alleged illegal power grab? Daily News
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