THE putschist cabal led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru has developed a four-pronged strategy in a bid to realise its objective of trying to take over leadership of Zanu-PF having failed to do so at the 6th National People’s Congress.
Following our lead story yesterday which quoted four members of the cabal distancing themselves from a Press statement issued by former secretary for Administration Cde Didymus Mutasa claiming that the 6th National People’s Congress was convened ultra vires the party constitution, sources close to developments said the four members were in effect employing one of the cabal’s strategies, that of fighting Zanu-PF from within.“The strategies include litigation, forming a splinter political party, re-engaging His Excellency, the President through emissaries, as well as fighting from within the Party,” said a cabal source.“The latest development is that the Mujuru loyalists are going ahead with the fighting from within strategy. As part of those efforts, former Politburo members — Tendai Savanhu, Cephas Msipa and Rugare Gumbo and Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya — have been reported to be holding secret meetings in the Midlands Province.“The meetings are aimed at strengthening the Mujuru faction ahead of the party’s district elections scheduled for March 2015.”
The source said the strategy was to ensure that the Mujuru faction loyalists win the majority in the party’s district elections with a view to influencing the provincial structures.‘’Mujuru realised that while she controlled chairpersons ahead of congress, she did not control the structures which is why the structures booted out her chairpersons. This is what she is trying to rectify through the district elections,’’ the source said.Cde Machaya and Mr Gumbo denied holding such meetings.“I am surprised with those lies, they are scary. Members of the President’s Office told me that there was a report that we are meeting but that is not true.“The only person, I phoned this year is Cde Msipa whom I wanted to say congratulations we have entered the New Year. I have no reason to convene a meeting because I am not disgruntled. I last spoke to Cde Gumbo before congress, so all these reports are just imaginary,” Cde Machaya said.Expelled, erstwhile party spokesperson Mr Gumbo added: “We have no reason to convene meetings but we insist that the congress was unconstitutional.”As a mobilisation strategy, the cabal has resorted to the vote-buying that saw them influence the outcome of provincial elections in 2013, with cabal members dishing out cash to party members so that they can lure the electorate.
Some of the Mujuru loyalists pushing this agenda are former minister Nicholas Goche who recently donated fertilisers to his constituency in Shamva North while Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti last Wednesday handed over seed capital to Ward Development Committees (WADCOs) of eight Wards in Mwenezi East Constituency.Meanwhile, Cde Mutasa last Saturday convened a meeting at his house in Rusape for loyalists predominantly from his Constituency.Some of the notable people among the 35 who attended include party councillor for Ward 8, David Muzarabani who chaired the meeting, another Zanu-PF councillor for Ward 38 and Makoni Rural Council District Chairman, David Mutambara Mutasa, as well as Manicaland Provincial Secretary for Education and Headlands Constituency Secretary, Christine Murembwe, and Cde Mutasa’s nephew, Colonel (Rtd) Tichafara Mutasa.A source who attended the meeting said the objective of the meeting was to welcome Cde Mutasa and hear his side of the story on developments in the party.Cde Mutasa is said to have dismissed the 6th National People’s Congress, as illegal, unlawful, null and void.
The source said Cde Mutasa also raised concern with amendments to the party Constitution which he said, led to centralisation of power in President Mugabe.“This, he said, resulted in the unilateral appointments of the two Vice Presidents, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cde Phelekezela Mphoko.“He said that the Vice Presidents’ posts should have been filled through elections instead of appointments. Mutasa said that the appointments were contrary to what the people fought for during the liberation struggle.“Mutasa expressed his disappointment with the ouster of former Vice President, Joice Mujuru. He said that during the swearing-in ceremony of the former Vice President in 2004, His Excellency, the President urged her to aim higher. He added that Mujuru was now aiming higher in line with His Excellency’s encouragement. Mutasa said that there was nothing wrong in having Mujuru as the country’s President.’’
Cde Mutasa is reported to have said VP Mnangagwa was the main beneficiary of the ‘’illegal’’ Congress, adding that had elections been conducted, VP Mnangagwa would have lost because of what he called his tainted history, though he did not elaborate.“Mutasa confessed that he did not know much about VP Mphoko. He indicated that he had brief interactions with Cde Mphoko during the liberation struggle and after Independence.“He added that on one encounter, Cde Mphoko approached him seeking assistance to acquire a farm and he had assisted him,” said the source.The source said Cde Mutasa was asked if he was still the MP for Headlands Constituency and whether he plotted to oust President Mugabe.“Mutasa said that he was still the constituency legislator. He added that the recommendation for his ouster by the Zanu-PF Manicaland Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) led by the young Turks was doomed.“He vowed that only His Excellency, the President could expel him from Zanu-PF.
Mutasa dismissed a petition calling for his recall which was handed to Cde Oppah Muchinguri on Thursday, 15 January 2015, at a meeting held at Headlands Hall.“He said that in Parliament there were Zanu-PF legislators who were sympathising with him and would join forces with MDC-T legislators to thwart the move to recall him.“He added that he would stand as an independent candidate in the event that the move to recall him from Parliament prevails,” said the source.Another source said Cde Mutasa confirmed that he had written to Sadc and the African Union on the developments in Zanu-PF.“Muzarabani who chaired the meeting who is Mutasa’s close associate claimed that the people from Headlands Constituency did not move the motion to recall Mutasa from Parliament.“He dismissed the petition to recall Mutasa, saying the signatures on the petition were from people who were not from Zanu-PF structures. He claimed that the people who led the signing of the petition were war veterans.“Muzarabani called upon the attendees to draft a counter petition to indicate that the constituency was rallying behind Mutasa.
Mutasa welcomed the move and encouraged the attendees to immediately draft and sign a petition. A petition was drafted and signed by 27 of the attendees,” said the source.After the meeting, Cde Mutasa is said to have invited security personnel at the meeting and advised them that while in India, he had contacted former Attorney-General, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, to legally represent him in his efforts to have the congress declared null and void.“He said that Ndebele initially refused, but only accepted the request upon his return from India. “He claimed that there were some members of the judiciary, mainly judges, who sympathised with him. He added that the said judges had assured him of a positive outcome, especially if the case was presided over by an independent judge,” said the source.Rtd Col Mutasa confirmed last week’s meeting though he was evasive.“Why don’t you ask VaMutasa?”“Did you hear that Colonel Mutasa convened the meeting?
Why don’t you ask members of the President’s Office who also attended the meeting? What is your motive? Ndanga ndiri pamba pababa vangu. Why are you asking me ini ndanga ndiri pamba pababa vangu?” he said.Cde Mutambara-Mutasa distanced himself from the meeting.“I do not attend meetings in Headlands Constituency because I am in Makoni Central so I deal with Cde (Patrick) Chinamasa not Mutasa,” he said.Efforts to get comment from Cde Didymus Mutasa were fruitless.A senior Politburo member, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of breaching protocol said, ‘’we are aware of what they (Mujuru cabal) are doing.
They have not started now, this double-speak is their trademark, but we are not fooled.’’Cde Mutasa is leading the litigation strategy and has since drafted an application with the assistance of Mr Gula Ndebele and Mr Addington Chinake of Kantor and Immerman though he has been struggling to find instructing lawyers and an advocate to file the application at the High Court as the two lawyers who helped draft the application were reported to be uncomfortable with associating with a case that has no legal merit.Embittered, former spokesperson Mr Rugare Gumbo has become the spokesperson of the splinter party strategy, and this week told the Standard newspaper that Dr Mujuru would launch a political party by March, while the other members of the cabal professing allegiance to President Mugabe were said to be pushing the strategy of fighting from within.It could not be established who was the face of the strategy to engage the President although Cde Mutasa was quoted saying he wanted to engage the President