Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cracks Widen in Zanu PF
December 24, 2014

WITH each passing week after the Zanu PF congress, it is increasingly clear cracks are developing and widening within the broad anti-Joice Mujuru alliance of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as the First Lady’s key allies publicly express discontent about the new arrangement in which they feel they got a raw deal in the sharing of spoils.

Faith Zaba

Politburo members Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Saviour Kasukuwere and Oppah Muchinguri are reportedly unhappy with the outcome which has seen the centre of power shifting from fired vice-president Mujuru to Mnangagwa, and not Mugabe as they had planned.

Mnangagwa raised tensions after he overlooked the so-called “gang of four” when he sent out invites to the bash in Zvishavane two weeks ago to celebrate his appointment to the vice-presidency, and other parties which had been lined up for Kwekwe and Zvimba.

A close Mnangagwa ally said this week: “The gang of four is unhappy with the shift of power to Mnangagwa, hence the attacks directed at him which we have seen in the state media of late. They are also angered by their failure to make the celebrations’ guest list.

“It is not a coincidence that two articles appeared in the Sunday Mail this week with the same message. It is clear that it was something planned. You can see that there is a problem and the alliance is coming apart.

“We wonder why they are panicking and what has compelled them to comment on the succession issue. We also wonder what their real agenda is.”

In an interview with a state weekly, Moyo said Mnangagwa’s rise to the vice-presidency did not mean that he would automatically take over from Mugabe when the 90-year old leaves office.

Moyo said both the Zanu PF and country’s constitutions did not prescribe that Mugabe should select his successor, an argument that was supported by Zhuwao in his weekly column published in the same issue.

“It would be unconstitutional and indeed undemocratic for the president to do that (select his successor). As such, those who want the president to designate a successor are either charlatans or enemies of constitutionalism and democracy,” Moyo said.

“And in the case of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the current succession provision does not allow for automatic elevation, but requires the political party of the previous incumbent to nominate the successor in accordance with its internal constitutional procedures, and the Zanu PF constitutional procedure provides for the convening of an extraordinary congress to elect a successor should that be necessary.”

Concurring with Moyo, Zhuwao described as “mischievous” assertions that Mnangagwa would automatically take over from Mugabe by virtue of being a VP.

“The appointments are not about succession, nor are the appointments about succession’s toxic cousin, factionalism,” he said.

“Zanu PF’s congress decisively dealt with factionalism and such divisive tendencies in a systematic and institutional manner by resolving to institutionalise a single source of power through amendments to the constitution.

“Zanu PF must never allow the re-emergence of alternative centres of power.”

Party insiders said this week mutual suspicion and tension were rapidly breeding in the alliance.

“Jonathan Moyo is not happy with the position he got in the politburo and Zhuwao and Muchinguri are so disappointed after all the running around they did for the Mnangagwa-Grace alliance,” said a politburo member.

“In fact, the tensions are beginning to play out in the public media as shown by attacks on (politburo member Josiah) Hungwe and the two articles attacking Mnangagwa at the weekend in the state media, which was used to mutilate Mujuru.”

Hungwe likened Mnangagwa to “Son of Man”, a biblical reference to Jesus Christ.

“The Mnangagwa faction is not happy with the attacks and it is clear that they are an indirect attack on the VP. They are now accusing Mnangagwa, as they did Mujuru, of creating another centre of power.”

The gang of four is also unhappy with the blocking of people perceived to be enemies from accessing Mnangagwa.

The barred included Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa Isaac Moyo, Industry deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa and Mberengwa North MP Tafanana Zhou.

Tribal Agitators Launch Attacks on VP Mphoko

Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

A disgruntled group of former Zanu-PF elements has been trying to discredit Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s credentials by raising unsubstantial issues about his history, and that his appointment violates the Unity Accord.

The offensive, led by ousted Zanu-PF politburo member Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, has been trashed by senior former members of PF-Zapu, who say President Mugabe’s appointment of VP Mphoko is well in order and those opposed to it are staking narrow and retrogressive tribal claims. Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu came together to form a united Zanu-PF via the historic Unity Accord in 1987 under the leadership of President Mugabe and the late national hero, Dr Joshua Nkomo.

President Mugabe, a fortnight ago, appointed Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cde Mphoko as Zanu-PF and State VPs.

Now, some elements are claiming VP Mphoko is whitewashing his history by not saying what his official role was between 1980 and 1987 during which time he was engaged in sensitive diplomatic and State security work.

The onslaught also tries to diminish the role of a national VP by confining it to a discredited tribal and regional frame.

Further, efforts to deride VP Mphoko’s work with the intelligence establishment are hypocritical as Dr Dabengwa was himself actively involved in recommending former liberation fighters for recruitment into the agency.

Dr Dabengwa’s ire was raised when VP Mphoko queried why a liberation stalwart was associating himself with oppositional forces hell-bent on reversing the gains of the struggle.

Observers said Dr Dabengwa was better off reassessing his own political position vis-à-vis his role in the illegal regime change agenda instead of raising red herrings about VP Mphoko.

Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said he would not be bothered by the “petty issues raised by people with their own agendas”.

He added, “I do not think the party has a position on that . . . The appointment of VPs is the prerogative of the President. That is all I can say.”

Politburo member and Government spokesperson Professor Jonathan Moyo said the appointments were done in line with Article 4 of the Unity Accord.

“There cannot be any serious debate whatsoever that VP Mphoko is from former Zapu and that he was in the Zipra hierarchy.

“Also, there’s no evidence that can be objectively and independently corroborated to suggest that VP Mphoko quit Zapu or was expelled there from before or after our country’s heroic Independence in 1980. This is the factual position,” he said.

Prof Moyo – who is Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister went on: “To be frank with you, many Zimbabweans who have had respect and sympathy for Dumiso Dabengwa, and I consider myself among these, are very disappointed about his manifestly reckless response to VP Mphoko’s appointment.

“It is most unfortunate that a stalwart of our liberation struggle, more so one of Dabengwa’s historic stature, has chosen to come out sounding very trivial and immature.

“The record will show that VP Mphoko acknowledges and respects Dabengwa’s contribution not only to our country’s liberation as a Zipra commander under whom VP Mphoko served, but also acknowledges and respects Dabengwa’s contribution to the Unity Accord that we are commemorating tomorrow.

“What VP Mphoko has queried is Dabengwa’s current political position from which he has found it fit to work with political elements whose political project is opposed to the values, ideals and objectives of the liberation struggle …

“VP Mphoko finds it difficult to understand how and why Dabengwa, his acknowledged and respected heroic Zipra commander, apparently has no qualms to abuse the names of Zapu and Zipra to justify working with sellouts today.

“This is a challenge that Cde Dabengwa must take seriously without resorting to insults that make him sound so immature for someone with his liberation credentials.”

Prof Moyo said people should go beyond thinking of national unity in tribal terms.

“Matabeleland has been regionalised and tribalised for too long by politicians who have not done anything for the region beyond working for their own personal benefit.

“The time has come for Matabeleland to become national in both its character and content. VP Mphoko brings that promise in a very refreshing way.

“As such, he does not need to be pulled down but to be supported by everyone – beginning with the people in Matabeleland.

“As VP Mphoko’s former commander in Zipra during the liberation struggle, Dabengwa will do himself a lot of good by leading the way in support of VP Mphoko to make a positive change not only in the region but also in the country.”

Another Zanu-PF Politburo member, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, said it was naive for anyone to expect VP Mphoko to have publicly participated in politics when he was in the diplomatic service and State security.

“He was in diplomatic service as well as in the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation). Did anyone expect him to raise a clenched fist and say ‘pamberi neZanu-PF’ while on duty as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador in Moscow?” he asked.

“People should not dig up what do not concern them. We are happy as a party with the appointment; not with only him, but also with VP Mnangagwa and other people who were elected to various organs of the party. Why should we listen to outsiders?”

Dr Ndlovu said the people who were trying to soil the VP’s credentials wanted to blow out of proportion an incident in the late 1970s when VP Mphoko remained in Mozambique after the collapse of the Zimbabwe People’s Army, which sought to bring Zanla and Zipra together.

“Yes he remained in Mozambique, so what? He remained in the struggle and never denounced PF-Zapu. To us he remained PF-Zapu through and through until we united to form Zanu-PF,” he said.

“We sent him to Mozambique as Zipa with Nikita Mangena (and others). He contributed in Zipa which did not succeed. Now someone has an axe to grind with him…

“We were working together during the struggle. I was responsible for orgainising the political structure and (VP Mphoko) was within the military undertakings.

“Dumiso (Dabengwa) said what he said; he is not in Zanu-PF. Those people are not part of us, why should we spend time listening to them? It means if we want to listen to them we are accepting distraction. We won’t build the nation denouncing each other. We have just started; the President has just made appointments.

“There are those who are disappointed yes, but disappointment does not mean the end of the world. Those who have been appointed in a position of leadership, whether vice president or what, it’s the time for talking to each other and reconciling now. Why should we not now focus on positives?”

Dr Ndlovu said VP Mphoko was a tried and tested revolutionary who began serious politics in the 1960s and was arrested in 1963 after clashing with a Rhodesian police officer who had set his dog on him and other youths.

Brigadier-General (Retired) Ambrose Mutinhiri weighed in saying: “I worked with the VP from 1964 and he is a dedicated cadre. We were together during the liberation struggle when I was chief of training and he was chief of logistics.

“I have great respect for the guy. I have known him for many years. He is a dedicated leader. It is not true to suggest that he is not a tried and tested former Zapu member. He represented the party in Mozambique for a long time and remained Zapu until the Unity Accord.”

Cde Mphoko was jailed for three years at Khami Prison, but appealed against the sentence and was granted bail while awaiting retrial.

He then went for military training in the Soviet Union (1964-65) and upon his return created the first military planning committee whose mandate was to direct the armed struggle.

Cde Mphoko was among the seven commanders commissioned to recruit and train liberation fighters and later assumed a position in the Joint Military Command in charge of logistics and supply in the ANC-Zapu alliance.

He operated in Sipolilo (now Guruve) with the likes of Cdes Jose Modise (ANC), Abraham Nkiwane and Dabengwa.

In 1976, he was a delegate at the formation of the Patriotic Front in Mozambique with Cdes Jason Moyo, George Silundika and Joseph Msika, before attending the Lancaster House peace talks as a military delegate.

After Independence, Cde Mphoko was in 1981 appointed deputy director for demobilisation in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, subsequently working for State Security and in the diplomatic service.

An account by Judith Todd, daughter of Southern Rhodesia prime minister Garfield Todd, in her book “Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe” reveals further details about VP Mphoko’s early independence history.

She wrote, “A year after Independence, Mphoko was elected deputy director of the demobilisation directorate, which was created in 1981 and fell under the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry.

“John Shonhiwa was the head of the directorate and had been in the first batch of men sent to China by Zanu-PF for military training in 1963 along with Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had become the minister responsible for State Security.

“Their task was to co-ordinate activities and programmes for ex-combatants with relevant Government ministries.”

In 1985, at the height of the civil disturbances and two years before the signing of the Unity Accord, VP Mphoko was arrested along with the likes of Sydney Malunga, Welshman Mabhena and Stephen Nkomo.

Assassination plot: experts compile report

by kuda bwititi
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Police investigations into an alleged plot to assassinate Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa have seen forensic detectives called, with the results of their probe expected any time from now.

A fortnight ago, a poison which was confirmed to be cyanide-based was smeared in then VP-designate Mnangagwa’s office on the 12th floor of Zanu-PF’s headquarters, which upon inhalation resulted in the hospitalisation of three people.

VP Mnangagwa only escaped harm because his personal secretary and two other staffers entered the office before he did.

Yesterday, the secretary – Mrs Catherine Magaya – told this paper that she had been discharged from the intensive care unit of a hospital in Harare, though she was still in a bad state.

The others affected by the poison are Cde Dzingayi Mutasa (driver) and an unnamed officer from the President’s Department.

Mrs Magaya said, she was given a 21-day medication regimen.

“I am recovering at home. I was given medication that will last for three weeks and after that I will go back to the doctors to assess my condition. The doctors said that the cyanide affected my stomach and caused numbness on the left side of the body.

“When I was admitted into hospital, the left side of my body was virtually paralysed but now the situation has improved because I can move a bit and I am also able to walk a few steps,” she said.

And National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said investigators were awaiting results of forensic tests, likely to be concluded next week.

“I can assure you that thorough investigations are going on in that case. As it stands, the furniture and other office material which was sprinkled with the (poison) has been taken for forensic tests.

“I understand the forensic experts have started to assess the evidence and after they are done we will duly provide you with the results.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the slight delay in finalising the results was because “some of the material that is being used for the forensic tests is brought in from outside the country”.

She said no arrests had been made.

“We are confident that we will get to the root of this case and bring to book anyone who might have been involved in this crime,” the police spokesperson said.

President Mugabe revealed the assassination attempt at a Zanu-PF Extraordinary Central Committee meeting earlier this month, just after announcing the appointments of VP Mnangagwa and VP Phelekezela Mphoko as his two deputies in the ruling party.

President Mugabe told stunned delegates that the poison was sprayed in Cde Mnangagwa’s office “in the hope that he would walk-in in the morning and breathe in the substance”.

“We are aware of people that really want to harm us. Physical harm also,” said President Mugabe .“I was talking of the incident that happened kuma ofiice edu eZanu-PF. The offices of Cde Mnangagwa were broken into and poison was spread all over the desk and so on.

“The powder, which when the door opens and there is that flash of air would be blown up and then he would breath it. So it’s not Mnangagwa who opens the door, it was secretary who opened the door and poor girl there she was, she breathed it and she is a mess. She is in the intensive care unit. Ko pamusana peyi? Chatatadza chii? Why, why, why?

“We want investigations to be done. I am just warning you that it is not always those who smile at us who are our friends. Take care.”

The suspected assassination of VP Mnangagwa came after former Zanu-PF Politburo members and Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche and Rugare Gumbo were reported to have spoken of killing President Mugabe and “war” in Zanu-PF ahead of its landmark December 2014 Congress that saw seveal senior officials, including ex-VP Joice Mujuru being shown the door.

It is alleged that the officials were plotting to unseat President Mugabe just a year after the electorate returned him to office, failing which assassination of the Head of State and Government would be an option.

War Vets rally behind VP Mphoko

December 25, 2014
Zimbabwe Herald
Lovemore Mataire Senior Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association has resolved to mobilise its membership to rally behind Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.

The resolution was reached at a recent executive meeting of the ZNLWA in Harare where there was consensus on the need to protect the integrity of the Presidium of the revolutionary ZANU-PF party.

ZNLWA national secretary for information and publicity Cde Mandi Chimene said war veterans felt they could not just stand and watch while the person of the Vice President was under attack from some charlatans who purposely left the revolutionary party to pursue their own tribal political projects.

“At our first executive meeting after being elected into office, members resolved that we must vigorously rally behind Vice President Mphoko in all the country’s provinces particularly in Matabeleland where Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, who left ZANU-PF on his own now wants to preach to us who should become our leaders,” said Cde Chimene.

Cde Chimene, who was recently appointed Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, said war veterans were the custodians of the revolution that catapulted the country’s independence from colonial minority rule and as such are always vigilant when the revolution is under attack.

Apparently miffed by the appointment of Cde Mphoko as Vice President, Dr Dabengwa recently went on an offensive casting aspersion on the VP’s involvement in the central intelligence department during the early years of the country’s independence.

In a recent rebuttal of Dr Dabengwa’s utterances, ZANU-PF Politburo member and Government spokesperson Professor Jonathan Moyo said the appointment of VP Mphoko was done in accordance with Article 4 of the Unity Accord.

Prof Moyo said people should go beyond thinking of unity in tribal terms and expressed serious reservations on the way Matabeleland was being regionalised and tribalised by politicians who have not done anything for the region beyond working for their own personal benefit.

“The time has come for Matabeleland to become national in both its character and content.

“VP Mphoko brings that promise in a very refreshing way.

“As such, he does not need to be pulled down but supported by everyone — beginning with the people of Matabeleland.

“As VP Mphoko’s former commander in Zipra during the liberation struggle, Dr Dabengwa will do himself good by leading the way in support of VP Mphoko to make a positive change not only in the region but in the country,” Prof Moyo said.

Another Politburo member Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu also weighed in saying it was naïve to expect VP Mphoko to have publicly participated in politics when he was in the diplomatic and state security services.

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