Information Minister Jonathan Moyo today said that Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko never denigrated Zimbabwe African People’s Union leader Dumiso Dabengwa but had only queried why he had chosen to work with organisations whose political project was opposed to the values, ideals and objectives of the liberations struggle. As such, instead of undermining Mphoko, Dabengwa must support Mphoko as his former subordinate because a commander who pulls down his rising subordinate is a charlatan.
“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,” Moyo told the Sunday Mail.
“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 that Dabengwa himself fought for so well along with his ZIPRA and ZANLA comrades.
“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 sell-outs 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.”
Dabengwa questioned Mphoko’s appointment as Vice-President of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union-Patriotic Front at the recent party congress and the country saying he was not from ZAPU and worked for the state intelligence.
Moyo disputed this arguing that there could not be any serious debate whatsoever that VP Mphoko was 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.
“Dabengwa’s immaturity in his mishandling of this matter risks exposing him as being petty and jealous about a former subordinate in the liberation struggle who is today holding an important position of national responsibility.
“Pettiness and jealousy are the stuff of counter-revolutionaries and quislings and there are many comrades who would not like to see Dabengwa continuing in that category.
“Ultimately, Dabengwa and others from the Matabeleland region that think like him must understand that, in terms of the Unity Accord, the VP appointment drawn from the former ZAPU is not a personal, partisan, tribal or regional position but a national assignment.
“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,” Moyo said.
“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.
“Dabengwa must understand that just like a teacher who does not support his or her rising student is a charlatan, so is a commander who pulls down his rising subordinate.”