Top stories October 16-25


Game over for Joice Mujuru – Knives are out for Vice-President Joice Mujuru and this could spell disaster for all senior party officials that have been backing her. First Lady Grace Mugabe literally told the people of Mashonaland Central, Mujuru’s base, that her career was over because she was not only fanning factionalism but was also thoroughly corrupt.  “Ndakati ini kunaBaba baby-dumping munoiziva here? Vakati ehe,” she said referring to her husband President Robert Mugabe. “Ndakati munhu iyeye arikutungamira factionalism tirikuda kuti muite baby-dumping. Mukasamudumper isusu tichamudumper. Tichaita isu baby-dumping nekuti zvinodivider musangano.  Tonodumper mwana mustreet ogodyiwa nemagora nekuti kana takuita expose kana nhunzi chaidzo ukange wafa apo hadzidi kutombosvika padhuze newe nokuti dzinenge dzakutotya corruption iri pauri. Nhunzi chaidzo, kana imbwa chaidzo dzinenge dzakutotya kusvika padhuze.”  Though the First Lady did not mention Mai Mujuru by name, all indications were that she was referring to her because her husband Solomon Mujuru was a shareholder in River Ranch Diamond Mine. Some of Mujuru’s key supporters are alleged to be party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, spokesman Rugare Gumbo and chairman Simon Khaya Moyo.

Grace will be killed if she tries to become president, Madhuku warns

National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku said First Lady Grace Mugabe would be assassinated by her sponsors if she changed the game-plan and tried to succeed her husband President Robert Mugabe. According to New Madhuku told a panel discussion yesterday that Grace was being used by the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction to block Vice President Joice Mujuru. “Grace would be killed. It’s a very sad thing… Grace would be assassinated when her husband dies; she thinks she can continue in politics. It won’t take time.  It would be a matter of seconds, she will be killed. As soon as Mugabe dies, I would advise the military she needs maximum security in this country. That woman needs our maximum prayers, maximum security. When you hear that Mugabe is gone, your prayers must go to Grace.  She will not be in politics beyond that. They are using her for this period. Because they don’t want to look her in the eyes, she would be killed.” Madhuku said Grace was now the de facto president of the country and was also being prepared for a politburo and cabinet post by an increasingly senile Mugabe to sniff out party rivals plotting his ouster. But he warned: “We will go to war if Grace wakes up being President. She can be chairperson of the ZANU- PF women’s league, fine; she can be a member of the ZANU- PF politburo, fine; she can run around the country and shout at ZANU-PF ministers, fine; she will not be President of this country; that will never happen.  Grace, the President of Zimbabwe! When we are there? Not at all! We don’t want any Mugabe person again…for the next 210 years, there should be no one related, directly or indirectly to Robert Mugabe.”



MDC ready for congress

The Movement for Democratic Change today said it was satisfied with the preparations for its congress to be held this month and said the congress will not just be about elections but will set up the roadmap to the next elections. In a statement issued after the party’s national executive meeting, the MDC said its congress will focus on issues affecting the people of Zimbabwe because the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is concentrating on internal fights than challenges facing the people. The party also resolved that candidates nominated for more than one position have one week to decide which position they will stand for. “The executive was satisfied with our Congress process so far. The party is satisfied that the party so far is living true to its democratic values. All indications are that we will have an exciting Congress, which we will be holding under the theme: Towards national convergence; Transforming our popularity into power,” the party said.


Grace’s views her own not Mugabe’s-Charamba

President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba says First Lady Grace Mugabe’s views are her own and not of those her husband.  Charamba told New Zimbabwe.Com: “The First Lady is the incoming secretary of the women’s league. That is not an auxiliary post; it’s a substantive post. Why do you want to go beyond herself? Mai Mugabe is an actor in her own right. She is the incoming secretary of the women’s league and that’s not a junior post; it’s a senior post and you can’t hold it until you have certain view points on subject matters. So this idea of trying to reference the President as if Mai Mugabe is an auxiliary player is a bit unfair.” The First Lady has been on a nation-wide tour in which she raffled a lot of feathers by attacking ministers and party leaders who she accused of fanning factionalism. Though she never mentioned her by name, one of her main targets appeared to be Vice-President Joice Mujuru. This led to speculation that she was preparing to take over from her husband and was trying to get rid of Mujuru, the logically successor to Mugabe under the new constitution. But Charamba said Grace could not be aiming for presidency as this would mean fighting her husband. “..if she is gunning for presidency, then she would be at war with her husband….the incumbent President is her husband which means if she has any aspirations to Presidency, she must fight her husband,” he said. Grace’s tour is reported to have opened old wounds and widened the rift between warring factions of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front instead of bringing them back together.


Jabulani Sibanda under fire

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson Jabulani Sibanda is reportedly under fire for failing to attend First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rallies, especially those in Matebeleland.  Grace is on a nationwide tour in which she has lambasted ministers for neglecting their duties. Sibanda defended himself saying he was also carrying out national party programmes at universities and colleges. He argued that other programmes should not stop just because the First Lady was having rallies. “Did you hear the First Lady complaining about my absence at her rallies? I was busy doing my programmes in colleges and universities and these are also party programmes. With this programme I have to follow the calendar of the colleges as and when they are free with their students.”


S.K. Moyo too junior to become VP

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politburo member Naison Ndlovu, currently the most senior person from the former Zimbabwe African People’s Union, today said current ZANU-PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo is just a “schoolboy who takes minutes” and is not fit to become the country’s Vice President. Moyo is the top contender for the post which has traditionally been filled by the national chairman but he is facing strong resistance from his former ZAPU colleagues. “People like Mphoko built the liberation war effort from the front on the battlefield, not from a classroom,” Ndlovu said referring to Zimbabwe’s former ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko who has expressed interest in the top post. “You can’t compare a person who was at school, fighting from the classroom, whose main contribution was praying and telling friends in class that ‘my friends are fighting, I will join them in future,’ with a person who was on the field, someone who will tell you ZIPRA was formed in such a year and gives you the command hierarchy……..One was at school and he can be called a schoolboy, the one who was in the bush was a soldier, he was fighting the actual war. Zimbabweans can then decide for themselves.”



Makoni asks Mugabe to come clean on Mujuru

Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn leader Simba Makoni has called on President Robert Mugabe to come clean on Vice-President Joice Mujuru after the showndown with his wife Grace who lambasted his number two during her nationwide tour.  “The President of Zimbabwe needs to come clean and open and defend his Vice-President or act otherwise if he does not have confidence anymore in his Vice-President,” Makoni said. “What is his position about all this because his ministers vari kusakurwa masikati machena ivo vakangonyarara ndosaka ndichiti kuda vari pamwe, asi hazvisi zvemhurika izvi, nyika yeZimbabwe haisi yemhuri. Ndeyedu tese,”he was quoted by New Zimbabwe.Com as saying. “Does he approve of all the statements being made by Mrs Grace Mugabe, on matters of state and government?..Has he abdicated his responsibilities to the people of Zimbabwe, in deference to his wife? Is he condoning the disparaging remarks she is making about ministers he appointed, and whom he supervises? Is he acquiescing to, aiding and or abetting the paralysis of government by Mrs Grace Mugabe? We state here, even though it is apparent, that Zimbabwe is not a dynasty, and we call on the people of Zimbabwe, especially the leaders and other members of ZANU-PF, to resist the dynastisation of our country,” he said. Makoni was at one time one of the leading contenders to succeed Mugabe but he left ZANU-PF in 2008 to contest the presidential elections. At the time he was alleged to have been sponsored by Joice Mujuru’s husband Solomon Mujuru who had openly opposed Mugabe’s candidacy for presidency at the 2006 Goromonzi party national conference and called for an emergency congress in 2007. Mujuru failed to oust Mugabe at the special congress.


I can be president not Mujuru, Grace says

First Lady Grace Mugabe continued her attack on Vice-President Joice Mujuru today asking her to resign and accusing her of betraying her husband President Robert Mugabe by mobilising support to challenge him at the forthcoming party Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front congress in December. International news agency, Reuters, quoted her as saying: “Mrs Mujuru must resign now. She wants to use money to topple Mugabe……There are plenty of people who can run this country, not Mujuru.” The First lady told war veterans that she too could become president, why not?  “She (Mujuru) says I want to be president. Why not? Am I not a citizen of Zimbabwe? Why do you think only you are fit?.. Today we now say you should retire, madam, so that those who are capable can get on with the job.”


Mugabe tells Muchinguri manage your fires

One newspaper dubbed it a “blood and thunder politburo meeting” but it turned out to be a damp squib that was prematurely ended by a power cut, a sad reminder of what citizens face every day. Friday’s politburo meeting of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was expected to be a show-down between President Robert Mugabe and his deputy Joice Mujuru who has been under fire from Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has called on Mujuru to resign because she is thoroughly corrupt and is trying to unseat Mugabe at the party’s congress in December. Mugabe has so far not commented on what his wife has said about Mujuru and cabinet ministers with his spokesman George Charamba saying Grace’s views were her own and not necessarily those of her husband. The only reference about the party squabbles Mugabe made about Mujuru was to outgoing Women’s League secretary Oppah Muchinguri. “Ndimi makativambira mashoko ka imp kumadzimai?…apokaapo the fire is on, manage it,”  he was quoted by The Herald as saying. The matter, reports say, will be discussed on Wednesday making room for more speculation.



Mujuru says I am not a sell-out

Vice-President Joice Mujuru who has been attacked by First Lady Grace Mugabe as a sell-out out to oust her husband President Robert Mugabe at the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Congress in December says she is not a sell-out.  “Inini Teurai ndozoita imwe sanction futi? Kwete! Kwete, ini mwana waMuganda handife ndakatengesa. Vamwe vangu varimuna Nyagombe naKaroyi, vamwe vangu varikukamhinha, vamwe vangu vasina mawoko kana makumbo. Hazvigoni,” she said at a party to celebrate her doctorate degree. Grace Mugabe has said Mujuru should resign and said she had told her husband that it was now time to dump Mujuru. Grace has also accused Mujuru of being thoroughly corrupt, but so far Mugabe has not said anything about Mujuru. In her first reaction to the political onslaught by the First Lady, Mujuru said:  “Nyangwe ukasandifarira hazvigone nyangwe mese muripano hamungandide zvakafanana. No. hazvimbondirwadza kuti haundide asi pane achabenefita nezvaandakupa ari kuseri kwako. Izvi zvatinazvo izvi ndezvepasi. Hudhokota uhu ndayenda Kumbi mwanangu, Chipo, Nyasha, Kudzi havahutore. Asi zvandichasiya ndadyara mamuri ahh ndicharegererwawo zvimwe zvitadzo zvangu. Ndinezvitadzo asi musandinyepere, zvandisingaite handiite. Nhasi harisi zuva repolitics harisi zuva rekutaura chinhu ndauya kuzotaura zvedzidzo kuti ndirikutenda vaMugabe. Ndirikutenda ZANU-PF. Vandirera kusvika ndava Doctor. Ngavachitarisirewo zvinobva kwandiri ndivabatanidzirewo mhuri yavo igare zvakanaka murudo.  Ndinogona hangu ndisina kukunakira hangu pachiso haisi mhosva yangu asi Mwari wangu arikudenga anofara neni. Ndinogona hangu kunge ndisina chimiro chakakunakira asi Kristu arikufara nemhuno dzangu. Ndinongoti chiregai kuzvonda wamawona farirayi zvaachakupayi.”



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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