Fear grips Mujuru

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Vice-President (VP) Joice Mujuru has a high chance of succeeding President Robert Mugabe, but her fear of the 87-year-old former guerilla leader is affecting her ability to lead.

Mujuru, whose husband Rtd General Solomon “Rex Nhongo” died in a mysterious inferno at his Beatrice Farm, is widely tipped to takeover should President Mugabe leave office, but her alleged fear of the “wily fox” has dampened all hopes of being Zimbabwe’s first female president.

Administratively, the country grinds to a halt when President Mugabe is either on leave or out ot the country with crucial decisions not being made by any of his surbordinates.

Simba Mudarikwa, a close ally of the Mujurus who is also the MP for Uzumba, reportedly said this to United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, when the two met in Harare on February 10 2010.

Mudarikwa is quoted in a leaked US diplomatic cable telling Ray new leadership was essential in Zanu PF and would emerge when some of the old-timers, including President Mugabe, left the scene.

The cable, dispatched to Washington on February 10 2010, said Mudarikwa, also a businessman, offered his observations on various topics including the state of Zanu PF, indigenisation and elections.

Mudarikwa opined that Mujuru or Simon Khaya Moyo, former ambassador to South African and now Zanu PF national chairman, were possible successors, although Mujuru’s fear of President Mugabe was affecting her ability to lead.

Contacted for comment, Mudarikwa distanced himself from the leaked cable saying: “That is not me. Someone could have put my name on it (the cable). It came out a long time ago as a Mudarikwa. It’s not me. It’s another Mudarikwa.”

He reportedly told Ray that one of the most important achievements of the Global Political Agreement was the sidelining of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.

Mudarikwa is also reported to have labelled Mines minister Obert Mpofu “a crook”.

Mpofu has been at the centre of the sale of
diamonds from the Chiadzwa fields to the local and international community.

Mudarikwa reportedly told Ray that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy had discovered irregularities in Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation’s partnerships to form Mbada and Canadile.

He sits on that committee which held public hearing on Chiadzwa. Taking an opposing stance to Youth and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Mudarikwa said the government’s indigenisation programme “benefited nobody except those who were already wealthy”.

“It did nothing for his constituents who couldn’t afford to buy into companies and were living hand-to-mouth,” the cable quoted Mudarikwa as having said. Leaked US diplomatic cables intercepted and leaked by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks have implicated several Zanu PF officials and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono.

President Mugabe reportedly hinted at punitive steps against individuals named in the cables at a heated central committee meeting recently. Gono allegedly revealed intimate details of the President’s health to American officials and gave him up to 2013 to live.

The cables allege the officials met diplomats from Washington and discussed sensitive issues to do with Zanu PF’s internal dynamics including the succession issue, widely regarded as a political hot potato in the party.

Those caught up in the controversy have spiritedly distanced themselves except Jonathan Moyo, former government spin doctor and politburo member, who has owned up, justifying his actions at the time of the deliberations.

He also commented on the state of Zanu PF at the time, saying it was badly fractured, but was holding together because of the threat from the MDC-T and foreign pressure

In his observations Ray said: “There is little doubt that if a secret party election were held, (President) Mugabe and his inner circle would lose their positions. But (President) Mugabe, aided by the securocrats and through fear, still has control.”