HomeLocal NewsMakoni challenge surprised me — Mugabe

Makoni challenge surprised me — Mugabe

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President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday took a swipe at Presidential aspirant, Simba Makoni, a former Zanu PF Politburo member and Cabinet minister saying he was surprised by his move to challenge him in the 2008 elections.

President Mugabe said the decision by Makoni, his trusted lieutenant, to ditch him and vie for the Presidency, came as a surprise.

“I thought he understood politics and when he decided to contest with us, I was surprised. Just coming out to say I am in the ring, I am alone and please watch me, my name is Simba Makoni, I don’t have a party, but I will form one. I asked him why he wanted to contest without a party and he said I will form one later. He told me the whole of Zimbabwe was his party,” President Mugabe said.

President Mugabe said he and other Zanu PF cadres during the war trusted Makoni who was a student representative in Europe, believing he knew politics.

Makoni’s move to ditch Zanu PF and to stand as an independent in the 2008 election shook Zanu PF as speculation swirled some heavyweights within the party’s Politburo would follow suit to show their displeasure over President Mugabe’s continued reign.

Names that were thrown in the fray included that of the late Solomon Mujuru, Dumiso Dabengwa, who was behind Makoni’s campaign trail, among other party heavyweights.

According to whistleblower website, Wikileaks, many in President Mugabe’s inner cabal told US diplomats that they wanted him out as he was old and no longer effective.

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