FORMER Zanu PF stalwart Simba Makoni has said Zanu PF “big guns” who wanted leadership change in the party in the run up to the 2008 elections chickened out due to fear which dominates the lives of most Zimbabweans including President Robert Mugabe.
Report by Dumisani Sibanda
Makoni, who is leader of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) was responding to a question on why top members that included the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru did not come out of Zanu PF join his “project”.
“I was not in a pact with any big gun to leave Zanu PF,” he said during a recent exclusive interview.
“I left Zanu PF on my own. But what I can say to you is the same thing I said on February 5, 2008 when I made my announcement. I knew then, I know now, that there are many in Zanu PF who agree with me or agreed with what I stood for during that time, leadership renewal, change. There are many in the MDC who agree with me similarly and many more outside political parties.”
Makoni said he did not have any political agreement with Mujuru, widely believed to have been a king maker in Zanu PF, who died in a mysterious inferno in August 2011.
“I don’t know if he was part of the project because I don’t know of a project. We were not anybody’s project. We created an initiative with many who were in Zanu PF and Dumiso Dabengwa was the only other one apart from me who had the courage to stand up for what he believed in,” he said.
“I can tell you that up to the point when I left Zanu PF, I was working with many other comrades in Zanu PF in the politburo, central committee, provincial executive level and ordinary members for change. I don’t know other than to assume that all those comrades were afraid to come out into the open and mind you, the most dominant force operating in every Zimbabwean today is fear.”
He said even the powerful Mugabe was being consumed by fear.
“Today, Robert Mugabe lives in fear of losing his position and a poor villager in Sipepa lives in fear of being harassed, of being beaten of not being given relief food, but the reasons for fear differ, but the bottom line is that we all live in fear,” Makoni said.
“All the (Constantine) Chiwengas (Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander) who are saying we will not salute anyone without liberation war credentials are doing so out of fear. Until we remove the fear that is in every citizen’s life, people will not follow their convictions.”