A PURGED former Zanu PF youth leader has refused to go down without a fight, claiming President Robert Mugabe personally plotted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s exit and forced youths to rehearse the “trumped-up” assassination and witchcraft charges, before they “blindly” took her head-on at State House on August 15, 2014.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Godfrey Tsenengamu, the former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth leader, spilled the beans in a hard-hitting statement yesterday, saying he now regretted being used as a pawn in Mugabe’s power games.
“I was part of Team Mazowe Crush, which was publicly led by [First Lady] Grace Mugabe, but with its real leader being Mugabe pulling strings from the background,” he said.
“It was a moment of madness, as we recklessly accused fellow comrades of being Gamatox and wanting to kill Mugabe, attempting to stage a party coup, visiting sangomas, allegedly hiring snipers, fanning factionalism and being corrupt.
“My attack on former VP Joice Mujuru and the then senior leadership of the party, who included Simon Khaya Moyo, Webster Shamu, Didymus Mutasa, Sydney Sekeramayi, David Parirenyatwa, Nicholas Goche, the late Amos Midzi, Tendai Savanhu, Ray Kaukonde and Paddy Zhanda, on Friday August 15, 2014 at State House was a well-rehearsed piece with the President himself, and we did that with him on August 13, 2014, where he encouraged us to take Mujuru and her team head-on and we believed he was under genuine attack.”
Mujuru was later kicked out of the party and government in December 2014 following a sustained campaign then led by Grace. The former Vice-President was now leader of the opposition Zimbabwe People First party.
Tsenengamu, who was expelled from Zanu PF together with six other youth chairpersons, also accused Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere of playing an active role in Mujuru’s downfall.
“Kasukuwere was anointed chairman of a committee which was to preside over Mujuru’s decimation and we would meet at the then ComOil offices (Kasukuwere’s firm) at number 53 Selous Avenue here in Harare,” he continued.
“Yes, I took part, as many others did, and innocently, we were party to that moment of madness. I regret taking part.
“Mugabe is responsible for the death of thousands of our fellow citizens, who died at his hands directly and indirectly through the infamous Gukurahundi massacre(s), famine and hunger, forced disappearances, xenophobic attacks, as unemployed youths and women cross-border [traders] in search of livelihoods, political violence, (tropical diseases) and torture.
“War veterans are saying, we lost all the precious prime years of our life in the bush fighting for your rule as an ungrateful black man, whose power and authority we have assured and protected, but which he has abused from the first day of Zimbabwe’s independence and now sending us to prison. We have lost a further 36 years fighting his personal wars in the party and country in general.”
Tsenengamu said just like his predecessor, former Rhodesian strongman Ian Smith, Mugabe had mastered the art of using arbitrary arrests, detentions, abuse of State machinery against citizens and the church to retain power despite growing resistance.
“Can Mugabe read history correctly? May he realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the only ruler Zimbabwe has ever known, he now stands for this disgraced government which impoverishes, disempowers, steals, divides, terrorises, brutalises, incarcerates (and) kills,” he said.
“He has so much to atone for and very little to lecture us on human rights, democracy, unity, sustainable development, empowerment and good governance. His regime’s hands drip with the innocent blood, sweat and tears of many citizens.
“His regime still kills in prisons, hospitals and roads (through) the state of our roads and lack of medicines.
“Mr and Mrs Mugabe have no positive roles to play in our future. They are a dangerous and mischievous couple and should, therefore, keep out.”
Tsenengamu admitted that he, current and past Zanu PF members were responsible for “nurturing this problem leader of the party, who is so obsessed with power”.
“Mugabe can even afford to ignore calls to deal with his corrupt subordinates, who have milked the national coffers dry, but quickly afford to convene a party rally to deal with those constitutionally expressing themselves and makes sure he sees their backs, while corrupt ministers walk scot-free,” he said.
As if borrowing a leaf from the war veterans’ damning communiqué, Tsenengamu accused Mugabe of privatising Zanu PF and “disregarding the founding principles of the party”.
Tsenengamu, however, also took aim at war veterans “who allowed the party leader to have his image become one of the party symbols and have his name sung and chanted in party slogans, belittling others and the roles they played in the liberation struggle”.
“Our future has been tampered with, but I assure you, it’s coming very soon and if I don’t live to see that day, I wish you all the best and hope you will not turn against the wishes of the people (to) become their oppressors,” he said.
Strenuous efforts to contact Kasukuwere and Presidential spokesperson George Charamba were fruitless yesterday, while Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo’s mobile phone went unanswered.