War Veterans minister, Tshinga Dube, said the public spats among top government officials have shocked and confused him, as Zanu PF factionalism continues to play out in the open.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Dube’s remarks come as there is seemingly no love lost between Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba.
“That’s a million dollar question my friend that I cannot answer or comment on until I talk to those two people,” Dube said.
“I thought I understood how Zanu PF worked, but this has confused me.”
Dube’s remarks came after Charamba savaged Moyo in a column he reportedly writes under the pseudonym, Nathaniel Manheru in State-controlled media. Moyo also gave as much as he got, describing Charamba as a “useful idiot”, a jibe he has used before.
Charamba seemed to be doing Vice-President Mnangagwa’s bidding, telling Moyo to stay out of succession debates.
Last year, Charamba warned that Mugabe was about to descend heavily on the G40 faction, saying the grouping was being given a long rope to hang itself.
This comes as critics are questioning whether Mugabe is still calling the shots or whether he has faith in his deputies.
The President is interspersing his annual holiday with official engagements and observers say this shows he has little faith in his deputies, Vice-Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Mnangagwa, as he could have easily assigned them those duties and remained on holiday.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, told NewsDay that in light of the circus that has consumed Zanu PF and government since the beginning of January, the former freedom fighters felt vindicated in their earlier call for Mugabe to step down.
“Mugabe is old and while he can be physically present, he is always mentally absent, he should not be allowed to run this country,” he said.
Matemadanda said the public fights were all being caused by Mugabe.
“We worked with Mugabe when he was young, he was a man who did not brook this nonsense, which is going on even after he warned members of his party not to abuse Twitter, he is the reason that his own Vice-Presidents are not even respected locally by his own ministers because he has lost touch,” he said.
“The people of Zimbabwe should wake up from this mirage and confront the real evil. They should go into the streets and demonstrate against massive corruption happening in Zanu PF. Moyo must go to court and face the music.”
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the President decided to go to Mali was clear testimony that he was the be all and end all in Zanu PF and government and he maintained a tight leash on all activities even in his absence.
“Robert Mugabe is Zanu PF and Zanu PF is Robert Mugabe. Sadly, in his scheme of things, Robert Mugabe is Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is Robert Mugabe. This is a one-man dictatorship,” he said.
“Mugabe is obsessed with political power as an end in itself.”
Gutu said Mnangagwa and Mphoko were only ceremonial figureheads with no real power to make any decisions or represent Mugabe at international level.
“His Vice-Presidents are merely ceremonial figureheads with no executive authority. The buck always starts and stops with Mugabe himself. When he is not in the country, Cabinet doesn’t sit and no major executive decision is made by any Cabinet minister. The man is a fully-fledged dictator. Mugabe will make the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un green with envy,” he said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Jacob Mafume said Mugabe has totally lost power, as proven by the Nigerian movie script playing out in his government.
“To say Mugabe has power is a joke … It is now a full Nigerian movie, where government ministers talk about coffee mugs instead of hungry and jobless people,” he said.
Zimbabwe People First were quick to agree, saying the Mali trip vindicated former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s public pronouncements that only Mugabe knows what’s happening in his government.
“It is not surprising for a man, who believes that he alone is the man in Zimbabwe and that he has no confidence in both Mnangagwa and Mphoko,” party spokesman, Jealousy Mawarire said.
“This confirms that Zimbabwe is a dictatorship and it also puts away the idea of complicity they put on Mujuru, Mugabe alone knows what is happening and Mugabe alone is culpable for all the problems we are facing because he is a system.”
When Mugabe met Chinese President Xi Jinping, while on leave, Charamba said it would not have made sense to fly a deputy from Zimbabwe to China when Mugabe was already in that country.