PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, has labelled Zimbabweans as “dumb” as they were allegedly allowing themselves to be “used” by the military to fight against a leader they popularly elected five years ago for the benefit of expelled Emmerson Mnangagwa whom he claimed was not popular within the ruling Zanu PF party structures.
Speaking to SABC television presenter via Skype from his secret location in South Africa, Zhuwao said the decision by the army, led by Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander general Constantino Chiwenga, was “pitiful”.
“This coup by the way is rather laughable because it is a coup that is meant to bolster the fortunes of one presidential aspirant by the name Emmerson Mnangagwa who failed to navigate himself through the political processes of Zanu PF,” he said.
This came as the Zanu PF central committee met in Harare yesterday and expelled Mugabe and First Lady Grace from the party, paving the way for his possible impeachment by Parliament tomorrow.
The party’s decision also came at a time Mugabe was locked in meetings with army generals at State House to seal his political fate in the wake of massive demonstrations by Zimbabweans on Saturday calling for the ouster of the country’s sole leader for the past 37 years.
Zhuwao, who is Public Service minister, is believed to be one of the “criminals” that are being pursued by the military and is lucky that they “stepped in” when he was already out of the country presumably on government business.
Some of his colleagues linked to the Generation 40 (G40) faction are reported to be in military custody including Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government Minister) and Higher Education Minister Prof Jonathan Moyo.
Mnangagwa was expelled by Mugabe two weeks ago after 37 years in government accused of being deceitful and disloyal to Mugabe.
Zhuwao maintained that the military’s intervention was wrong, although it was widely celebrated by ordinary Zimbabweans as a positive move.
“Can you imagine you my sister in South Africa you are going for an ANC elective congress and the South African Defence Forces then come in and say no, no the person who must be the president of ANC must be Nkosanazana Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa. That is so wrong.”
Zhuwao added, “The military is a national institution that must never be utilised for anyone for factional agenda, but that is what is really happening.”
Early on Zhuwao had told Reuters that Mugabe and his wife Grace were “ready to die for what is correct” and they have no intention of stepping down in order to legitimise the military coup.