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Mugabe blasts VP Mujuru

ZANU-PF In Crisis
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday, for the first time, publicly attacked Vice-President Joice Mujuru whom he described as having “simplistic thinking”.

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday, for the first time, publicly attacked Vice-President Joice Mujuru whom he described as having “simplistic thinking” for reportedly planning to oust him from the helm of the party and government. MOSES MATENGA/FELUNA NLEYA

He was addressing war veterans and senior army officials at the Zanu PF headquarters yesterday just before chairing a politburo meeting at the same venue.

While Mujuru has been at the receiving end of attacks from Zanu PF members including First Lady Grace Mugabe, the President has largely remained measured in what he says in public about his beleaguered second in-command.

“We are experiencing it for the first time in Zanu PF,” Mugabe told the meeting ahead of the party’s congress that goes into full swing today.

“And for that matter it’s a woman who says she wants to lead.

“She doesn’t even ask whether she’s able to handle the country, the pressures.”

Mujuru and most of her alleged allies who sit in the party’s politburo were yesterday conspicuous by the absence at the party’s last politburo meeting ahead of congress.

Said Mugabe: “Be well organised and let’s be together, but I hope democratically. You will have your elections, it’s three years, have your election. You decide as leadership and not just fighting for positions, no. We know the infiltrations that have come; we know the discussions that have been happening to link up with MDC and be one with America which then will pour lots of money.

“That’s simplistic thinking; you can’t, I don’t trust a white man and all, never, ever . . .” He said the inclusive government was a humiliating experience, but described it as a strategy. Mugabe said the inclusive government was so humiliating that even his son Bellarmine would refuse a handshake with him after he had met with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“Even my son Bellarmine was saying, you are coming from shaking Tsvangirai’s hand; so he refused to shake my hand. He would say daddy, you were holding Tsvangirai’s hand so I will not give you a handshake. So when you are rejected by your own son.

“I gave Tsvangirai tea and the first day, he thought l had poisoned it and I had to drink first, the other days he was asking for more like Oliver Twist.”

Mugabe intimated that as a sign that Mujuru was working with the MDC, he said she did not want the country to have elections last year, which Mugabe and Zanu PF won convincingly, although they were accusations of vote rigging.

“Mujuru didn’t want elections, why?”

First Lady Grace Mugabe has led the charge to have Mujuru fired, accusing her of corruption and plotting to unseat the President.

Party youths and war veterans last month demonstrated at the Zanu PF headquarters demanding Mujuru’s immediate resignation, but Mugabe counselled that if they did not want her, they would remove her at congress.

The Zanu PF congress began with the politburo meeting yesterday.

Meanwhile, war veterans and youth league officials yesterday said Mujuru and her allies would not be allowed to attend the congress, as they had become a security threat.

Addressing a Press conference at the Zanu PF headquarters the war veterans and the youth assembly officials said everyone named in the plot to topple Mugabe should not set foot at the venue of the congress, an open area now known as Robert Mugabe Square.

Among those fingered in the anti-Mugabe plot are Mujuru, party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Labour minister Nicholas Goche and party provincial chairpersons across the country.

Youth minister Francis Nhema, his Foreign Affairs counterpart Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Flora Buka and several other party members were also fingered in the plot.

The deputy secretary for youth affairs Kudzai Chipanga said it was the duty of youths to protect Mugabe from those plotting against him.

“Anyone who is directly linked to, or has participated in any activity, meeting or any form of unscrupulous gathering with the intention of unconstitutionally overthrowing the leadership of our revolutionary icon, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Cde RG Mugabe must peacefully excuse themselves from the 6th Zanu PF national people’s congress,” he said.

Chipanga said anyone implicated in the dirty tricks “and treasonous activities of undermining the authority of the President” must also excuse themselves from the congress.

“There is no need to name them because you media people have been writing about them,” he said.

“They know themselves.

“As youths, we are the vanguard of the party and we will take appropriate action since they have taken action of threatening our President.

“We want to thank them for their participating in the congress preparations but they are not welcome.

“Just like cows, they help in the fields but when it comes to enjoying the yields, they are not welcome.”

War veterans’ secretary general Victor Mutemadanda said that former liberation war fighters will not allow anyone linked to the anti-Mugabe plot at congress.

“We have the same position as war veterans. It’s not a position that we created, they created it themselves. They must know they are not welcome because of security reasons as they want to kill the President.”