Zimbabwe

EXCLUSIVE: Mujuru fires key allies Mutasa, Gumbo… says they're Zanu-PF agents

2017-02-08 15:00
Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

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Harare - Former Zimbabwean vice president Joice Mujuru on Wednesday announced the expulsion of seven of her key allies from her Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) political party that she formed following her dismissal from both the ruling party and government.

This came at a time when Mujuru and her allies were preparing to hold ZimPF’s inaugural congress in March this year.

Those expelled are former state security minister Didymas Mutasa, former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, former Masvingo provincial affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, former water minister Munacho Mutezo, former president of the now defunct Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, Margaret Dongo as well retired brigadier Claudious Makova and one Luckson Kandemiri.

The expelled were victims of internal squabbles that rocked Zanu-PF ahead of the ruling party’s congress in 2014 for allegedly backing Mujuru. Mujuru was expelled from Zanu-PF on allegations of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe although she denies the charges.

In expelling her lieutenants, Mujuru accused them of working with Mugabe’s administration to prolong the nonagenarian’s stay in office.

"As a result, we have decided to eject some of the colleagues and comrades we thought would stand with the people’s cause but have chosen to be agents of the regime," said Mujuru.

'More heads set to roll'

The former vice president accused the expelled of plotting to unseat her ahead of the opposition party’s inaugural congress set for next month.

"All sorts of tricks, ranging from coup d'etat and sophisticated infiltration, have taken centre stage with a view to delaying the people’s cause of unequivocal liberation," added Mujuru.

Mujuru told journalists that the decision to expel her allies was backed by her party’s structures whom she said she consulted, adding that "more heads are going to roll in this revolutionary cleansing exercise".

Sources in the opposition party who requested anonymity said Gumbo was now harbouring presidential ambitions resulting in Mujuru clipping his wings.

"The president (Mujuru) had to clip Gumbo’s wings because he was destabilising the party to further his presidential dream. He has been working with his cabal, that includes Mutasa, to undermine Mujuru’s authority so that she (Mujuru) would be seen in bad light ahead of our congress," said one source.

Editor-in-chief of The Observer newspaper, Barnabas Thondlana, said Mujuru’s decision to expel her lieutenants could be a sign that she wants to work with a fresh breed of political leaders of astute character.

"She has been associated with leaders who have a history of being violent and whose images are tainted. I think she does not want her party to reinvent another administration that is a replica of Zanu-PF," said Thondlana.

Efforts to get a comment from the expelled ZimPF leaders were unsuccessful as their mobile phones were not being answered.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  zimpf  |  rugare gumbo  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  didymus mutasa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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