By Never Kadungure | Harare Bureau |
HARARE – The vicious plot to oust Vice President Joice Mujuru continued over the weekend with a state owned newspaper The Sunday Mail running a story that claimed the widowed VP was at the centre of a plot to assassinate President Mugabe and that this made “her continued incumbency untenable.”
The paper also claimed that “two of the VP’s closest allies – former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and current secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa – have recently spoken of assassinating President Mugabe.”
It was claimed that a Cabinet minister from Mashonaland Central who is a Mujuru ally “made contingencies for such a scenario during recent meetings with potential hitmen in South Africa and Israel.”
The paper claims that there is a voice recording of Gumbo making the assassination threat, and a report made to party authorities of Mutasa saying President “Mugabe will be shot”.
Whilst the paper did not report on anything Mujuru did they simply said “there is no way VP Mujuru can be separated from the intentions of her closest allies.” The paper went as far as suggesting that “the police should act swiftly on the matter.”
Last week’s Zanu PF Politburo meeting heard sensational claims that sometime in October, Mutasa boasted to one of his lovers: “If President Mugabe blocks the ascendancy of VP Mujuru to the Presidency at the Zanu-PF Congress, then he will be shot.” It’s claimed the woman immediately reported the matter.
According to the way the story was being spun, the revelations tied in neatly with claims that there is a voice recording of Gumbo who is heard saying:
“Kana (President) Mugabe akaramba achipusha Mujuru out tichamubvisa sezvakaitwa (Laurent) Kabila. – If Mugabe keeps pushing VP Mujuru we will remove him the way Kabila was removed.”
Laurent Kabila, then president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was killed by a member of his security team in January 2001.
The Sunday Mail further claims that a “Cabinet minister and Politburo member recently used the cover of official Government business in Western Europe to make stops in Israel and South Africa to allegedly look for hitmen in pursuance of the plots talked about by Gumbo and Mutasa.”
Although the story sounds incredulous, it demonstrates Mugabe’s desperate determination to get rid of his deputy by hook or crook. Over the last few weeks the 90-year-old as been purging party officials loyal to Mujuru using both violent and unconstitutional means.
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya said “this does not mean that Mugabe wants Mnangagwa. If the Justice minister benefits, it will be accidental because what the old man wants is to die in office and whoever will succeed him is not known.”
“Essentially, the man wants to move from State House to the Heroes Acre, in a similar manner to what happened to the late Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo. The essence in Zanu PF is that succession is through death.
“If Mugabe was to appoint a successor it will be the greatest political surprise of the century,” Ruhanya added.