By Xolisani Ncube
President Robert Mugabe says he knew about moves that were being made by his under fire Vice-President Joice Mujuru to oust him, working with the opposition and the United States.
Addressing the newly-elected leadership of veterans of the liberation struggle and military chiefs at Zanu PF headquarters on Tuesday, President Mugabe said Mujuru was “too simple and junior” to comprehend the state’s demands and she should not have worked with enemies of the country.
“The party is going through a tough time since its history, a tough situation where a woman wants to take over from us, anonokerwa (Mujuru can’t wait anymore)
“Thinking with your simple mind, you (think you) could withstand the pressures of state craft,” he said, adding that: “We knew of the plot and the meetings they held with the Americans and the MDC about the way they will run the country and get the money when their plot comes to pass.
“The plot was very simple and done by people who don’t understand the complex of governance.”
Since Mujuru’s exposure, Mugabe had not made any statement on the allegations against her, instead he had only told the supporters to vote those they do not want out and he used the meeting with the war veterans to make his intention known regarding the status of the beleaguered vice-president.
Mujuru has been under fire from a section of party hawks who want her out of office immediately for allegedly being corrupt and an inept leader.
The vice-president is also accused of plotting to kill President Mugabe and topple a number of his allies.
Mugabe said he had all the information about the secret meetings with Zanu PF enemies to topple him, but said the way the vice-president conducted “her things” was “just simple and unimaginable”.
The new war veterans’ leadership was presented to President Mugabe by Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga in the company of other service chiefs drawn from the police, intelligence and prison.
Chiwenga said the military helped the war veterans hold their congress to dump the leadership of Jabulani Sibanda whom they said had become a “renegade” and disrespectful to the national leadership of both the party and the country at large.
The First Lady, Grace Mugabe, led the campaign to oust Mujuru.
Along with embattled Public Service minister Nicholas Goche and party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Mujuru did not attend yesterday’s politburo meeting.
Mutasa and Goche, were reportedly under the weather.
Mutasa and Goche, just like Mujuru, could be reduced to Zanu PF ordinary card-carrying members after the congress.
There was no information on why Mujuru failed to attend the last politburo meeting, which could have been her last dance with Zanu PF power after her application to be in the central committee was rejected by her province.
Her unexplained absence comes as party youths and war veterans have resolved to bar Mujuru and those linked to her camp from setting foot at the congress.
The deputy secretary for youth affairs, Kudzanai Chipanga, yesterday told a press conference that Mujuru should not be seen anywhere near President Mugabe, including those associated with her plan.
“Anyone who has been implicated in these dirty tricks and treasonous activities of undermining the authority of the president and first secretary must excuse themselves from taking part in the congress,” he said.
Although Mujuru has denied the allegations, the First Lady has said Mujuru must go and threatened to force President Mugabe to ‘baby dumb’ her.
However, with constitutional changes set to be approved by the central committee today, President Mugabe is likely to appoint his two deputies, the chairperson and the entire politburo, with Mujuru’s fate now in the president’s hands.
After a lengthy politburo meeting, acting spokesperson and party chairperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, said the meeting reinstated speaker of the national assembly Jacob Mudenda and Sithembiso Nyoni on the list of central committee members from Matabeleland North Province.
He said the meeting also approved a list of names of central committee members with amendments and would now forward the list to the central committee meeting sitting today for approval.
Outside the politburo meeting, hundreds of war veterans from Mashonaland East Province demonstrated demanding that Defence minister, Sydney Sekeramanyi, be dropped from the provincial list of those to be in the central committee. They accused him of supporting Mujuru. The Zimbabwe Mail