Former Minister Goche speaks out
By Andrew Kunambura
HARARE – Former public service minister, Nicholas Goche, has appeared in public for the first time in about three months after slipping into hibernation following an illness.
Goche had disappeared from the limelight under a cloud towards the end of last year, with the rumour mill suggesting he had quit politics. But on Wednesday last week, he walked into the National Assembly apparently in high spirits and in seeming good health.
He sat calmly at the back, forsaking his traditional front row and quietly followed proceedings without making any contribution to debates on motions.
In an interview with the Financial Gazette Goche said he would keep attending Parliament as an ordinary Member of Parliament.
“Yes, I came to Parliament and will keep coming as an ordinary MP. There is nothing amiss about me attending parliamentary sessions. I am a Member of Parliament representing a constituency,” he said.
He could not be drawn into commenting about his future.
Goche was fingered by the current ZANU-PF leadership as the brains behind former vice president, Joice Mujuru’s faction, which they accused of hatching a plan to topple President Robert Mugabe from office.
Goche was said to have approached hit-men in foreign lands to assassinate the ZANU-PF leader, who recently assumed the African Union chairmanship.
Upon being confronted by President Mugabe over the issue, Goche denied the accusations, laying the blame on the State media for fabricating the allegations.
The weeks that followed saw his political career lie in ruins. He failed to land a position in the ZANU-PF policy-making organ — the Central Committee — after he was barred from contesting by militant youths in Bindura.
His health also took a battering. He spent the entire duration of the ZANU-PF congress in the intensive care of a local private hospital gravely ill following what insiders say was a hypertension attack.
The attack could have been precipitated by accusations of working against his boss.
Since then, his whereabouts have been subject to much speculation with sources claiming he quietly slipped out of hospital and retreated to his farm in Shamva where he led a quiet life.
But he suddenly appeared in Parliament last week to take up his seat among the backbenchers, having lost his position in government and also in the ZANU-PF Politburo.
Rumours had started circulating that Goche was weighing his options on whether or not to quit politics.
What raised more speculation was the fact that Goche has been silent at a time when some of his allies in the decimated Mujuru camp were very vocal about their miseries.
Didymus Mutasa, the former ZANU-PF secretary for administration and Rugare Gumbo, the fired party spokesman, have not missed the opportunity to air out their grievances.
Mutasa and Gumbo are currently preparing to file court papers seeking to declare the party congress a nullity.
Goche’s former Cabinet and Politburo colleagues such as Francis Nhema, Olivia Muchena, Dzikamai Mavhaire and Flora Bhuka have also been coming to Parliament since the august House resumed sitting on Tuesday last week, while Goche pitched up a day later.
Source: Financial Gazette