HARARE – MEMBERS of a faction of Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF ruling party loyal to ousted vice-president Joice Mujuru on Tuesday attacked a clique it said was driven by greed.
“Power has been centralised into a group of selfish individuals driven by greed and hate. Instead of fostering internal democracy as espoused in the Zanu (PF) founding principles,” according to a statement signed by ex-senior Zanu-PF official Didymus Mutasa, but said to be on behalf of “all office bearers who have been unconstitutionally and unceremoniously removed from office without charge”.
“This clique has robbed President RG Mugabe of his legacy as a unifier, a rational thinker and not only a national leader, but also one who inspired the region and the continent of Africa.”
It called the party’s December congress illegal and accused Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe, of preaching “a gospel of hate”.
Mujuru, Mutasa and 14 ministers were sacked shortly after the December congress following a vitriolic campaign against Mujuru, Zimbabwe’s first ever female vice-president, led by Grace Mugabe, 49.
Now head of Zanu-PF’s powerful women’s league, Mugabe’s wife and state media accused Mujuru and her allies of plotting to oust and kill the 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader.
Police have launched a probe into the plot claims. To date there has been no progress. Many Zimbabweans believe the accusations were fabricated.
Tuesday’s statement described them as “a clear political smear campaign intended to tarnish and obliterate Amai Mujuru’s history of commitment and dedication to the liberation of this country and the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Mutasa said they would appeal again to the regional SADC bloc and take legal action to have the congress resolutions overturned.
“We are therefore calling upon all loyal members and constitutionally elected leaders to remain calm… as we pursue appropriate legal channels to reclaim the leadership of the party from the jaws of political vultures,” the statement said.
Said Zimbabwean radio editor Zenzele Ndebele in a tweet: “I think of all the fired Zanu-PF cdes, Mutasa is not a lily-livered spineless character.”
Former education minister David Coltart said on Twitter: “So it appears that those who thought Mujuru would quietly eat humble pie were wrong.”
Mutasa, the former presidential affairs minister, is currently in India where his wife is in hospital. Mugabe and Grace are also out of the country, but expected back this week. -Sapa