The ouster of former Vice President and now Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, from both the ruling Zanu PF and the government was “a well-choreographed” move that was personally planned by President Robert Mugabe, a former Zanu PF youth official has claimed.
Addressing journalists in Harare, former Zanu PF provincial youth chairman for Mashonaland Central, Godfrey Tsenengamu, said party followers, including youths, were pushed by Mugabe to attack the popular widow of the revered late liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru.
“My attack of Mujuru and the senior leadership of the party which included Simon Khaya Moyo, Webster Shamu, Didymus Mutasa, Sydney Sekeramayi, David Parirenyatwa, Nicholas Goche, the late Amos Midzi, Tendai Savanhu, Ray Kaukonde and Paddy Zhanda on Friday August 15, was a rehearsed piece with the president himself.
“We did that on Wednesday evening, August 13, 2014, where he encouraged us to take Mujuru and her team head on and we believed he (Mugabe) was under genuine attack,” Tsenengamu claimed.
Mujuru’s 42-year association with Zanu PF was ended in the run-up to the ruling party’s hotly-disputed 2014 congress, when she and other former high ranking officials were expelled on untested allegations of plotting to oust and assassinate the nonagenarian.
“It was after the national youth conference where the first lady’s candidate in the youth league elections, Tongai Kasukuwere, was defeated by … Mujuru’s then candidate-turned-traitor (Kudzanai) Chipanga.
“Mugabe for those of you who still remember, spent the whole part of the night at HICC (Harare International Conference Centre) waiting for the results.
“He assumed that Tongai was going to win and was disappointed when his preferred candidate lost and by that time all of us were in support of Tongai because we had been told all sorts of things that … Mujuru was allegedly planning against the president,” Tsenengamu said.
He also revealed that the youth had subsequently been invited to State House for a meeting with Mugabe.
“We were taken to State House on a Wednesday where we met Mugabe. It was myself, Godwin Gomwe, Edmore Samambwa, Washington Nkomo, Tamuka Nyoni, Vengayi Musengi and Khumbalani from Bulawayo. We were also accompanied by Tongai Kasukuwere, Edison Chakanyuka and Luis Matutu.
We met Mugabe in his office at State House and when we got there, he asked us what had transpired at the national youth conference,” he said, adding that Mugabe had also allegedly told them how he had “grilled” former Gender minister Olivia Muchena and ex-Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire in the Cabinet on the same day.
“He said to us ‘fear no one’, saying he was the only one who was elected and that all the other people were appointees and he could dismiss them any time. He said we must feel free, and given that ‘open cheque’, we started criticising Mujuru and her admirers in the party.
“In the meeting, he explained that he was under siege and as youths we believed that it was our duty to defend the president. When we stood up to go, he banged his table and said Zanu PF is not for an individual but for the people,” Tsenengamu said.
After that meeting, Mugabe also allegedly asked the youths to “expose Mujuru” and her allies at their next gathering, which was on a Friday.
Tsenengamu said that when they entered the boardroom at State House on that Friday, Mujuru and her team had been stunned by their presence.
“I was on suspension and despite that Mugabe recognised me as the official chairperson of Mashonaland Central Province. During the stage-managed meeting, Mugabe did not even greet his comrades.
“To his right was Mujuru and to his left Khaya Moyo and Mutasa. He went straight to his issue and asked us to set the ball rolling.
“Matutu accused Mujuru of wanting to remove the president and he said he was supported by Moyo and Mutasa.
“Temba Mliswa stood his ground and tried to defend himself but because the president had already taken his decision, he failed.
“Khaya Moyo stood up and nearly cried. He denied the allegations. We asked them to sort their things out, an aspect which led to Mujuru’s expulsion.
“From mid-2015, I felt I couldn’t live with what I did to innocent comrades anymore as my conscience kept on troubling me and I decided that I should say it out and personally vowed that never again will I allow myself to be used on individualistic missions by Mugabe, his wife or his allies,” Tsenengamu said.