Party Politics

Since the death of former army commander and Zanu PF kingpin retired General Solomon Mujuru, President Robert Mugabe has been having an easy ride in the party as politburo members have no guts to openly confront him over the succession issue.

The situation has been made even worse by the departure of former politburo guru Dumiso Dabengwa who together with Mujuru could stand up to Mugabe, demanding to know when he would relinquish power and usher in leadership renewal.

Mujuru and Dabengwa forced Mugabe to call for an extraordinary congress in 2007 where they plotted to replace him with former politburo member and ex-finance minister Simba Makoni.

The late Vice-President Joseph Msika also used to intervene at critical moments like when he blocked suggestions by Zanu PF officials in 2007 that Mugabe be declared life president.

Ironically, it was Mujuru who was instrumental in helping install Mugabe as Zanu PF leader in Mozambique in 1976 when guerrilla fighters were resisting his ascendancy.

Before his death in a mysterious fire in 2011, Mujuru had become a thorn in Mugabe’s flesh.

Mugabe has been at the helm of Zanu PF since 1977 after seizing its leadership from founding leader Ndabaningi Sithole in a prison coup in 1974 and has ruled Zimbabwe uninterrupted since 1980.

With the departure of Mujuru and Dabengwa, Mugabe has been having it easy. At the party’s Goromonzi conference in 2006, Mujuru and his allies blocked Mugabe’s attempts to extend his presidential term by two years outside an election from 2008 to 2010. He had been controversially re-elected in 2002.

Mugabe’s six-year term was due to end in 2008 while parliament’s five-year term was to run until 2010 following parliamentary polls in 2005. So in a bid to ensure the presidential and parliamentary terms ran concurrently, Mugabe and his loyalists tried to extend his tenure by two years but Mujuru and others rejected that.

After blocking Mugabe, Mujuru’s faction, which had triumphed during the 2004 congress, gained momentum in the run-up to the 2008 elections and forced an extraordinary congress in December 2007 as the internal power struggle reached its zenith.

Their plan was for Makoni to challenge Mugabe for the presidency with Dabengwa as his deputy, but this was blocked by presidential loyalists, including Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

After this, Mujuru and his allies tried to fight Mugabe from outside. Makoni sensationally quit Zanu PF with a plan to register himself as the party’s candidate on nomination day just before the 2008 elections supported by Dabengwa. Mujuru and the rest would then leave to urge Zanu PF supporters to back Makoni in a bid to stage a palace coup against Mugabe.

Dabengwa confirmed this in a recent interview with the state-owned Sunday Mail, although the Zimbabwe Independent extensively reported on this at the time.

However, Makoni lost the plot and the entire plan was thrown into disarray.

After the departure of Dabengwa and Makoni, and the subsequent death of Mujuru, Mugabe virtually has no challenger in Zanu PF.

No one has the courage to confront him anymore and that is why before party conferences in Mutare, Bulawayo and now Gweru he easily retained his position.

Before Mujuru and Dabengwa emerged as firebrands, Mugabe used to have problems from the late Edison Zvobgo, Edgar Tekere and Enos Nkala, among others.

After Tekere was expelled from Zanu PF and Nkala fell by the wayside following the Willowgate scandal, Zvobgo became the main voice of dissent within the party.

Zvobgo gave Mugabe problems until his death in 2004, just before the explosive congress that year.

Current actions by the party’s factional leaders Joice Mujuru, widow of the late General Mujuru, and Mnangagwa show Mugabe is no longer under any challenge.

All Zanu PF structures have endorsed Mugabe to continue leading the party and stand for re-election next year when he would be 89 years old ahead of the Gweru conference next week.

When Mujuru was still alive and Dabengwa in Zanu PF, Mugabe was always forced to sweat to retain the party leadership and remain as the uncontested candidate in presidential elections.

Although senior party leaders believe Mugabe is no longer a viable but risky candidate given his advanced age and health problems, they are unable to mobilise to force him out because of the party’s strict disciplinary codes, hierarchical arrangements, patronage and internal rivalry which allows his divide-and-rule tactics to thrive.

Mugabe survived spirited attempts during the recent constitution-making process to bar him from standing in the next elections on term limits and age grounds.

Senior Zanu PF and MDC party officials, working in cahoots, recently tried to insert in the draft constitution clauses to render Mugabe ineligible for re-election but the veteran ruler viciously fought back to defeat the plot.

Joice Mujuru and Mnangagwa have been locked in a protracted battle to succeed Mugabe despite their recent official denials for fear of a backlash.

Denials they are interested in succession even when their supporters confirm it show how much fear Mugabe has instilled in them and why he is once again the undisputed Zanu PF leader even though he lacks popular support and legitimacy.


Apparently rattled by Zanu PF’s recent coup utterances, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has moved to deal with the threats to free and fair polls and a smooth transition of power.

He called for a meeting of the MDC-T top brass on Wednesday where a decision was made to take the matter up with the regional and continental guarantors of the Global Political Agreement.

Justice minister and Zanu PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo recently reportedly joined a growing list of Zanu PF and army leaders who have threatened a coup were Tsvangirai to win the forthcoming elections.

Tsvangirai also told an audience at a New Zimbabwe lecture series meeting last night that Chinamasa and Gumbo’s utterances stood as proof that Zanu PF had conceded electoral defeat and warned he would only participate in a free and fair election whose result would be respected.

“I have news for Chinamasa that there are soldiers within our file and ranks who will not join the Chinamasa coup,” Tsvangirai said.

“Zimbabwe, Sadc and the African Union (AU) will not allow an unconstitutional government. The next elections should have an uncontested outcome.”

Tsvangirai said Chinamasa and Gumbo were not elected officials, but were in office at President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence.

He said the two were simply singing for their supper which they should take “before sunset”.

He said they would be answerable for their utterances after the elections which he was sure of winning.

On Wednesday, Tsvangirai met his party’s standing committee and they resolved to take up Chinamasa’s coup threats with Sadc and the AU.
Mugabe has said he wants elections held next March, but last night Tsvangirai said no date had been set as yet.

He said the two of them needed to agree first after media, security sector and other electoral reforms.

Earlier in the day, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

“The standing committee discussed routine things, including preparations for elections and as well as utterances by Chinamasa and Zanu PF people that our victory will be disturbed by the army.

We know Zanu PF is timid and frightened so it wants to threaten people into fear. We will take this issue with Sadc and other international bodies,” said Mwonzora.

“Sadc must ensure that there are free and fair elections whose results will be respected. The MDC wants to make sure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is respected and that results of the elections are given effect to.”

Gumbo said he predicted a chaotic situation if Tsvangirai won as the army would not stomach that.

“I can say it will be a mess, that is what I can tell you. It will be messy. We will be asking for too much from our guys (the military) to accept these people who we all know fought against them and were responsible for the deaths of many comrades,” he was quoted as saying.

Chinamasa reportedly told the British media the army would not allow Tsvangirai to rule if he wins the next elections.

“…We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?” Tsvangirai is reported to have confronted President Robert Mugabe over that and the two are said to have agreed Chinamasa’s utterances were in bad political taste.


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly fired his senior secretary Mr Ian Makone and three other high-ranking officials for allegedly meddling in his marital affairs.

Officials that were reportedly thrown out of the PM’s Office yesterday are protocol officer Mr James Maridadi and policy implementation principal director Pastor Lazarus Muriritirwa. Mr Gandhi Mudzingwa was redeployed from the PM’s office to MDC-T’s Harvest House headquarters. However, Mr Tsvangirai has no authority to make staff changes in his offices because civil servants can only be fired or redeployed by the Public Service Commission, their employer.

This is not the first time Mr Maridadi has been reassigned in the same office. In 2010, PM Tsvangirai wanted to fire Mr Maridadi as his spokesperson, but was told by the PSC that he did not have such powers. It is understood that the PM made the drastic changes at the instigation of his wife Ms Elizabeth Macheka. Sources said Ms Macheka threatened to walk away from the marriage if the three remained his confidantes.

Reports say UK-based law lecturer Mr Alex Magaisa replaces Mr Makone. It was not clear who would take up Mr Maridadi and Pastor Muriritirwa’s posts. PM Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka could neither confirm nor deny the changes. “The Prime Minister reserves his right to make alignment and appointments from Cabinet ministers (from his party) to staff in his office and Harvest House.

“If he has made the changes that you are talking about, then there will be a formal announcement. But one thing I can assure you, to show that there are holes in what you are saying, if you come to the Prime Minister’s Office in December 2012 or January 2013 or beyond, you will see Mr Makone in the PM’s Office.”

Mr Tamborinyoka declined to comment on Mr Makone and his colleagues’ fate in the premier’s office.

In separate interviews with The Herald yesterday, Mr Makone, Mr Maridadi and Pastor Muriritirwa could not shed more light on the developments.

“If there are any changes, there will be a formal announcement. That is the formal procedure,” said Mr Makone without elaborating.

Pastor Muriritirwa said: “I cannot comment on that. Ask Luke (Tamborinyoka).”

Mr Maridadi promised to contact The Herald, but was not answering his mobile phone later in the night. Sources said Mr Makone was accused of paying legal costs to lawyers who represented PM Tsvangirai’s estranged wife Ms Locardia Karimatsenga in their court cases. Pastor Muriritirwa has not been spared because of the role he played in the PM’s courtship with a South African woman, Ms Nosipho Regina Shilubane. Pastor Muriritirwa acknowledged introducing PM Tsvangirai to Ms Shilubane.

Ms Shilubane said in her court affidavits that she had her first sexual encounter with PM Tsvangirai at Pastor Muriritirwa’s Borrowdale house. The reasons behind Mr Maridadi’s sacking were not clear last night, but it is widely believed that they were linked to his relationship with the Makone family. Mr Maridadi was subsequently reassigned to the protocol desk. Meanwhile, more officials are reportedly going to be reassigned for their alleged role in the PM’s love and sex woes.


Police graduates in Harare yesterday threw out of the window their professional motto “For the People, For the Country, For the Law”, declaring allegiance to President Robert Mugabe whom they described, in rehearsed worship recitations, as “the only God-chosen leader of Zimbabwe”.

They promised Mugabe that they would effectively deal with people that attempted to disturb the constitutional referendum and the subsequent elections.

“You are our God-chosen leader and we hereby stand by you and remind the EU (European Union) and its allies that they can rule the rest of the world but not Zimbabwe anymore. Long live Gushungo,” the recruits chanted in unison.

“We promise that we will spread the revolutionary gospel and as we prepare for the referendum and national elections, the environment will remain peaceful. Those bent on causing mayhem, be warned, the long arm of the law will catch up with you.”

Mugabe, who was the reviewing officer at the passout parade for 561 recruits at Morris Depot, however, urged them to be impartial as they went about their duties to maintain law and order.

He told them to create an atmosphere that allowed Zimbabweans to freely vote for political parties and leaders of their choice. He described as “dirty minds” people that sought to tarnish the constitution-making process.

The recruits – 406 male and 155 female – sang pro-Zanu PF songs including those of the Mbare Chimurenga Choir and showered the veteran leader with praises.

Mugabe’s address was a gospel of peace and fair elections. He urged the police to operate within the confines of the law “in order to nurture congenial relations with the communities that you serve . . . you owe your existence to Zimbabwe and the Zimbabweans”.

“Our people do not only have the right to vote, but to do so in an enabling environment and I am quite confident that police will measure up to perpetrators of political violence,” he said.

“We are blessed as Zimbabweans to have the sense to promote and hold onto unity, brotherliness and oneness. As has been passed to us over generations, a divided house cannot stand and the police should be commended for ensuring that this stable, peaceful and tranquil environment is preserved.”

He also said he was aware of the difficulties under which the police force operated and promised government would do what it could to address the challenges.

“The government is working tirelessly to seek ways of funding police activities, as policing the world over is a very expensive enterprise,” he said.

Finance minister Tendai Biti this week said thousands of people had been recruited into the army and police recently while government had no money to even feed them.

Turning to the constitution-making process, Mugabe said: “We are just now grappling with what should be the last steps towards our constitution. Yet, dirty local and foreign minds have been quick to tarnish this process. . .”


The President of the smaller faction of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, believes President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are colluding to stop him from taking up his post as Deputy Prime Minister.

He says Mugabe and Tsvangirai ganged up to block his suggestion to create a separate forum where party leaders could meet to receive and discuss reports from the GPA negotiators, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee and the constitution commission, COPAC.

Ncube maintains these reports are supposed to be ratified by leaders of political parties, not leaders of government.

Ncube said he had come to terms with the fact that Mugabe and Tsvangirai were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his party’s former president, Arthur Mutambara, but warned that any decision made in the regular principals’ meetings was not legally binding on his party.

The convoluted power struggle between Ncube and Mutambara began at the party’s congress on January 8-9. It has been characterised by fierce rhetoric, court action, dismissals and counter-dismissals and shifting political alliances.

“My secretary general and I went to see to Mugabe and said: ‘There is nothing on earth which will persuade you over the Mutambara issue, including having him in your meetings; so you can continue with your meetings. But there is a problem because he is not the leader of any party, so you need to create a forum where the leaders of the parties will receive the reports’,” said Ncube.

“The other example we gave was reports from JOMIC. ‘It doesn’t make sense for you to say these reports will be considered in your meetings with Tsvangirai and Mutambara because if you change anything that we would have agreed to at negotiators level it will not bind us as a party, we will refuse to be bound.’ That’s what we said to him.”

Ncube said Mugabe agreed, but told him: “Why don’t you start by persuading the Prime Minister so that I can talk to the Prime Minister when you have persuaded him?”

“So we put this proposal to Tsvangirai and he says, ‘I see no problem with it and I will talk to the president, I am in agreement, let’s deal with this. Mutambara can stay as Deputy Prime Minister as principal for government business and not for party business,’” said Ncube.

Ncube said the following Tuesday, after cabinet he went to see Mugabe again, together with his secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

“We said, ‘you promised to get your report to us on your conversation with the Prime Minister. Did you speak to him, have you reached any agreement?’ He then says, ‘as a matter of fact we met yesterday and discussed this issue. The Prime Minister and I agreed that we must await the court processes. On all of these things we must maintain the status quo and await the court process,’” reported Ncube.

He said there was no court interdict preventing Mugabe from exercising his powers and duties to relieve Mutambara, nor barring him from taking office.


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party wants its nominee for Governor of Harare to be sworn in urgently.

Under the terms of the GPA, signed more than two years ago, the MDC is entitled to appoint five regional governors. But President Robert Mugabe has resisted this, keeping all the Zanu (PF) governors in their positions.

The Harare seat fell vacant in February following the death of David Karimanzira. A Zanu (PF) administrator has been acting governor since then.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, told The Zimbabwean that Senator James Makore must now take office.

The January 2009 SADC communiqué, issued exactly two weeks before the GNU came into being, says “the provincial governors will be sworn in at the soonest opportunity.”

In addition, the principals decided that the six governors whose tenure was to be terminated as a result of that agreement would be paid compensation. But Zanu (PF) has refused to let the MDC governors take office – demanding that Western countries remove targeted sanctions on Zanu (PF) officials first.

Other excuses being bandied about is that there is no money for termination packages and that the office of the governor is an extension of the President’s office. Therefore, argue Zanu (PF) hawks, provincial governors serve at the pleasure of the President and not the Prime Minister.

The MDC says this is all nonsense. Zanu (PF) is bound by its signature of the GPA and must stop blocking the MDC governors from taking office.

Mwonzora said the Harare case was peculiar because the seat is vacant unlike the other four posts reserved for the MDC-T, whose nominees are Seiso Moyo for Bulawayo, Lucia Matibenga for Masvingo, Julius Magaramombe for Manicaland and Tose Sansole for Mat North.

Mwonzora said his party would block any attempts by Zanu (PF) to appoint the Harare metropolitan provincial governor of its choice.

“We have heard that Zanu (PF) members are positioning themselves for the vacancy but we would like to tell our colleagues that we are opposed to them retaking the governorship of Harare. Zanu (PF) must know that they are not alone in government and they must adhere to regulations we signed with them in the GPA.

Official sources say provincial heavyweights, including Tendai Savanhu, Amos Midzi and Nyasha Chikwinya, were eying the post, which comes with fabulous perks, including a Mercedes Benz and a governor’s mansion in The Grange.

A veteran MDC member, Makore served as one of Tsvangirai’s closest aides before the GNU was formed.

He was a director in Tsvangirai’s office up until 2007 when he decided to run for political office. Makore contested and won the Chitungwiza Senator post on an MDC ticket in March 2008.

A war veteran, Makore trained in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. He was later responsible for recruiting Zanla cadres. He says he remained in Zanu (PF) after Independence up until 1997. Asked why he left the liberation movement, Makore said: “There were areas of disagreements, labour issues, external wars etc,” he said in reference to Zimbabwe’s involvement in the DRC.

Makore is one of the trade unionists from the ZCTU who joined hands with Tsvangirai and many others to form the MDC. He served as overall coordinator in 1999, then as director of organizing in 2001, rising to become a director in Tsvangirai’s office.

Makore says he is confident of leading the city towards a brighter future – after all, it takes both a solid vision and years of experience to navigate the complex labyrinth of Harare politics – the centre of government power.



President Robert Mugabe has uncharacteristically balked at taking action against senior Zanu PF officials exposed in secret United States diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks as clandestinely campaigning to remove him due to leadership failures, old age and ill-health.

A number of top government officials including Mugabe’s potential successors Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa met US diplomats, considered enemies of the state in Zanu PF circles, to discuss Zimbabwe’s political and security situation. American envoys also met ministers, Zanu PF politburo members and army commanders.

Mugabe’s back-off is apparently seen within as a sign of political weakness on his part as his grip on the party falters, while he grows frail due to age and health failures.

Mugabe is said to be suffering from prostate cancer which has metastasised, spreading to other parts of the body.

Briefings of the Zimbabwe Independent this week by officials close to Mugabe show the veteran ruler thought better of the idea of taking action against those named as his internal rivals who want him to go. It was said Mugabe reached the decision before he left for the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.

“The president took a decision before travelling to the UN General Assembly that there would be no action at the government or party level against those involved in secret meetings with US diplomats to discuss local issues, some of which were very sensitive,” a senior official close to Mugabe’s office said.

“So there will be no measures taken against anybody in the party. If at all, the president will only act strategically and structurally during the course of time.”

This came as a relief to those who feared a fierce backlash. Government insiders say Mugabe discussed the issue with his advisors, mainly in the state security structures, and found it prudent to let the issue pass, at least for now. They said Mugabe did not want to destabilise Zanu PF and undermine himself before the next elections which he still hopes to contest despite mounting pressure for him to retire.

Most Zanu PF officials want Mugabe to quit before the next polls, particularly if the elections are held in 2013 when it would be considered irrational or impractical to field him as a candidate at 89. There is also widespread regional pressure for Mugabe to retire. Even Mugabe’s own doctors want him to be pensioned off.

Sources said Mugabe had to plot a course of backing away from confronting his internal rivals and critics because he feared that taking action would unravel his grip on power because of the high profile nature of those involved and the scale of the problem. State security hardliners, already acting within their own domains, were reportedly not happy with that.

“After carefully assessing the situation he felt it would be wise to manage the situation by doing nothing, even at the risk of him appearing as if he was being managed by events instead of him managing them,” another official said. “It’s a better way of dealing with a crisis situation like this than adopting a kneejerk reaction.”

After WikiLeaks released secret US cables, Mugabe endured extraordinarily miserable weeks, cutting a lonely and isolated figure on the political landscape, while senior Zanu PF officials scurried for cover amid pressure from party old- timers like Didymus Mutasa, secretary for administration, and Rugare Gumbo, spokesman, for them to be punished.

However, after Mugabe’s consultations, internal pressure to discipline those involved in the WikiLeaks disclosures was stymied. This was actually proved by the failure of the Zanu PF politburo last week to discuss the issue. The matter has mainly been discussed within the corridors of power than in formal meetings.

Sources said Mugabe’s public explanation for not acting would be that he was aware of those meetings anyway. Efforts to get comment from Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba this week failed as he was said to be in New York.

However, Charamba in his weekly column in the state-run Herald, Nathaniel Manheru, which he writes under a pseudonym, apparently based on information gleaned from his interaction with his boss and other senior officials, tried to advance that argument that he knew anyway.

“There is hardly anything new to emerge from WikiLeaks,” we are told. “Details may be there. Nuances and brilliant quotes probably. But generally who was doing what with the Americans, all that was quite known,” he said in a move which seemed calculated to answer questions about where the intelligence services were when all this was happening and also justify Mugabe’s failure to act.

“And such contacts were beyond Americans, to encompass many other Western embassies. (Julian) Assange (WikiLeaks founder) just happens to have caught up with the blunderous. They are not the only ones; not even the worst.

By way of actual substance itself, there was no news in the fact that some Zanu PF elements had a hand in the formation of the MDC, let alone in the subsequent fall-out between the MDC leadership and those elements in Zanu PF. There was no enigma in the formation of Mavambo, or those inside Zanu PF who were behind it. What was rather surprising was why this element in Zanu PF balked from the ultimate, namely excising themselves from the main body to join their project.”


Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo had advanced plans to form a political party to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party, leaked United States embassy cables show.

The United People’s Movement (UPM) “planned to actively exploit existing tensions in ZANU PF” and “would aggressively hammer wedge issues to further divide the ruling party”.

Plans to form the party were drawn up in late 2005, the cables released by WikiLeaks claim, but Mnangagwa and Moyo never came out publicly to back the new party.

The revelations show the depth of disquiet with ZANU PF’s direction under President Robert Mugabe’s leadership over the last decade. Almost all his top allies including Vice President Joice Mujuru and Vice President John Nkomo have been revealed to have told American diplomats privately that they thought the party needed a change of leadership.

Mujuru, the US embassy cables show, was behind former Finance Minister Simba Makoni’s bid for the presidency in March 2008. The Vice President and her late husband, Solomon, had promised to quit ZANU PF two days before the election to publicly-back Makoni but chickened out, the diplomatic dispatches claimed, over concerns that Mugabe would target their business interests.

In a November 22, 2005, dispatch to Washington, the US embassy’s Charge d’Affaires, Eric T. Schultz, reflected on a meeting held with former ZANU PF MP Pearson Mbalekwa days earlier.

Mbalekwa, described as the UPM’s “principal”, told Schultz that Moyo – who had exiled himself from ZANU PF after running as an independent in Tsholotsho North – was part of the national executive.

“He claimed Emmerson Mnangagwa was satisfied with the movement’s progress and remained quietly behind the group but would not comment on plans for Mnangagwa’s association to be publicly disclosed,” Scultz wrote.

Months earlier, Schultz had met Mbalekwa who “openly wondered how the West would react to a Mnangagwa presidency”.

The decision to form the new party, Mbalekwa had told the American diplomats, was taken after “Mugabe’s cynical manipulation of last year’s presidium vote (2004) and the subsequent purges associated with the Tsholotsho meeting” where Mnangagwa and allies including Moyo, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, former Transport Minister Chris Mushowe, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda and ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo allegedly plotted a palace coup.

Mbalekwa claimed Mnangagwa, Moyo and others had realised that “change within the party would be impossible as long as Mugabe remained in charge”.

“Accordingly, growing numbers of disaffected ZANU PF had been collaborating and were getting prepared to launch a ‘third force’…,” Schutlz said in another cable dated July 18, 2005.

Commenting about the possible development in his November cable, Schultz said: “The UPM’s most identifiable principals – Emmerson Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo – each carry heavy liabilities with both domestic and international audiences for their association with past ruling party oppression.

“In addition, like the opposition MDC, it lacks resources or a reliable platform from which to deliver its message in an environment where the ruling party directs the full power of the state to its advantage.

“That said, Zimbabwe’s dysfunctional political landscape and leadership vacuum suggest obvious opportunities for a third force and the UPM is well-positioned, especially in the event of a ruling party crack-up over Mugabe’s succession, to take advantage of those opportunities.”

The planned party never took off the ground. Moyo rejoined ZANU PF in 2008 and Mnangagwa was given the powerful post of Defence Minister in a 2009 cabinet announcement by Mugabe.


ZAPU Vice President, Emelia Mukarakatirwa, recently castigated President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party for their selfish rule.

She lambasted women politicians from ZANU PF for “dancing kongonya” and kneeling “in front of other men” while failing to respect their own husbands at home in the name of trying to gain political favours.

Addressing the party’s supporters at a rally here at the weekend, the ZAPU leader said ZANU PF rule had created so much ethical division and political polarization that political intolerance had become commonplace.

“We need to stop the hate language that has created a lot of divisions. People must not apologise for the language they speak and the political choices they make. Some capable people in Zimbabwe have been denied the opportunities they deserve just because they speak a certain language,” said Mukarakatirwa.

She called on Zimbabweans to unite and share one common vision for their country, which she said had suffered from 31 years of Mugabe’s misrule, in which the octogenarian and members of his party have become too self-centred to care about the rest of the population.

“Leaders have forgotten that there are leaders because of the people who voted them into those positions and now behave as if they own the same people,” said the ZAPU official.

She castigated women for their failure to empower their own, saying most women would rather betray their gender by voting men into top positions.

“Some women also choose to stay away from political and governance issues because they believe that they are the preserve of men and they believe that women are not good enough to hold high level posts, but that is very wrong.”


Khami Maximum Prison boss, Chief Superintendent Judah Ndlovu has been fired from his job by the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) for insulting President Robert Mugabe’s late sister.

According ZPS disciplinary court charge sheet, on July 31 last year Ndlovu and some of his juniors were having drinks at Khami Prison Officers’ bar whilst watching Sabina Mugabe’s burial at Heroes Acre on Zimbabwe Television (ZTV) which was being beamed live. Ndlovu who was in a drunken state started shouting on top of his voice saying that “Sabina was a useless woman of loose morals who was not supposed to be buried at the National Heroes Acre.”

This did not go down well with some junior prison officers who reported the matter to ZPS Matebeleland region headquarters based at Mhlahlandlela government complex in Bulawayo the following day. Ndlovu was dragged before the ZPS disciplinary committee several times since last year in August but was denying the charges and making appeals.

However on Tuesday he received a letter from ZPS national headquarters in Harare notifying him that he had been fired and should leave the Khami Prison Complex in the next seven days.

When contacted for comment ZPS national spokesperson Priscilla Mthembo said “she needs questions in writing and will only respond to them when back in office as she was out of Harare.”

Sabina who was 10 years junior to Mugabe, served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Makonde East in 1985 and later became the legislator for Zvimba South constituency between 1990 and 2008.She was also a member of the ZANU PF women’s league serving as its national secretary for production and labour. She died at Harare’s Avenues Clinic on July 29th where she had been admitted complaining of stomach pains.


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