Mnangagwa woos Gamatox, G40 big guns

 Mnangagwa woos Gamatox, G40 big guns
Published: 29 October 2019
IT HAS emerged that President Emmerson Mnangagwa's close confidantes have been meeting and "exchanging notes" with some of the leading lights of Zanu-PF's vanquished Gamatox and Generation 40 factions over the past few months, the Daily News reports.

This comes as both the ruling party and its government are battling to deal with the country's deepening political and economic crisis  which is stirring rising citizen unrest as well as the increasingly strident criticism they are receiving from disappointed Western powers over Zimbabwe's human rights credentials.

Well-placed sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Mnangagwa and his close associates in Zanu-PF and the government were reaching out to their erstwhile Gamatox and G40 comrades, with the idea of trying to heal the ruling party's rifts that had worsened towards the end of the late former president Robert Mugabe's tenure in power.

"Yes, we have been talking and exchanging notes at an informal level with some of our former comrades in Zanu-PF. The reality is that we are all Zimbabweans and we all love our country in our own ways, even as we differ.

"After all, what unites us as Zimbabweans with all these people and others is much bigger and more important than what divides us," a senior Zanu-PF official said.

Former vice president Joice Mujuru  who was brutally jettisoned from both the government and Zanu-PF at the height of the ruling party's ugly tribal, factional and succession wars in 2014 confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that she was happy to engage with her former comrades in Zanu-PF.

However, she said, her main concern was the perilous state of Zimbabwe's economy and the rising political polarisation in the country.

In this light, Mujuru revealed, she had recently met with the director-general of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Isaac Moyo, where they deliberated on the state of affairs in the country. Asked whether she was open to re-joining Zanu-PF, the 64-year-old former freedom fighter was cagey about her exact plans.

"Situations change and some may say ‘never, over my dead body'. However, when you are in a position such as mine, you can never say never. I am no longer looking at Zimbabwe alone, but beyond Zimbabwe and even myself.

"I have to think outside the box. Solutions (for the country) come from different persons. We have to meet as one and come up with the solutions. If we meet to discuss, we can come up with all the solutions to our problems," she said.

Mujuru joined the liberation war as a teenager and served in government for 34 years, until her ruthless purging in 2014 by Mugabe and his erratic wife Grace. She was regarded as Mnangagwa's top rival in the battle to succeed Mugabe while in Zanu-PF. But she was quick to add yesterday that she bore no ill feelings,

"whatsoever", towards any of her former comrades in Zanu-PF.

"I have been quiet for a long time, and I don't see anything wrong if I meet Mnangagwa or (Zanu-PF chairperson Oppah) Muchinguri.

"In fact, that is the proper way of doing things. No matter how daft I might look in the eyes of some people, I know something about this country. You cannot throw away 34 years of experience just like that," Mujuru said.

"People should learn to listen to me and also to listen to other voices. It is important for me to meet and share ideas with the president because there is nothing wrong in seeing our leaders.

"Those are the people who are leading us and they should also listen to us. I have been meeting a lot of people in Zanu-PF and outside Zanu-PF, and whatever we have been discussing is good for Zimbabwe," she added.

Asked further if she was in support of a national convention or the formation of a transitional authority to resolve Zimbabwe's problems, Mujuru said she was more interested in changing the "mindsets" of Zimbabweans, rather than talking about political platforms.

"Developing love for each other doesn't need a convention. I don't need a convention to convince you that you are a human being. Let us do things that are right to each other regardless of our political affiliations.

"I was recently in my late husband's (Solomon Mujuru's) rural home of Chikomba. What I saw there is heart-breaking. People are suffering and it is not fair for Zimbabweans to live the lives that they are enduring now.

"As leaders, we have to change our ways and that can start by changing our mindsets.

"Just imagine that we want international confidence, but we do not have confidence among ourselves. Let us be confident in each other, Zanu-PF and the MDC.

"We must do some soul searching. As leaders we have to lead in the national healing process and I am ready to involve everyone to achieve that," Mujuru added.

The former VP was fired from Zanu-PF and the government in December 2014 by Mugabe amid cruel allegations of witchcraft, corruption and treasonous behaviour directed at the widow by the nonagenarian and Grace. She recently re-entered the news headlines when a vulnerable Grace reached out to her, begging for forgiveness for the manner the former first lady had treated her.

Grace has now apologised to Mujuru for having demolished and humiliated the former VP mostly using contrived claims during her high-octane interface rallies in 2014. At one of her meetings with cross-border traders at her Mazowe business hub, Grace shamelessly accused Mujuru of having allegedly worn skimpy clothes despite the cellulite on her body.

"Today there were media reports saying that I said I have a recording of Mai Mujuru being intimate with a man. What I said is she should not wear mini-skirts in front of young people. I said so because it is her culture.

"What she was wearing in the video was inappropriate considering she was in her lounge with a young man. Ende munhu ane muviri muhombe (She has a big body).

"Even in real life, I have seen her like that. Even women in Parliament came to me complaining saying we educate her on how to dress ... Chero isu tine miviri yakanaka handife ndakapfeka mini pavana (Even some of us with nice bodies will never wear mini-dresses in front of young people)," Grace said then.

But the former first lady reserved the worst of her attacks on Mujuru for the sham December 2014 Zanu-PF congress, where she bragged that she had vanquished the then VP. And likening herself to a football referee, Grace said she had blown the whistle on Mujuru because the then VP was "offside".

So hurt was Mujuru from this public shellacking that she avoided Grace when Mugabe invited the former vice president to his Blue Roof mansion just before last year's national elections.
- dailynews
Tags: mnangagwa,


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