Cadres of Zimbabwe’s war of independence have expressed shock and dismay at the boldness of 12 government officials who have come out boldly to be identified as the plotters who conspired to bring down ex-Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Mujuru, for a long time touted as President Robert Mugabe’s successor, was strangely stripped of her post as VP and a seat on the Central Committee of the ruling Zanu-PF at the annual conference of the party in December last year. She had been denounced by First Lady Grace Mugube of plotting to assassinate her husband and succeed him.
Rewarded with ministerial and party posts, the 12, who apparently authoured and funded the script read by the First Lady, have had their names published in the government-owned The Herald newspaper.
Dubbing itself “the ‘Clean Dozen’, the group reportedly comprises: Cde Saviour Kasukuwere (the convener), Professor Jonathan Moyo (co-convener), Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa, Edna Madzongwe, Prisca Mupfumira, Oppah Muchinguri, Monica Mutsvangwa, Makhosini Hlongwane, Ignatius Chombo, Josiah Hungwe, Philip Chiyangwa and Patrick Zhuwao.
“The group usually met at Cde Kasukuwere’s Comoil offices in Marlborough, their usual meeting place, although they also had meetings at different places.
“They also regularly had lunch at the popular restaurant along East Road in Avondale, the Fishmonger, a place popularised by Western ambassadors — the Fishmonger Group — that regularly met there to try to crack the Zimbabwe puzzle.
“The 12-member committee was instrumental in the organization and funding of the First Lady’s Meet the People rallies during which Dr Mujuru’s sinister plot was exposed to the party membership,” The Herald revealed
But senior party officials have expressed surprise and shock at the outing by The Herald, of the main actors behind the chaos that is still devouring the ruling party, and warn that their ill-advised exposure could one day come back to haunt the alleged masterminds behind the deadly ructions that are still to fully play out.
“Although it would appear that all the people who played a leading role in decimating Mujuru have been handsomely rewarded, I’m still very surprised that these comrades would want their names played out in public this way, more so seeing that the party war is far from over.
“I personally think that the excitement is unwarranted and that this (move) will prove unwise in the long run,” a central committee member told journalists
.Almost all of the “Clean Dozen” have been given prominent positions in the party and the government, with Mnangagwa, former Finance Minister, now Mugabe’s number two both at party and government levels, while Chombo is the new secretary for administration and Kasukuwere the new political commissar.
Even the little known Mupfumira is the new minister of Public Service.
In a telephone interview, another aggrieved member also ridiculed the moniker “Clean Dozen” as “a complete misnomer.
Asked to comment on the latest “revelations”, he said, “I really cannot talk about that foolish moniker. It really just shows the people who plotted to destroy the party and bring chaos to the country.
“Is there any among them who has a record of defending the country?
They have no history except to muzzle the press,” he said apparently referring to the infamous shutdown of the Daily News in September 2003.
“We can actually call them the ‘Mischievous Dirty Dozen’ who were toddlers during the struggle and are coming to enjoy what other people fought for”.
Another party insider said it was also “a matter of time” before more details emerged around how the “Clean Dozen” had expediently roped in First Lady Grace Mugabe to be their spokesperson, culminating in the “painful strife” that had riven the party.
“Almost all of these people are arrogant big egos who desire to be seen as the centres of the Universe in their own rights. So, it is a matter of time before all the gory details come out. Watch this space,” he said.
He also found “shocking” that war sell-outs like Hungwe, who was a mupuruvheya” are now being depicted as saviours”. Hungwe was a Rhodesian propagandist during the liberation struggle who fiercely advocated the brutalising of liberation fighters. Chiyangwa once served as a police officer in Rhodesia under Ian Smith.
Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, who defiantly still declares himself to be the party’s substantive secretary for administration, has already rubbished members that he calls Mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies, as well as Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress that was held in December last year.
Mutasa was representing genuine liberation heroes, pioneers of the struggle and Zanu PF members who were “unfairly and illegally” booted out of the highly divided party.
“In the build-up to this illegal congress, it became clear that this clique of evil plotters had successfully waylaid Amai Grace Mugabe and Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and started using them as weapons to unleash venomous and uncouth statements against anyone they perceived to be standing for the original Zanu (PF) values, ideals and ethos.
“As upright cadres of the revolution, we resolutely and patiently waited for the cardinal direction of our elected First Secretary and President of Zanu (PF), but his customary clear and unequivocal stance did not come until this undemocratic congress.
“In disbelief Zanu (PF) and the whole nation listened to their leader berating his own protégés not only in the party but in government and the august House of Parliament.
“It will go down in the annals of our Zanu (PF) history that for the first time the elected leader alienated himself from the people by this behaviour. Instead of mapping the road for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and major policies uplifting our people, the congress became a farce and degenerated into a praise and worship playhouse,” read the statement by liberation cadres signed by Mutasa.
Simon Khaya Moyo, Zanu PF spokesperson said in a statement that he was currently on leave and would only comment on Mutasa’s bold statement when he resumed.