Cephas Msipa retires

HARARE – Respected Zanu PF elder Cephas Msipa says he decided not to contest for a central committee position ahead of the party’s damp squib “elective” congress last week because he now wants to rest.

Cephas Msipa at the just ended ZANU-PF congress
Cephas Msipa at the just ended ZANU-PF congress

The congress, which was preceded by months of serious infighting between factions battling to succeed President Robert Mugabe, failed to come up with a full leadership structure after the Zanu PF leader developed cold feet at the last minute and did not name a successor to his out-of-favour deputy Joice Mujuru.

Mugabe accuses Mujuru and her allies, who include former party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Public Service minister Nicholas Goche of planning to oust and assassinate him.

This came in the wake of Mugabe’s wife Grace’s sensational claims that Mujuru was also a corrupt and inept leader who was riding on the back of her husband.

Grace’s divisive vitriol incensed many party stalwarts, including Msipa, who demanded answers from Mugabe following the sustained attacks on his deputy.

The veteran nationalist did not hide his anger at the chaos in the ruling party and ended up not submitting his curriculum vitae for consideration into the central committee — which would have made it possible for him to retain his politiburo position.

Msipa told the Daily News on the sidelines of last week’s congress that he felt that he had done his party in active politics, and that he now deserved a rest.

“I decided against contesting for the position (central committee) because I feel my time is up and I need to rest. It means I did not desire to be in the politiburo because we have come a long way, so others should take over,” he said.

While he did not link his desire to rest to the current turmoil in the party, the former Midlands governor openly expressed his fears of a possible split in the 51-year-old movement last month as its factional and succession battles escalated.

Msipa said he felt insulted when war veterans were seemingly given carte blanche authority to vilify and insult party leaders, after several party stalwarts such as Mutasa were axed from the party’s Soviet-style central committee at the instigation of a section of the war veterans’ body.

Mujuru and Goche also decided against contesting in the central committee elections.

Observers say Msipa, who is on record saying he did not understand why Mugabe did not move to end the crisis that culminated in the demise of Mujuru and her perceived allies could have been frustrated out of the party by its worsening internal anarchy.

“He (Mugabe) knows that Zanu is a party and war veterans are an affiliate of Zanu PF. I don’t need to tell the president, he knows that they have no business to instruct members of the central committee and politiburo,” Msipa said then.

Check Also

Zimbabwe: Adhere to Covid-19 Protocols or Else – Minister

By Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter Government will not hesitate to re-introduce tough Covid-19 control measures …

This function has been disabled for Zimbabwe Today.