THE factional fighting in Zanu PF that has claimed the scalps of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and several powerful politicians in the party has taken a new twist
amid indications some of the accusations levelled against the ousted party gurus could have been a pack of lies aimed at destroying their political empires.
BY STAFF REPORTERS
Fresh details emerged last week showing fired Labour minister Nicholas Goche may never have spoken about wars expected during the just-ended congress or anything to do with the toppling of President Robert Mugabe.
Allegations were pushed hard through the state media, claiming that Goche had told an official at a sugar institute in the lowveld that there was going to be real war at the congress where Mugabe was set to be unseated.
The official, Admore Hwarare, was said to have confirmed this to police investigators after a plot to violently topple Mugabe had been unearthed. But, according to a report made to Police Law and Order, Harare, by Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union secretary-general, Hwarare, Goche reportedly claimed that there would be a shakeup in the run up to the party’s congress where the “other function (sic)” is going to be “flushed away”. “I have made this report because I was asked to give this information in writing by Assistant Commissioner (Chrispen) Makedenge,” Hwarare said in a statement, copy of which is in The Standard’s possession.
“As a retired captain (of the army) and Zanu PF member, I do not want to lie, so I have provided the true information of what happened during the minister’s visit to Chiredzi,” Hwarare said.
The report was recorded by one Detective Inspector A. Mirimbo on November 25 at 1100 hours at the request of Assistant Commissioner Chrispen Makedenge, head of the CID Law and Order Section. Nowhere in Hwarare’s report is Mugabe’s name mentioned, whether directly or in passing and neither is there any mention of gunfire and the shooting of people before the congress.
This was contrary to reports claiming Goche openly told Hwarare that the alleged coup plotters intended to kill Mugabe before the Zanu PF congress early this month.
Apparently as a result of these reports, Goche was axed from both party and government together with Mujuru, former spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa on allegations of plotting to assassinate Mugabe and aiding Mujuru to take over as President.
Mugabe then personally confronted Goche over the allegations and despite the minister’s denial, the President went on to chop him out of the party and government.
Goche has since been taken ill and was admitted in the intensive care unit of a Harare private hospital where he was being treated of an undisclosed ailment although rumour had it the former minister had suffered from hypertension.
His present condition could not be determined at the time of going to press. Mujuru, besides being accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe, was also accused of ineptitude and a litany of other allegations including corruption.
Most of the allegations were made by the First Lady Grace Mugabe and later confirmed by Mugabe as he fired her from the party and government.
The former VP is now an ordinary card carrying member of the party. There are reports that police have instituted investigations into the corruption and other allegations leveled against her so that if evidence is found, she will be prosecuted as ordered by Mugabe.
Mutasa is alleged to have told a girlfriend that Mugabe would be killed if he refused to hand over power to Mujuru while Gumbo was also alleged to have made utterances to the effect that the aging leader would be removed “the Kabila way” if he refused to leave office. Mujuru, Goche, Mutasa and Gumbo have all vehemently denied the allegations, describing them as “ridiculous”.
Several other party heavy weights who include former secretary for commissariat and ICT minister Webster Shamu, former secretary for production and energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Francis Nhema the former indeginisation minister and eight party provincial chairpersons and their executive members were also kicked out of their posts for the same allegations. But The Standard gleaned a police report by Hwarare, which appears to show that Goche never mentioned Mugabe’s name.
Goche, according to Hwarare, referring to internal fighting within the labour union, said: “ma in-house nema factions amunoona awa ose haasiri a Hwarare asi ava ne politics mukati. Wait and see the Youth Congress is coming, followed by Women Congress before the main congress in December.
Before the congress you are going to witness as the other faction is going to be flushed away.” Hwarare who is also Zanu PF ex-Masvingo provincial commissar, added: “I just interpreted the statement in relation to the issues concerning ZSMIWS (the sugar labour body).” The Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Union was torn between a faction led by one Jacob Gwavava and another led by Alfred Makwarimba.
Efforts to get comment from Hwarare were fruitless as he was not answering calls the whole week. Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba was also not pickling calls.
According to the statement, the meeting was held at Muteri Lodge in Chiredzi and chaired by Goche. It was attended by Goche’s deputy, Tongai Muzenda, local MPs Darlington Chiwa and Denford Masiya, officer in charge for Chiredzi and two officials from the President’s office only identified as Muza, Saburi and Chikanya and two workers’ union representatives who included Hwarare.
Hwarare said he was told by Chiwa that the meeting was to discuss the day to day running of the Sugar Cane Millers Union. The meeting was supposed to be held at Wild Bar before it was finally shifted to Muteri Lodge.
Hwarare said prior to the meeting, he was not aware of Goche’s visit.