BULAWAYO – Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa says his party has since held meetings with expelled Zanu PF cadres in a move likely to usher Zimbabwe into a new political discourse.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Friday, Dabengwa described the purging of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies as a well calculated move by the ruling party to establish a permanent dictatorship in the country.
“We have been meeting people that we fought with in the trenches. These are people who have been expelled from Zanu PF,” Dabengwa said.
“You know (Rugare) Gumbo was expelled and you know Ray Kaukonde was expelled from chairmanship and these are not just members from Zanu PF but officials from Zanla as much as we are officials from Zipra.
“We have been meeting those who were formerly in Zanu PF as much as we have been meeting those formerly in MDC-T,” the Zapu president added.
Although he could not be drawn into naming those he had met Dabengwa went on to say; “But of course people who have been easier for us to discuss with are those that shared the trenches with us in the liberation struggle and this is why they have been bold in the leadership of Zanu PF.”
Asked whether he has personally engaged Mujuru as part of the so called on going meetings, Dabengwa said; “We have not yet discussed with the former Vice President but with individuals most of them being members of Parliament”.
The Zapu leader nicknamed the “Black Russian” during the liberation struggle said his party was not going to sit back and watch Zimbabwe turned into a dictatorship by Zanu PF.
“The same trend is to destroy all those progressive forces within the party (Zanu PF) such that they can form their own dictatorship where nobody asks a question and they do as they please,” he said.
Dabengwa said 2014 will be remembered as a year where “the beast feasted on its children displaying that its disdain for democracy was not reserved for the opposition but could be turned inward.”
Mujuru and eight ministers were fired from government by President Robert Mugabe on allegations of plotting to effect regime change but the Zapu leader felt it would be astounding if such a large number of previously key political actors from the Mujuru faction remained silent after such a callous purge.
“We have not sought their collective views but we have it on reliable authority that people like Rugare Gumbo, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Ray Kaukonde are not going to take fate lying down,” said Dabengwa, adding that all those who were purged should stick to their principles and fight for democratic space.
Dabengwa, however, dismissed claims that Mujuru was the mastermind in the alleged plot to unseat Mugabe who is currently on his annual leave in the Far East.
“If VP Mujuru had been plotting, as we are made to understand, and we have got a very sharp CIO operative security network in this country she could have been tracked down.
“In actual fact she could have been charged even before Amai Mugabe came in with her countrywide rallies and more so she was VP and she would even act when the president is away but only come congress (time) she gets chucked out, that is personal,” he said.
Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs minister said the Robert Mugabe government was an “expert” of fabricating charges against their perceived enemies.
“But as far as they are concerned it’s the matter that they are now probing very vigorously and we suppose they will come up with charges for that matter. But for somebody who at one time was charged with treason in this country I know exactly how they operate, they will fabricate anything that will enable them to keep you in prison as long as they want,” he said.
He also bemoaned the continuous hero worshipping of Mugabe which he said was a sign of an evolution of the dynastic Gushungo clan.