HomeLocalMugabe under pressure to deal with ‘sellouts’

Mugabe under pressure to deal with ‘sellouts’

A renowned political commentator has also warned that Mugabe would be “dammed if he does not take action and damned if he does”.

The secret meetings were disclosed in US diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks in September.

Zanu PF’s initial reaction was that it would ignore the cables but last week announced that Mugabe wanted a full investigation into the scandal.

It has since emerged that most Zanu PF provinces will push for an open debate of the disclosures at the party’s 11th Annual National People’s Conference to be held in Bulawayo from December 6 to 10.

A survey by The Standard has revealed that a number of Zanu PF provinces have the WikiLeaks issue in their wish-list for the conference.
Analysts said this was likely to put pressure on Mugabe because almost all the influential people in Zanu PF spoke to the US diplomats and expressed their desire to see the 87-year-old leave office.

“One of the most important issues that we are taking to the conference is the issue of WikiLeaks.”

Mugabe has said the conference would be a “mini-congress”, in what insiders said was a sign that he was toying around with an idea to initiate leadership changes.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe said Mugabe was in a catch 22 situation.

“He is between a rock and a hard place, damned if he pursues the WikiLeaks saga to its conclusion, and damned if he does not,” Makumbe said.
“There are too many senior people in his party who are likely to be implicated including his two VPs.”

Although Nkomo was not directly implicated, one of the cables quoting the late Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Edson Zvobgo claimed that he was also one of those eager to see Mugabe’s back.

“Mugabe is likely to wreck the party if he is to pursue the matter because Zanu PF is already weak as it is and has more divisions at the top than any other party in Zimbabwe,” Makumbe added.

“Yet it will be difficult for him not to pursue it because the party has disciplined members in the past, for example those involved in the Tsholotsho saga, so precedence has been set.”

In 2005, Zanu PF was forced to suspend five provincial chairpersons who attended a meeting at Dinyane High School in Tsholotsho, which Zanu PF says was organised to block Mujuru’s ascendancy to the VP’s post.

They favoured Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to take the post. Mugabe believed he was the main target of the plot linked to politburo member Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo has again featured prominently in the plots exposed by the leaked cables but his defence is that he was out of the party at the time as it was after he was expelled.

Makumbe said: “I think there are already vultures waiting to take advantage of the situation by either forming a break-away party or removing Mugabe from power.

“The party’s apparent unity is likely to be shaken by whatever move he takes.”

But indications on the ground are Mugabe will be unanimously endorsed to represent the party in the elections.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa on Friday said Zanu PF could not afford to “change the captain in the midst of a storm.”

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