HARARE - As Zanu PF’s factional and succession wars continue to rage relentlessly, the party’s hardliners are ratcheting up the pressure on former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies in a ruthless and renewed bid to defeat them once and for all ahead of the eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections.
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the hardliners (names withheld) who are allegedly masterminding this “thuggery” under the guise of protecting President Robert Mugabe, although in reality it was known that they were positioning themselves for life after the nonagenarian’s time in office — had resolved to “completely destroy” Mujuru and her main supporters ahead of the 2018 polls.
“These guys have now employed scotched earth tactics in their desperate bid to completely destroy Mai Mujuru and all her allies so that they are not a political threat come 2018. They are afraid of the knowledge that these liberation struggle stalwarts have of Zanu PF.
“It has not helped that (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai now says he could work with Mai Mujuru, while the likes of (former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus) Mutasa and others are threatening to spill the beans on Zanu PF. They (Zanu PF hardliners) want to decapitate the whole group (Mujuru camp).
It’s very sad,” a senior Zanu PF official said.
He added that anyone identified with Mujuru and the “original” Zanu PF formation that uses the slogan People First was targeted “for complete annihilation” which would see all of them either facing criminal charges or financial ruin.
Outspoken former regional minister for Masvingo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — a perceived Mujuru ally — told the Daily News yesterday that he was “mystified” why his successor Shuvai Mahofa had ordered that his farm be seized and set aside as grazing land.
He revealed that war veterans, as well as others who were too young to have participated in Zimbabwe’s liberation war, had already descended illegally on his farm in Rutenga, going on to remove the fence as they apparently enjoyed the support of Mahofa.
A letter dated June 24, from Mwenezi District, which is in possession of the Daily News, instructs Bhasikiti “to remove the fence on the portion of Umbono Ranch”.
“The decision was arrived at by the provincial lands committee after the resolution was forwarded by the Mwenezi District Lands Committee....you are instructed to treat this as a matter of urgency.
“We request the fence to have been removed by Friday 26 of June 2015,” reads part of the letter undersigned by an S. Chamisa, the acting district administrator, as well as the district lands officer, a T. Makonya.
But a defiant Bhasikiti said while his political enemies in Zanu PF were thinking that “they are punishing me, the truth is they are reversing the few gains we had under the land reform programme”.
“When I confronted the DA he said Mahofa is the one who instructed them to take my farm. Zanu PF is not following the law and they have imported that into government. Now they are cancelling my offer letter. On Friday people took my fence and we reported the matter to the police under case number Mwenezi 81/06/15.
“When the police made their investigations, they established that war veterans had taken the fence, but the suspects were not arrested or questioned. It is clear there is abuse of the law by top Zanu PF officials,” Bhasikiti said.
Revealing “the fact” that there were still many white farmers operating in the province, the former minister said it was “both sad and laughable” that many top government officials were allegedly being bribed by “these rich farmers and are now targeting blacks contrary to the president’s position that land is for blacks”.
Similarly, Temba Mliswa — the voluble former Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West — is under siege and facing myriad challenges, including a police probe on allegations of looting equipment under the government’s controversial fast track land reforms and farm mechanisation programme.
Already, police have sealed off his warehouse in Harare as investigations that might lead to his arrest continue, with Zanu PF insiders revealing to the Daily News yesterday that more former top Zanu PF officials would face the same fate.
Mliswa denied the theft allegations yesterday, describing them “as nothing more than politics”.
On his part, Mutasa is under pressure from party bigwigs to relinquish some of his properties, in what observers say is “a clear case of victimisation” now that the former close Mugabe confidante is out of favour with the nonagenarian.
In the meantime, the Daily News has established that former Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson, Amos Midzi, was reeling in debt before he was found dead at his farm in Beatrice just outside Harare.
Apparently, his economic fortunes “took a turn for the worse the moment the party discarded him like a condom”.
“This is a ruthless campaign by the hardliners in their evil bid to silence all former party members that are linked to Mujuru. They will find themselves under investigations and will lose their property for one reason or the other as the system works nefariously to silence and destroy them,” another senior Zanu PF official said.
Analysts say while party hardliners are now taking the war to the Mujuru camp in this brutal fashion, it was Mugabe himself who set the ball rolling when he indicated earlier in the year that Mujuru and her major supporters like Mutasa risked arrest on a litany of charges.