Zanu PF National Political Commissar, Engelbert Rugeje Admits A Military Coup Forced Mugabe Out

President Emerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF national political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje yesterday gave conflicting narratives on how former President Robert Mugabe left government in November last year.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE/EVERSON MUSHAVA

Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Siyalima Irrigation Scheme in Guruve, Rugeje said the military played a key role in Mugabe’s ouster and catapulted Mnangagwa’s rise to the throne.

“The Operation Restore Hope . . . Restore Legacy is the one that brought the leadership of the President we have here. The rest, you will hear from the President himself when he speaks.”

But when Mnangagwa later took to the podium, he said Mugabe resigned on his own following a public statement by hundreds of thousands of people who peacefully demonstrated demanding his ouster.

“He realised that the people had spoken and the people’s voice is the voice of God,” he said.

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe respected the Constitution and Parliament had instituted an impeachment process to remove Mugabe when he resigned after he refused to fire some members of G40 who had captured him, making executive decisions on behalf of the party and government.

Mnangagwa also lashed out at G40 members, describing them as sellouts, who deserved a place in hell.

“We had sellouts in our midst that include even traditional leaders and this does not surprise us when we see the threat of sellouts,” he said.

“If you see G40, you see them selling out, and you look into their history, you see that there were sellouts in the families during the liberation struggle.”

Later on, Mnangagwa and his entourage flew to Madzibaba Wimbo’s Johane Masowe Echishanu shrine, where he chided the former G40 members for plotting to unseat him using their newly-formed opposition, New Patriotic Front.

“Everything that is blessed by God is loved by many. If you find yourself going against the people, pray and say ‘Legion, leave me’, because you would have been possessed by an evil spirit. Wake up and brew beer so that you are cleansed,” he said.

Mnangagwa declared that no opposition could withstand the Zanu PF machinery, describing those forming parties as time wasters.

“What you have done today, the Lord is very happy. Because you are here not to be insulted, here not to be harassed or without being forced,” he said.

Mnangagwa said in November last year, Zanu PF went through a cleansing process, which saw “ticks” being washed away.

“In November, Zanu PF, like a beast, went to the dip tank. I don’t know the fate of the rebels, they remained behind in dip tanks,” he said.

Mnangagwa said his administration was focusing on building the economy.

In a clear dig directed at former First Lady Grace Mugabe, Mnangagwa said: “If you see someone who is not in government saying this one has committed no crime, then know that things would have gone wrong. If you see someone insulting people without a crime, then know that things are wrong. Everyone here has their God, why insult them?”

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