Mujuru and allies are cowards

Rugare Gumbo has of late been making statements that suggest that the Gamatox faction will soon form a political party, but I doubt anything of that nature will happen any time soon. I see his statements as mere propaganda - mainly meant to test the waters, scare Zanu (PF) and keep people guessing.


To start with, no one in the faction led by Joice Mujuru – including Mujuru herself – has the guts to stand up and declare a breakaway party.

From the time Grace Mugabe and others belonging to the Mnangagwa faction started vilifying her, Mujuru has not directly responded to Mugabe’s poor judgement and malicious intentions against her. In fact, at one time she sang Mugabe’s praises as he was busy calling her a witch. Since then—which is now a year or thereabouts—she has confined herself to her farmhouse, making sporadic but much diluted statements that you can count on one palm.

It is therefore unclear if the statements we are hearing from Gumbo are reflective of what Mujuru stands for. Even if she has been coaching him, I still believe that, for the sake of impact, she should come out in the open. On the other hand, it remains possible that Gumbo is just saying things from his own head.

Last week, he almost admitted that Mujuru was not necessarily for the formation of a new party when he acknowledged that she could have a different position on the establishment of a new political outfit by those that belong to her faction. This confusing narrative cultivates good ground for speculation. The bottom line, though, is that Mujuru is not yet ready to come out against Mugabe and Zanu (PF) – and that certainly proves her jelly-kneed approach to politics.

It would always be hard for Mujuru to break away from Zanu (PF). She joined it as a teenager and has been part of that political institution all along. Her value system, ideology and psyche remain mired in Zanu (PF). She is like a wife who has been in a marriage for so long she cannot envisage a life out of it, in spite of all the abuse.

In other words, she will not let herself get out of Zanu (PF). Mujuru will wait, hoping that something dramatic will happen in the ruling party, allowing her to return as the victim capable of rallying the sympathy of the majority of the people who seem to have swayed to her side all along. I am sure that, deep within, she is hoping that Mugabe will die suddenly.

She would then come out of her cocoon to remind people that she was fired from the party un-procedurally and so must reclaim her position as Mugabe’s immediate deputy, thereby next in line to succeed him. This makes sense because her ejection was illegitimate.

The other party stalwarts who are still loyal to her seem to be nothing but toothless guard dogs. It is understandable that Gumbo is doing much of the barking. He has always been like that. Remember, they almost buried him in a pit during the liberation struggle for his tendency to say out his mind in the wrong place. He is a well-meaning loudmouth whose impact cannot go beyond his words.

If he is so passionate about forming a new party, I would have at least expected him to back that up by standing as an independent in the coming June elections. Didymus Mutasa belongs to his league. He has also barked, but the steam seems to be running out.

When he filed his papers to stand in the Headlands by-election, he was just grandstanding. There was never any chance that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would let him contest because he was not sponsored by the party he purported to stand for. He just wanted to make some noise.

Why did he not then stand as an independent to register his complaint and bid for the seat he won in 2013 and lost when Zanu (PF) fired him? Similarly, Nicholas Goche, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Ray Kaukonde, the other notable Mujuru heavies, remain in their blankets and won’t come out of the house. They are just doing it the Zanu (PF) way. When in trouble with that party, you just recede to the periphery and hope that, one day, you will find your triumphant way back.

As Jonathan Moyo has said, it is very cold outside Zanu (PF). Mujuru and her allies know that. They have learnt many lessons from the likes of Edgar Tekere, Margaret Dongo, Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa who broke away but went roaming in the wilderness. If you have been in Zanu (PF) for a long time, it then becomes very scary to get out of it. – To comment on this article, please contact [email protected]

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