HARARE – Elements pushing for the ouster of President Mugabe grilled president of the Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe Chief Fortune Charumbira on why traditional leaders always endorsed the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President as the party’s candidate ahead of congress, saying there were other party officials also eyeing the presidency.
This was revealed by Chief Charumbira while addressing war veterans attending a congress at Great Zimbabwe which ended yesterday. Chief Charumbira revealed that the rebellious elements also approached him when they were in the process of forming Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.
He singled out Politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire as one of those who questioned the chiefs’ stance. “As the president of the Chiefs’ Council in 2007, before the conference that was held at the City Sports Centre in Harare, we met and made a resolution as chiefs,” said Chief Charumbira. “We said vaMugabe chete chete. Ndakavingwa nevanhu vamataura apa zvikanzi tatumwa nevanhu vedu kuti why are you endorsing the President before congress vamwe vanenge vachidawo.
“Ini nanhasi ukabvunza muMasvingo handiwirirane naMavhaire because of that.” Chief Charumbira accused Mavhaire and other elements in Zanu-PF Masvingo province of using money to buy people’s loyalty and also implicated Lowveld sugarcane producer Tongaat Hulett in financing the illegal move to oust President Mugabe.
“Mari dzakafamba dzeTongaat dzaibva panzimbe yakanga iri mari yekuti ngatibvisei President Mugabe. Yakanga iri mari yakakura,” he said. “Vanotenga vanhu. Party yakadaro haina kumira zvakanaka. Vanhu venyu vemuPolitburo ndivo vakaipa. Kana intelligence (CIO) haizivi zvimwe zvandinoziva. Even pakafomwa Mavambo vakandivinga.” Chief Charumbira then proposed the forging of an alliance between the war veterans and traditional leaders to bring sanity in Zanu-PF.
He said Zanu-PF was a formidable party because of the relationship it enjoyed with traditional leaders and war veterans. Chief Charumbira applauded the war veterans for dissociating themselves from the ousted Jabulani Sibanda, saying his utterances about President Mugabe were dismaying.
“Makazviona mukabuda pachena mukati zvataurwa naJabulani Sibanda hamuwirirani nazvo,” he said. Chief Charumbira urged the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association executive to work closely with traditional leaders to cleanse and bring sanity in Zanu-PF.
“Imi vaMutsvangwa neexecutive yenyu ngatibatanei timboruka nyika ino,” he said. “The war veterans’ wedding with chiefs is permanent, never to be destroyed. That link, some people do not like it. Opposition parties do not fear Zanu-PF, they fear chiefs and war veterans. They do not win because of traditional leaders and war veterans.”
Chief Charumbira said it was Zanu-PF through internal fights that was letting traditional leaders and war veterans down. “Of the three pillars — Zanu-PF, war veterans and traditional leaders, Zanu-PF is the problem. They fight for positions and have become counter revolutionaries,” he said.
Chief Charumbira said leaders must learn to be elected by people and should desist from using hook and crook to land positions. He challenged Government to attend to the welfare of war veterans some of whom he said were dying in abject poverty.