HARARE – TOP Zanu-PF officials linked to Vice President Joice Mujuru would frequently meet at Rugare Gumbo’s Montrose Farm on the outskirts of Gweru and strategise how to topple President Mugabe whom they said was “old and incapacitated”, a source has revealed.
According to the source who worked with the suspended Zanu-PF Secretary for Information for years, plans to unseat President Mugabe started before the 2008 harmonised elections. The source said the Zanu-PF officials were worried the party could lose to the MDC-T in the elections. The source claimed Gumbo, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Cephas Msipa, Flora Buka and Jason Machaya, were among party officials who would frequently converge at Montrose Farm.
“Montrose Farm was the meeting point and they would come and discuss the post-Mugabe era,” said the source. The source claimed Msipa would abuse the close relations he has with President Mugabe for the benefit of those pushing for regime change. “Several meetings were held at Rugare Gumbo’s Montrose Farm and all these officials would attend.
“At times Didymus Mutasa would be present too. VP Mujuru would frequently communicate with Gumbo over the phone about factional issues,” the source said. “They would say Mugabe must go. Mugabe does not want to leave power yet he is old and unhealthy. “They said the President’s doctors told him to rest. They were preparing for President Mugabe’s exit and the coming in of VP Mujuru into power”
The source claimed Gumbo vowed never to forgive President Mugabe, accusing the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President of ill-treating him when he was detained during the war.
Gumbo told us: “They would give us sadza mixed with sand. When we complained to Mugabe about this ill-treatment, he would just laugh and not address the situation. We thought he was a Mugabe from Masvingo not knowing he was a Zezuru.”
The source claimed Mujuru and Mutasa would visit the Midlands province under the cover of Government business when in fact they were pursuing factional interests. “Sometime this year, Mujuru went as far as Mataga Growth Point where she attended victory celebrations for Chiratidzo Mabuwa. Mutasa also came on several occasions.
“On one of the occasions he officially opened a community hall at Bonda in Mberengwa South that was built by Gumbo.” The source claimed Msipa was an active member of VP Mujuru’s camp.“He would talk to President Mugabe and feed those who pushed for his ouster with information on whatever the President would have said,” said the source. Yesterday Gumbo would not comment over the matter. “I cannot comment over things that happened in 2008,” he said. Msipa denied ever attending a meeting at Gumbo’s farm.
“There is no truth in that at all. I have never had a meeting at Gumbo’s farm. “If I have been at Gumbo’s place, it was social. He is a brother. I have never gone to have a meeting. It is a lie,” he said. Mavhaire, Buka and Machaya were unavailable for a comment yesterday. Herald