Zanu PF party remains unmoved by reports of a damning recording in which former Women’s League boss and Higher Education minister Oppah Muchinguri allegedly made disparaging remarks against fellow party bigwigs.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
In the 45-minute recording, a woman believed to be Muchinguri is heard making critical remarks and insinuations of plots and counter plots within the former guerrilla movement as the internecine struggles for power continue unabated.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo yesterday said he had only heard about the recording in the media.
“I am only getting to know about the existence of the recording in the newspapers. Do you expect a serious party to call for an emergency meeting based on a newspaper report?” Khaya-Moyo asked rhetorically.
However, Khaya-Moyo’s predecessor and liberation war stalwart Rugare Gumbo said the leaked tape, if at all it was authentic, is inconsequential at a time Zimbabweans were suffering from the grinding economic, social and political malaise.
Gumbo was ousted from his lofty position in the ruling party in the run-up to the December 2014 congress in a brutal tussle for power that also claimed the scalps of now ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru and then secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
He said Zanu PF needed to find solutions to the country’s troubles instead of wasting time creating recordings.
“I have said this before and I will say it again; these people are clueless. They do not understand what they should be doing,” Gumbo told The Standard.
“Their biggest problem is that they are busy scrambling for power and favours from President Mugabe and his wife [First Lady Grace] while they should focus on issues to do with the people’s livelihoods.”
He added: “We want to find a way to help the people, a way to engage the people. As far as I am concerned, the Muchinguri issue is inconsequential.”
The recording, reportedly made at a meeting held on June 9 — the day former Mines minister Amos Midzi allegedly committed suicide at his Munandi Farm in Beatrice — was allegedly done by one of Zanu PF youths without Muchinguri’s knowledge.
The meeting of youths mainly from Manicaland was, according to insiders, held at a private house in Harare. According to sources, the Higher Education minister called the meeting to canvass for support from the party youths ahead of a provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting which was set for yesterday in Mutare, but was reportedly cancelled after the audio tape leaked.
Our sister paper NewsDay reported that the Muchinguri camp wanted to use the PCC meeting to “install” their loyalists in the provincial executive.
Thousands of discs of the recording were allegedly reproduced and were being distributed to senior ruling party members to pile pressure on Mugabe to take stern action against Muchinguri.
According to Zanu PF officials, the audio recording was reportedly handed over to Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe in Kadoma on Wednesday. The recording was also being distributed at other official Zanu PF functions.
Muchinguri, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, abdicated her position as head of the Zanu PF Women’s League last year to make way for the First Lady. She then accompanied Grace on a countrywide tour that created the platform on which Mujuru was verbally lynched until her sacking on allegations she was behind a plot to unseat Mugabe violently.