President Robert Mugabe yesterday said he will reshuffle his Cabinet this week as his fall-out with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa reached new levels.
By Everson Mushava
Mugabe, whose son Robert Jnr was sitting at the top table, told the Zanu PF national youth assembly in Harare that some of his appointees had not lived up to expectations.
His remarks took the focus back to Mnangagwa, who endured a difficult week after Mugabe and his wife, Grace, reacted angrily to the VP’s claims that he was poisoned.
The VP is accused of trying to stampede Mugabe from power and Grace’s allies have been pushing for his ouster when Zanu PF meets for its conference in December, which they want to be turned into a congress.
“We must also look at ourselves, and say to yourselves, well, have we, all of us co-operated together or there are some among us who, although they were given positions and know they are members of the party, have not done well,” Mugabe told the youths.
“I don’t mean govern per-se, although we appointed people to certain positions, did they live up to that call of these certain positions.
“We will look at the party, as well as government to see if the same was happening and next [this] week, we might see some changes in government.”
He added: “I must also do my own review on who has not lived up to expectations in government.
“Are we going to remain like that or they should be sidelined or dropped? So that exercise I will be doing and early next week you will be getting the results.”
A month ago, Grace told Mnangagwa that he risked going the Joice Mujuru way for allegedly showing too much ambition.
The G40 faction in Zanu PF is also pushing for Defence minister Sydney Sekeremayi to take over from Mnangagwa, giving him an edge in the succession race.
However, Mugabe avoided talking about his strained relationship with Mnangagwa. He said Zanu PF officials must always try to resolve their differences.
“I am saying if we have problems, let us discuss them, and discuss them not for the benefit of NewsDay or Daily News, or the outside world so that they have something to say about us,” he said.
“Some among you say let me release information to shame this one and this one; if you shame them today, then what?
“They will also want to shame you tomorrow and we should learn; this is what happens in politics.
“Here at the top, we should learn that our differences are discussed in-house, they are ours, they do not belong to the outside [world], and shouting at each other in the public is a shame, it makes people think that our party is not united, it is a party in dispute, and divided.
“We will become the food of vultures outside; the enemies will feed on us.
“No, we should never be like that. It doesn’t matter how offended you are, bring your matter here, your offence here, we will discuss it here and find solutions within the party.”
He urged party members to shun immorality and stop “seeding children everywhere”.
Mugabe said if a person wanted more than one wife, they should pay lobola and stay with all of them, not to have children everywhere.
“We have a problem; there are other people who want every woman. We have the problem even at the party’s leadership. I will not tell them but we know,” he said.
“This has given us a bad name at the top, you go everywhere you hear, this is his child, and this is his child.
“Yes, we have men who want many wives, it is properly done. You pay lobola, first wife, second wife, who stay at home, but are you able to look after them.”
Last Thursday Grace inferred that Mnangagwa was a womaniser and Mugabe was more principled.
Meanwhile, Mugabe revealed that Zanu PF will splash over $3,5 million to buy new vehicles ahead of next year’s elections.
He said the youths had requested vehicles and the money had been secured.
“The youths said they want vehicles to organise elections. Then when you say mudhara achauya, eeh mudhara auya [the old man is coming, now I am here] and am going to do something,” Mugabe said.
“All in all they will go above $3,5 million thereabout. I think we have looked at it with the two VPs and secretary for administration to see if the seeds we saw have had some fruits.
“We said we will look at our reserves.
“We have looked at what we had been keeping and I think we can manage. We will have to do it quickly because elections are coming soon and we should try to minimise costs.
“Where the company to buy from is here, we will buy, if we are going to have other sources outside, let us do it now, now, now!”