HARARE – Frantic efforts by Webster Shamu to curry favour with his erstwhile comrades in Zanu PF were not enough to save him from the ongoing brutal purges as the party’s politburo suspended him on Friday for a good three years.
This is despite the fact that Shamu has profusely apologised to President Robert Mugabe and his influential wife Grace and just last week in Hurungwe, he knelt before Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and denounced people who dare oppose the outcome of the party’s damp squib December 2014 congress.
The former Zanu PF commissar, famous for heaping lavish praises on Mugabe, has been discarded just like many of his comrades accused of supporting ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Reduced from being a party heavyweight, Shamu, who, likened Mugabe to Cremora, a popular powdered milk brand, is now just a card-carrying member and his services to the party have been quickly forgotten.
Attempts to get in touch with Shamu yesterday were fruitless and he did not respond to a text message sent to him.
Shunned by the party — Shamu who cut a lonely and sorry figure during the party’s congress last year — was his old grovelling self as he shouted “Pasi nevanoramba kutambira zvakabuda musarudzo ye congress yegore rakapera” (To hell with those who oppose the outcome of the December congress) at the Hurungwe rally.
His wife Constance, who also moved on her knees greeting the party’s top officials in Hurungwe, was slapped with a two-year suspension — as the fortunes of the Shamu family continue on a downslide. Mujuru and her allies have all refused to accept the outcome of the 2014 Zanu PF congress, with the vociferous ones like former State Security minister Didymus Mutasa adamant that they only observe structures that existed before the party’s choreographed congress.
But at the heart of the sharp divisions in Zanu PF was Shamu, the glib-tongued former disc jockey, who superintended over the party’s controversial youths’ elections in August last year.
Youths aligned to the Mnangagwa faction accused Shamu and other senior party officials, who have since been expelled or suspended from the ruling party, of deliberately rigging their elections to ensure Mujuru allies win.
At the party’s women conference in August, an angry Mugabe accused the man who dreamt to have him as a father, of sleeping on the wheel and allowing poll manipulation.
It was around that time that Shamu’s fortunes, began to nosedive. He could not live the proverbial nine lives of a cat as the party rejected him in November last year even after he had been selected to represent Chegutu in the central committee.
Accusations of conspiring to topple Mugabe are apparently too heavy to banish with a little grovelling, apple polishing and brown nosing.
A brief history of his relationship with Mujuru reveals that in October last year when the going was getting tough, Shamu was resolute and attended the widowed VP’s graduation ceremony in Dotito — a symbolic gesture that angered many fanatical supporters of Mugabe.
Sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Shamu has decided to ditch the Mujuru camp because he fears being trapped into Zanu PF internal wars — with some of his comrades presently “unearthing a lot of dirt that may even result in his arrest.”
For instance, Shamu is at the centre of a storm involving at least 300 000 party membership cards that have not been accounted for.
So eager are party hawks in Zanu PF led by Shamu’s appointed successor Saviour Kasukuwere to get to the root of the matter that the investigation was set to be used as a true example of an anti-corruption fight.
In thinly veiled remarks, Mugabe’s influential wife Grace also revealed that some top officials made a fortune selling party regalia sourced from China when it was supposed to be distributed ahead of the 2013 contested elections and Shamu’s name featured prominently.
Asked about the corruption charges in Hurungwe, Shamu flatly refused to speak to the media.
But well-placed sources said Shamu has since apologised to the First Family.
“He was clever enough to see where power resides and he is trying to protect his interests.
“He will not be touched now that he has apologised,” said the source.Dailynews