Mujuru group reaches out to Dabengwa

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GumboDISGRUNTLED allies of former Vice-President Joyce Mujuru have approached ZAPU with the view of forming a coalition to fight the ruling Zanu PF party, it has emerged.

Mujuru was ousted as State and Zanu PF vice president over allegations she tried to illegally depose President Robert Mugabe.

Axed with her were several cabinet ministers said to have been part of the plot along with Zanu PF provincial chairpersons who found themselves reduced to ordinary party members.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club Friday evening, ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa said some of Mujuru‘s key allies have already expressed their desire to work his party in fighting Zanu PF.

“Colleagues such as Ray Kaukonde, Rugare Gumbo and Ambrose Mutinhiri have expressed willingness to join hands and work with us in order to fight dictatorship,” said Dabengwa.

“Our unequivocal position is to urge them to stick to principle and to fight for democratic space so that events like Unity Day have meaning for all Zimbabweans both within the country and in their respective political formations.”

Dabengwa said his party was ready to engage and work with the disgraced officials in whatever arrangement to dislodge Zanu PF from power.

“We have been in the trenches with these people for a long time in as much as other people in the MDC –T. Massive disenfranchisement of those seen as challengers of the central authority is a major concern beyond the ruling party,” he said.

The former home affairs minister also criticised the recently held Zanu PF congress where last minute constitutional changes were made to ensure there were no elections for the top positions in the party.

“It is shocking that three decades after independence the ruling party’s congress departed from being elective to becoming appointive; meaning the ‘guided democracy’ that was in place for the choosing of the Vice President is now unequivocally vested in hands of one person,” he said.

“It is no surprise that this unprecedented power was immediately exercised by President Mugabe to unilaterally pick Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko (as vice presidents).”

Dabengwa also lambasted the first lady, Grace Mugabe, for insulting the people of Matabeleland while addressing party supporters during one of her meet-the-people tours in Gwanda.

“Grace Mugabe accused us of sending our young people to work in South Africa for blankets and other trinkets instead of productive work inside the country,” said Dabengwa.

“This insensitivity at the centre of power is not just a slip of the tongue but it merely underscores how necessary a devolved system of government is instead of centralised power that blames the marginalised for their situation.”

A former Zanu PF politburo member, Dabengwa quit the ruling party to revive ZAPU after being frustrated by President Mugabe’s refusal to step down and allow a younger leader to take over.

Mugabe, 90 this year, has vowed to serve out his current term which ends in 2018 when he could also run for re-election after Zanu PF endorsed him as its candidate for the presidency.

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