Mugabe contradicts Tekere on Rugare Gumbo

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by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s attempt to tarnish Former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo as a persistent troublemaker in Zanu PF has backfired, after Edgar Tekere‘s own account exposed Mugabe as an evil and heartless man.

Edgar Tekere (right) with Robert Mugabe in 1980

Edgar Tekere (right) with Robert Mugabe in 1980

Addressing the party’s National Consultative Assembly in Harare yesterday, Mugabe spoke of the alleged plan to unseat him through a “coup de tat”, allegations that claimed the scalp of Mujuru and her allies.

“Rugare Gumbo, he has done this before in Mozambique and those who were with us will know we dug an underground room where those who had revolted in 1978 as we were at the Anglo-American talks and thought they would succeed, he was one of them and we kept them down there. We were feeding them well. We gave them food didn’t we?” Mugabe asked.

However , Edgar Tekere, who  died aged 74, was a founder member of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu, now Zanu-PF), and fought alongside Robert Mugabe in the bush war of the 1970s that ended white minority rule; later their paths diverged, and in 1990 Tekere challenged Mugabe’s leadership of independent Zimbabwe in his biography, A Lifetime of Struggle shows reveals a contradiction to Mugabe’s account.

” Later , the prisoners were moved to a dug-out gaol that we called Chikariboso. There came a day when Mugabe visited us to tour the prison, and the prisoners  were presented to us.Rugare Gumbo approached, obviously  having been thoroughly beaten.His face was all swollen.He said to Mugabe ,” Chef, look how badly I was beaten by the guards, is this the right thing to do?” Mugabe looked straight at him and said, “Did you expect any better treatment?” and passed on

I did not like this.When I got to Rugare , he repeated his complaint, and I appologised, but I was shocked that my prisoners , who had been entrusted to me , were being ill -treated.So as soon as I could, I asked Frelimo if they could take charge of the prisoners, and they remained in the custody of Frelimo until they were released following the Lancaster House Conference in 1979″, said Tekere.

“Mugabe also told his audience that he drank opaque beer on his first visit to Tsholotsho where his late father had married another woman”