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Mphoko smuggled into Presidium by Mugabe

by Staff Reporter
14 Jan 2018 at 07:57hrs | Views
FORMER Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko was smuggled into the Presidium by former President Robert Mugabe without approval from the hierarchy of former PF-Zapu cadres, breaking a long standing promotion tradition within Zanu-PF, a former Cabinet Minister has revealed.

Former War Veterans minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube told journalists in Bulawayo that Mr Mphoko was appointed VP ahead of Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo whom the hierarchy of former PF-Zapu cadres had recommended as a replacement of the late Landa John Nkomo.

Rtd Col Dube said traditionally the hierarchy of former Zapu cadres was the one which recommended candidates to the VP and party chairman post.

He said the appointment of Mr Mphoko to the VP post which also came with the abolishment of the chairman's post in Zanu-PF was an affront to the ethos of the Unity Accord.

"What used to happen was that they would approach us in Zapu and say we want a Vice-President, who do you think is the right candidate to take over.

Then we would call for a meeting, debate the issue and come up with a name, as the former Zapu and Zipra hierarchy.

"What we did in 2014, we came up with SK Moyo's name, we thought the issue was over but to our surprise we were told that the Vice-President is Mphoko," he said.

Added Rtd Col Dube, "Unity was taken very seriously when we started from 1987, but as time went on I think there begun to be some laxity.

"It started with the coming in of Vice-President Mphoko, because at that time they abolished the post of chairman."

In an apparent suggestion that former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe had an influence in Mr Mphoko's ascendency to the Presidium, Rtd Col Dube said former Zapu cadres were not aware of Mr Mphoko's ambitions to be VP but had only heard that he was spending a lot of time at Mrs Mugabe's farm.

He said former Zapu cadres were powerless to contest Mr Mphoko's elevation to the VP post.

"We had not known about Mphoko's aspirations of becoming Vice-President. We only heard that he was seen most of the time at the former First Lady's farm then the next thing we heard was he was Vice-President. We had no power to contest that.

"We felt robbed because he was imposed on us. For the first time we had a VP we never elected from Zapu who was supposed to represent us, but well, we kept quiet.

"Then it was a new concept that the Vice-President is chosen, not elected. There is no consultation with Zapu, so we took what they gave us," he said.

Rtd Col Dube has been on record saying Mr Mphoko, after his appointment in 2015, alienated his old war time friends and surrounded himself with dubious characters who misled him into engaging in factional politics.

The former War Veterans minister, who had been touted as one of the favourites to the VP posts following Mr Mphoko's ouster recently said he was not bitter at being left out.

Rtd Col Dube is largely seen as one of the major actors in ushering the new political dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Rtd Col Dube said he was content with remaining a legislator for Makokoba constituency but said he would not turn down a Cabinet post if it were to be offered to him.

"I am happy, I am still the MP and if the constituency rejects me that is when I will feel rejected and disappointed."

"I have never done anything for a reward. I don't feel rejected at all that I am not a VP, let alone a minister," he said.

Before President Mnangagwa appointed his deputies late last month, Rtd Col Dube was largely viewed as one of the favourites for the VP post.

Kembo Mohadi and retired Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantino Chiwenga eventually landed the posts.

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Source - The Standard