Former Zanu PF spokesperson and liberation war veteran, Rugare Gumbo says he, together with other fired colleagues will bounce back in the ruling party, describing what they have gone through as “mere trials and tribulations to strengthen them”.
In an interview with The Zimbabwe Mail on Thursday, Gumbo, who was expelled from the party on allegations of being part of a clique allegedly led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and accused of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe, said those writing their political obituaries were “dreaming as it was far from over”.
“This this is not my political sunset or for others who were purged using concocted stories? Just wait and see what will happen. But we will not go back to that Zanu PF which organised what we call a sham congress, they will look for us,” he said.
“When the truth comes out, some people will run for cover, they will come back to us. Personally I am committed to the struggle to see the betterment of our people and the turnaround of our economy,” Gumbo said.
Last year, a number of Zanu PF top officials were fired from the party on allegations of working in cahoots with Mujuru to remove Mugabe from power.
“We never went to war to watch power hungry people scramble for our motherland but we fought the struggle to improve ourselves and the future of our children. When the time comes, we will do so as per the agenda of the struggle”.
The former spokesperson was also accused of having threatened to kill Mugabe if he blocked the ascendency of Mujuru to the top post of both the ruling party and state authority.
However, Gumbo said these were lies peddled by ‘vultures in the party’ who wanted to destroy the liberation movement from within.
“Time will come when someone realises that all that was said about me and other comrades were lies. They concocted stories and they are still doing so just to try and destroy us…but me, I am a war veteran and I fear nothing. I never went to war to be silenced by lies…let those who think that I am politically finished do so in their dream as I said,” he said.
In the run-up to the December congress, the First Lady Grace Mugabe led a campaign to have Mujuru-who had been Mugabe’s deputy for decade-removed from office on allegations that she was corrupt and an inept leader not worth to be a vice president.
Mujuru, although she strenuously denied the allegations and has challenged authorities to prove she is corrupt, was fired from government late last year.
She was replaced by Justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa both at party level and at government with indications being that he could be a front-runner to replace Mugabe when the veteran politician decide to retire from national politics.
Gumbo said he does not recognise Mnangagwa and has no ambition to be associated with his raise as it was done using a “sham congress”.
“I have no desire to be associated with Mnangagwa whatsoever, they organised the sham congress and why should I have relations with him? His success or failure will be determined by the people not us. I have no time to be either supporting him or plotting against him, he will succeed if indeed he is loved by the people or he will fail if he does not have their backing.
“He will write his political death on his own and not us. They must not fear us or even think that we are plotting or planning anything against him and his team but their death or success will be from the people,” Gumbo said.
Since his rise as vice president, Mnangagwa has been under a barrage of attacks from the public media with Information minister Jonathan Moyo saying his appointment to be Mugabe’s deputy does not warrant that he is the heir apparent to the throne.
Also joining in the attack announcing that the Midlands political godfather is not yet near state power was Mugabe nephew and a top ally of Moyo, Patrick Zhuwawo, who wrote in the state media that Mnangagwa was still far from being the ultimate leader of the 50-year-old party.
Meanwhile Gumbo ruled out that he and other ousted party members would be joining the opposition MDCs formations or any other party saying “that is not my type”.
“No, that is mere speculation that I could join the opposition, it won’t happen. I was never brought up in that way,” he said.
Asked about his recent meetings with Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa which have been interpreted as plotting against Zanu PF, Gumbo said they share a lot in common and it was “our right to meet and share notes with Cde Dabengwa”.
“He is a war veteran first and for almost, a Zimbabwean for that matter and he left Zanu PF because they are certain things that he did not agree to. I have been forced out of Zanu PF for questioning how certain things were being done by some power hungry people. So I can meet him and talk on numerous issues, no one should ask, this is what we fought for, to be a democratic and not to fear talking about what we want and seeing how we can achieve that,” he said.