THE war of words in Zanu PF between Obert Mpofu and Rugare Gumbo over Vice-President Joice Mujuru escalated yesterday, with the Transport minister describing his politburo colleague as a “pseudo-revolutionary” and a Rhodesian sell out.
The latest salvo comes after Gumbo suggested Mpofu had a chequered history, but the Umguza legislator said his history was well documented.
“If Gumbo said that it’s unfortunate, I think he was talking about his own history,” he said.
“Don’t listen to the nonsense that is being said by Rhodesian sellouts. You cannot change history and it is unfortunate the media is busy writing lies about our history.”
Mpofu accused Gumbo of being a factional spokesperson following last week’s politburo meeting.
The war of words between the two started after Mpofu intimated that Gumbo was speaking on behalf of Mujuru rather than Zanu PF, triggering a sharp response from the Zanu PF spokesman.
Mpofu, who Gumbo told to shut up, said his remarks may have been taken out of context.
However, Mpofu has hit back with strong words, suggesting a tense run-up to the party’s congress next month.
“Don’t listen to these pseudo revolutionaries. I operated in Sipolilo, DK (Deka) Hwange, Victoria Falls and Kazungula,” he said giving an account of his own history as if to quash Gumbo’s statement that it was chequered.
“I did not operate in the rear like others, I was on the front.”
Mpofu said he had formed the Zimbabwe National War Veterans’ Association and was its first provincial chairperson in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo.
“I am one of the best guerrillas to be trained at Morogoro in 1967 to 1968, you can ask, any guerrilla will tell you about my history,” he said.
Asked to comment on Mpofu’s statements, Gumbo quipped mockingly, asking how he could comment on that.
“Honestly can I comment on that? History will judge us as to who is right or wrong,” he said.
Last week, the Midlands and Matabeleland North provincial co-ordinating committees resolved that Gumbo be relieved of his duties, accusing him of lacking integrity to continue as the party spokesperson.
Knives are out for Mujuru, while those seen as aligned to the vice-president have not escaped a vicious onslaught which culminates in sections of Zanu PF calling for their ouster.
There have been calls for the resignation of Mujuru, Gumbo, war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda and Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman Ray Kaukonde.
Former Mashonaland West chairman Temba Mliswa has already been ousted, while Masvingo chairman Killian Gwanetsa had a contentious vote of no confidence motion passed on him, the clearest indication that Zanu PF’s summer of long knives is just beginning.