PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday for the first time publicly attacked Vice-President Joice Mujuru whom he described as having “simplistic thinking” for reportedly planning to oust him from the helm of the party and the country.
While Mujuru has been at the receiving end of gratuitous attacks from Zanu PF members, Mugabe has largely remained measured in what he says in public about his beleaguered vice-president.
“We are experiencing it for the first time in Zanu PF,” Mugabe told a meeting of senior army officials and war veterans ahead of the party’s congress.
“And for that matter it’s a woman who says she wants to lead.
“She doesn’t even ask whether she’s able to handle the country, the pressures.”
Mugabe repeated allegations that Mujuru was working with the MDCs and the United States in plotting to have him removed from power.
“We know the infiltration that has been going on, we know the discussions that have been going on that they will link up with the MDC and America and Britain will pour lots of money,” he said to applause from the delegates.
“That simplistic thinking, I don’t trust a white man at all.”
Mugabe intimated that as a sign that Mujuru was working with the MDC, he said she did not want the country to have elections last year, which Mugabe and Zanu PF won convincingly, although they were accusations of vote-rigging.
“Mujuru didn’t want elections, why?”
First Lady Grace Mugabe has led the charge to have Mujuru fired, accusing her of corruption and plotting to unseat the president.
Youths and war veterans last month demonstrated at the Zanu PF headquarters demanding Mujuru’s immediate resignation.
The Zanu PF congress began yesterday.
Meanwhile, war veterans and youth league officials yesterday said Mujuru was barred from attending the congress as she had become a security threat.
Addressing a press conference at the Zanu PF headquarters, the war veterans and the youth assembly officials said everyone named in the plot to topple Mugabe should not set foot at the venue of the congress, an open area now known as Robert Mugabe Square.
Among those fingered in the anti-Mugabe plot are Mujuru, party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Labour minister Nicholas Goche and several chairpersons across the country.
Youth minister Francis Nhema, his Foreign Affairs counterpart Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Flora Buka, and several other party members were fingered in the plot.
The deputy secretary for youth affairs Kudzai Chipanga said it was the duty of youths to protect Mugabe from those plotting against him.
“Anyone who is directly linked to, or has participated in any activity, meeting or any form of unscrupulous gathering with the intention of unconstitutionally overthrowing the leadership of our revolutionary icon, the president and first secretary of Zanu PF, Cde RG Mugabe must peacefully excuse themselves from the sixth Zanu PF national people’s congress,” he said.
Chipanga said anyone implicated in the dirty tricks “and treasonous activities of undermining the authority of the president” must excuse themselves from the congress.
“There is no need to name them because you media people have been writing about them,” he said.
“They know themselves.
“As youths, we are the vanguard of the party and we will take appropriate action since they have taken action of threatening our president.
“We want to thank them for their participation in preparations for the congress, but they are not welcome.
“Just like cows, they help in the fields, but when it comes to enjoying the yields, they are not welcome.”
War veterans’ secretary-general Victor Mutemadanda said that former liberation war fighters would not allow anyone linked to the anti-Mugabe plot at congress.
“We have the same position as war veterans,” he said.
“It’s not a position that we created, they created it themselves.
“They must know they are not welcome because of security reasons as they want to kill the president.”