"There Are Hooligans In My Party" - Mugabe
Harare, Zimbabwe, 11 December 2009
Yes, a stunning admission by Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe president when he addressed the Central Committee of ZANU PF here in Harare. The ZANU PF Congress will be officially opened by Mugabe on Friday.
In a clear reference to Basil Nyabadza, the Manicaland Province Chairman who was forced to resign, Mugabe said that there was factionalism in the provinces and that youths were being used to further personal ambitions.
He was in this mood because he still angry at the way his party turned on him and campaigned instead for Simba Makoni covertly.
"Youths have been used to support individuals. This is not ZANU PF. There are hooligans in the party," said Mugabe.
He tellingly added: "We have an enemy to fight (the MDC-T), an enemy with a great force behind it, with the support of the British."
So, at least now we know that Mugabe considers Tsvangirai his enemy.
Mugabe was speaking against the backdrop of an SMS campaign that was denounced on State radio all day today. It was not mentioned what exactly the SMS messages said, but I explained that yesterday in the story below this one.
Econet Wireless have since issued a public statement distancing themselves from the campaign, after it was said that the original SMS came from an Econet line. The owner of Econet, Strive Masiyiwa, had to struggle immensely to get Econet licenced and has no real fans amongst the hardline elements in ZANU PF, who see him as an opposition figure. Clearly, the instead could have been used by politicians with ulterior motives against Masiyiwa's huge empire.
It is perhaps pertinent to ask just who it is that has encouraged this hooliganism in ZANU PF that the president now talks about? Who is it that secured the presidency through a vicious campaign spearheaded by thugs and hooligans?
Who is it that turned Land Reform into warfare, as though that was the only way in which it could be done?
The answers are pretty self-evident, really. But now that the hooliganism is spinning out of control, Mugabe is worried. Now that the chicken is eating its own eggs, Farmer Mugabe is upset? He should not have trained it so.
Mugabe's anger led him to lambast the Central Committee that he was addressing:
"We should be able to say we are the Central Committee which organised elections last year and yielded this government," Mugabe told them, betraying his own resentment of the arrangement with Tsvangirai.
"We are responsible for the poor performance in the election last year".
At least he does admit that the election result was poor, despite State media trumpeting the fact that ZANU PF won the popular vote in the March elections and only lost out on the number of seats.
The same Central Committee also endorsed Mugabe, his nominated deputies and Simon Khaya Moyo (National Chairman-designate) to serve another term.
The other order of business was the inevitable and essentially meaningless acceptance by the Central Committee of the resignation of Nyabadza as Manicaland chairman.
Ephraim Masawi, Deputy Information Minister in Mugabe's party, ZANU PF, told a press conference in Harare:
"You don't operate that way if you are in a revolutionary party like ZANU PF." He was commenting on the acceptance of the resignation.
It is the clearest indication and confirmation of my earlier report about the resignation not being a voluntary one.
He was pushed.
He did not jump.