Mugabe meets Enos Nkala

Sources said Nkala could be a surprise nomination in the new look Politburo soon to be announced.

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Mugabe met Nkala at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo and had a closed door meeting with him that lasted almost an hour.

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The two worked together during and after the war of liberation.

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Emerging from the meeting, Nkala said they had shared memories of yester year, adding that they discussed a number of issues of national concern.

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Nkala said he regrets some of the statements that he has made about Mugabe, but was happy to have met and spoken to him.

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In recent months, Nkala has said in interviwes, Mugabe’s good oratory skills deceived nationalists – including himself — to believe he was a good leader and they thrust him to the helm of the party “hence the collapse of both Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe’s economy”.

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He said worse still, Mugabe had chosen to surround himself with “cheerleaders” who would not dare lift a finger against him.

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“We deceived ourselves and listened to the manner in which he (Mugabe) articulated issues, so we got carried away into believing that he was a leader,” he said. “I regretted later on (after forming Zanu as a breakaway from Zapu led by Joshua Nkomo) that myself, Maurice Nyagumbo and Edgar Tekere removed Ndabaningi Sithole from the position of president of the party and put Mugabe.”

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Nkala said Mugabe was not even in the country when he was thrust at the helm of Zanu.

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“I engineered the breakaway from Zapu because I did not agree with Joshua Nkomo on some issues, including military operations, as part of the struggle — that is why Zanu was formed in my house in Harare,” he said. “I was the moving spirit of Zanu.”

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Nkala said he was one of those tasked to approach Mugabe when he was onholiday in the country as he was a teacher in Ghana — where he met his first wife, the late Sally — to ask him to join the then National Democratic Party as the spokesperson.

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“Robert (Mugabe) is a first-class intellectual but lacks administrative ability,” Nkala said. “He is a talker but not a leader. He should be teaching at a university not leading the country.”

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However he has made an about turn and said he was overwhelmed by the love and friendliness of Mugabe given what he has said about the President in the past.

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“Zanu PF was a massive party but look at what it is today,” said Nkala. “In Matabeleland it’s virtually not there and even in Mashonaland people are forced to vote for it.”

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He said people who had remained in Zanu PF were mostly Mugabe’s “recruits” who did not have the spine to challenge him.

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“When we were still in Zanu PF with the likes of Tekere and Nyagumbo, we would not be lectured to in politburo meetings as I hear happens now,” said Nkala.

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“It is this chef syndrome that has killed that party. I don’t know what chef means but it’s something they borrowed from Mozambique and we never had it in our politburo meetings.

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“There was no way we would fear Mugabe when we were the people that recruited him.”

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Nkala said he was set to meet the President again at a later date to cement their friendship, adding that it had been a long time since they last met.

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He is one of the founders of the embattled former ruling party Zanu-PF.

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During the war, he served on the ZANU high command, or Dare reChimurenga. He was detained by the Rhodesian government at Gonakudzingwa.

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Following independence in 1980, he served as the Minister of Finance until 1983 when the portfolio was consolidated into Finance, Economic Planning and Development and handed over to senior minister Dr. Bernard Thomas Gibson Chidzero.

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Nkala was instead moved sideways to being Minister of National Supplies until 1985, Home Affairs and Defence after the 1985 election.

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As Defence Minister he was involved in the notorious Gukurahundi massacre of Ndebele people. He denies this.

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He has stated he regrets his involvement in the Gukurahundi. He says that if he had the chance he would never do it again. Not only does he describe his involvement as “eternal hell,” but publicly blamed Robert Mugabe for having ordered it.

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At the Imbovane YaMhlabezulu meeting held in Bulawayo on 26 February 1998, Nkala, who was one of the guest speakers alongside Joseph Msika (National Chairman of ZANU-PF), repeatedly denied any involvement and responsibility in the Gukurahundi genocide.

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While serving as Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister Nkala rejected allegations by Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization, who had reported beatings, electric shocks and other torture at Government detention camps after the general election in Zimbabwe in July 1985.

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Nkala claims to have written a book chronicling all that has happened in ZANU PF since its formation, including the Gukurahundi Massacres and the assassinations of several high profile politicians using car accidents.

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He blames the death of liberation war heroes Josiah Tongogara and Herbert Chitepo and others on Robert Mugabe. He is alleged to have had an affair with Sally Mugabe.

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While a minister in the Zanu-PF government, Nkala became embroiled in the ‘Willowgate’ scandal, concerning the allocation of new motor vehicles to government officials, especially ministers, by Willowvale Motors in Willowvale Harare. 

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The vehicles were subsequently sold at a huge profit. The scandal was eternalised in song by Ndebele musician Solomon Skuza in the hit single ‘love and scandals’ in which he asks “how can someone buy a car and sell it again?” a reference to the nature of the scandal.

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Meanwhile, Mugabe has launched the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust in the Matabeleland South provincial capital.president 18.05.12.png

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PCC cement manufacturing company and mining companies like Blanket and Jezi Mine contributed seed money of over US$8.5 million to the Gwanda community, while the Canadian-owned Vumbachigwe Mine pulled out, a move castigated by government.

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Mugabe said the community share ownership trust is the best way to emancipate Zimbabweans saying there is no going back on the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive. 

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Chief Matema received share certificates and a US$5 million cheque from PCC cement manufacturing company.

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Turning to the on-going constitution making process, Mugabe expressed his displeasure at the unnecessary delays in the exercise. 

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He said information reaching his office to the effect that Copac drafters want to change the colours of the flag and the national anthem is regretable and will not see the light of the day saying the national anthem and the flag depict aspects of the liberation war.

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Mugabe said the drafters also want to accommodate homosexuality in the new constitution against the will of the people.

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Meanwhile, top Zanu PF officials supporting devolution of power in the new constitution are said to be Nicodemously begging former politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa to push the agenda as they fear victimisation should they publicly go against their partys decision.

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Dabengwa told journalists yesterday in the capital that many in Zanu PF were not happy with the stance taken by the party on devolution and had implored him to intensify his condemnation of Zanu PFs anti-devolution stance.

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Dabengwa also blasted army top brass dabbling in politics, saying they were reneging on their duty to protect citizens. The former Home Affairs minister and Zipra intelligence supremo, who is now the president of Zapu, said many in Zanu PF were in favour of devolution.

Lets not victimise members of Zanu PF who think the same with as us on devolution. Most of the senior people in Zanu PF have come to me saying please speak louder on devolution. 
 
They say because they have positions they cant speak out because they will be punished if they speak on that subject, Dabengwa said.But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said those who were approaching Dabengwa were not fit to be in the politburo.

Its their problem if they go to him. If they are afraid it shows they are not fit to be in the politburo, he said.

Dabengwa was, however, optimistic that President Robert Mugabe and a few of his sympathisers would not succeed in derailing peoples wishes.

The outbursts of President Robert Mugabe and the decision of his politburo that they do not want a constitution with devolution of power is subversion of citizens supreme authority over their State. 

The President and his politburo have no authority to impose on the issue of devolution because they are not the owners and supreme authority of Zimbabwe. It is only the citizens of Zimbabwe who have to decide and Zanu PF has to abide by their decision, Dabengwa said.

Dabengwa said six out of 10 provinces in Zimbabwe wanted devolution.

Zanu PF is opposing devolution in the constitution on the basis that it will divide the people. 

The people of Zimbabwe are already divided because since 1980, Zanu PF has been pursuing policies based on political and ethnic discrimination based on their 1979 grand plan which was a gross violation of the principle of equal rights which entails equality of all, he said.

On senior army personnel meddling in politics, Dabengwa said: As a former military person, I think its unfortunate that my colleagues decide to miscarry their duties as army personnel. The job of the army is to protect the citizens of the country and the assets of the country.

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