HARARE – Former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo says he is embarrassed for President Robert Mugabe for focusing on naked lies and pub talk instead of working to fix the country’s comatose economy to alleviate the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans.

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Reacting to Mugabe’s rumbling birthday speech in Victoria Falls on Saturday where the nonagenarian got very personal against his Zanu PF political foes, especially ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru, Gumbo Mugabe lying, says Gumbo said yesterday that as the leader of the country, the president should focus on important national issues than be occupied with “lies that everyone wants to remove him from power illegally”.

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The no-nonsense liberation struggle pioneer also told the Daily News that he sometimes feels sorry for Mugabe because the nonagenarian was “behaving strangely” since his wife, Grace, allegedly grabbed power from him.

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He further advised Mugabe to “stop making laughable public statements” like the allegation that Mujuru had allegedly consulted Nigerian witchdoctors half-naked to try and topple the 91-year-old from power.

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“There are critical issues that we have to talk about like the economy. So, why would a whole head of State dwell on pub talk? “Is it really necessary to do that?

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“Should we have a whole head of State talking of such trivial issues as sangomas? Are we being serious as a nation?” Gumbo asked rhetorically.

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Gumbo and other senior party bigwigs, including Mujuru, were brutally purged before, during and after Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress that was held in Harare in December last year, on allegations that they wanted to illegally topple and assassinate Mugabe.

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However, Gumbo said yesterday that all the allegations that had been raised against him and the others were based on lies.

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As such, Gumbo expressed the worry that Mugabe was ruling “basing his decisions on lies created by people he has chosen to be close as opposed to those who were elected by the people and who were with him during the struggle”.

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He said this was a strategy Mugabe was using to remain in power, adding that it was a shame that the 91-year-old was doing this “to cling on to power”, in addition to “raising non-existent coup allegations”.

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He said the coup allegations themselves were nothing new, as Mugabe had raised such “spurious claims” before and after Zimbabwe’s independence against a number of liberation war icons such as Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, as well as others that included opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the late Ndabaningi Sithole when they disagreed with him intellectually and politically.

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He said, every time Mugabe was cornered over governance issues, he would raise “frivolous coup allegations against his perceived opponents”.

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“It’s all lies and it really is ridiculous,” Gumbo said.

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He added that it was allegedly “clear” that Mugabe was now taking orders from Grace when making decisions both within Zanu PF and the government.

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He said “every single wish” of Grace had come to pass, giving as an example, the fall of Mujuru and the subsequent rise of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to power.

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“You can’t run away from the fact that the wife is now in charge. Everything that she has said has materialised.

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“Who doesn’t see kuti mudzimai wake ndiye anoita izvozvo (that his wife is behind all this),” Gumbo said.

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He said Zanu PF was as a result in “a state of chaos” since the entrance of Grace into the political arena.

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Gumbo joins many other prominent figures who have recently said that Grace is now the power behind the throne.

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Only a few days after her return from the Far East, where she was receiving treatment following a minor medical operation, former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and his nephew Temba Mliswa were expelled from the party.

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Many analysts believe the decision to expel the two was dictated by Grace.

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However, all the affected people including Gumbo have vowed to soldier on and are in the process of lodging a court application, seeking to nullify decisions made at the party’s disputed December congress.

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Mutasa last week formally wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda advising him that the Mugabe-led Zanu PF was illegal and as such had no mandate to fire him or anyone else from the party.

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He also said he remained the legitimate Zanu PF secretary for administration. – Daily News