MUGABE WARNS ZANU PF ‘JUDAS ISCARIOTS’ | President Robert Mugabe has accused his inner circle of plotting to oust him through fomenting economic turmoil, but warned they would be exposed, insisting he was not ready to relinquish power.


Mugabe set the cat among the pigeons, when he told hundreds of mourners at the burial of the late Maria Msika at the National Heroes Acre yesterday that his lieutenants in Zanu PF were behind the worsening economic crisis in an effort to force him into retirement.

“They are those that want to manipulate the currency, so that they can trigger inflation, cause panic-buying. These are naughty people in our midst, some of them are like those mentioned by Jesus during the Last Supper. He said those I share food with in the same plate are the ones who will sell me out, these are the Judas Iscariot of our day,” he said.

In a tone that has seen Zimbabwe’s economic crisis being turned into factional and succession issue, Mugabe urged his loyalists to expose his supposed lieutenants gone rogue and eyeing his post.

“Those people let us expose and shame them in public, some of them are pushing to have a change of government, so that they can be the new leaders.

“They want to oust the President from his seat, I did not grab power by force, I was elected by the people and it’s the power from the people, so I don’t want with that power. When the day comes, I will come to the people and say thank you for giving me the power, then hand it back, can you now, elect the person you want to lead you, but, for now, I am going nowhere,” he said.

Mugabe, who has been pressured even by his own wife, Grace, to name a successor, received a standing ovation from Cabinet ministers and party supporters when he declared emphatically that he was not loosening his grip on power.

He called on Zanu PF supporters to be vigilant and guard the throne day and night, so that he is not removed from power.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been accused by the likes of Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo of plotting to take over from Mugabe.

Moyo is reportedly a key member of the G40 faction, which is opposed to Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to the top. Although Mugabe is yet to name his deputy as a saboteur, price hikes and fuel shortages emerged when Mnangagwa was in charge,when the 93-year-old leader was in New York at the United Nations.

Zanu PF Mashonaland Central set the tone on Monday, in a thinly-veiled attack, denouncing people, “who cause crisis in Mugabe’s absence”.

Mugabe insisted that Zimbabwe was on an economic rebound following a bumper harvest attributed to good rains, command agriculture and the presidential inputs scheme.

“Our economy is on a rebound, as it is propelled by a bumper harvest, thanks to the command agriculture and the presidential inputs scheme and the good rains, of course, that we got,” he said.