Deliberate provocation of Zanu-PF youths going about their business by Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) activists led by former Ambassador Retired Brigadier-General Agrippah Mutambara in Guruve on Sunday was part of a grand plan to engineer an incident ahead of the party’s leader Dr Joice Mujuru’s address at the Chatham House in London, UK scheduled for next week.
Ambassador Mutambara, who was in the company of a group of other ZimPF activists, reportedly fired gunshots at Zanu-PF members going about their business.
He was, in turn, injured in the ensuing melee when Zanu-PF members defended themselves.
The Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba said yesterday that the deliberate provocation was done to build a case that would form part of Dr Mujuru’s presentation to Chatham House.
Mr Charamba issued a strong warning to Ambassador Mutambara whom he described as one of the biggest beneficiaries of both the Government and President Mugabe to stop playing dirty politics.
“The whole idea is to try and engineer an event so as to support (Dr) Joice Mujuru who is due to appear at the Chatham House,” said Mr Charamba.
“He (Ambassador Mutambara) is one guy who has had it good for a long time uninterrupted and who thinks he must have it good until he gets to the cemetery. He decides to go to some farm in Guruve (and he is not even farming in Guruve) and thinks he can subdue a community using a pistol.
“What we’re seeing is political showmanship and done at the expense of the image of this country. The brigadier-general must know a lot better, guns are not used loosely and he better stop it.
“Let him do his politics well. He had lots of support from Government. He had lots of support from the President personally. It doesn’t mean he was the most competent person. There were many people who could have represented Zanu-PF. There were many people who could have represented Government as ambassador.
“He should not look for marshal heroism in peace time. Zimbabwe is for peace.”
Mr Charamba continued: “He is not the one who is going to enforce land rights. That’s not his province. If there’s a land dispute between communal people and an A2 farmer, that goes to the responsible ministry for administration. It doesn’t go to Agrippah Mutambara whoever he thinks he is.
“It’s not unique to Guruve. He shouldn’t seek to be a hero in peace time Zimbabwe. He saw very little of the war so he wanted to be a knight in shining amour in respect of a fellow Zimbabwe People First politician.”
Ambassador Mutambara last week further misapplied his diplomatic skills after he appeared on CNN bragging that he fired gun shots to disperse people at his farm.
“Meanwhile, back in Harare, (Mr) Tsvangirai and his group are busy parading false injuries before ambassadors, again of the West — no single African ambassador.
“All of them from the West to reinforce that rigged message which they want the West to buy.”
Mr Charamba said there had always been a long standing attempt to catch the attention of the West by opposition functionaries ahead of the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He said this was sustained through needless demonstrations aimed at inviting an overreaction from the authorities.
“We saw an escalation of demonstrations which, were really not just needless but also provocative,” he said. “The attempt was to goad the authorities into overreacting for the notice of the West. If you look at the actual substantive issues of the claiming of Section 59 of the Constitution, they fizzle out.
“Justice Rita Makarau (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson) invited them to raise legal issues concerning elections and they were raising personnel issues not legal issues-the issue of soldiers and security personnel. Do they want to be the staffing officers of Zec?
“Which rule, anyway, says if one is a soldier is unemployable? Time was where vana (Morgan) Tsvangirai was reporting to Colin Powell. Is he not a general who was squatting in the State department and there is a problem with a Zimbabwean citizen who has served his country in the capacity of a soldier assuming a civilian portfolio but they have no problem with a whole American general who has fought a war in the Gulf reappearing as a secretary of State and taking a position against this country.
“In any case, Zec has a right to hunt for talent and staff itself as it sees appropriate and there is no opposition group that is going to be a staffing officer for Zec.”
Mr Charamba added: “Secondly, we are hard put to find legal issues which they were pretending they were going to raise. There has been a meeting with Zec which has come to nothing.
“It has yielded absolutely nothing and that is how it was going to be for the simple reason that the whole electoral regime from a legal point of view was created by the same guys who are now agitating against it.
“It’s, you are like a West Indies politician who wrote a book when he was a private citizen and when he became a president he banned his own book.
“They now want to outlaw the same law they made when they were in Government. This is the law they made and is the law they are mad about today. But that is even to grant that there was a legal issue — there wasn’t. The whole point was to make sure that the rolling action of demonstrations was to roll on until September which is the UNGA period. The idea was to make an impression on the Western world during the General Assembly so as to extract maximum damage to the country.
“Suddenly they have lost the appetite to do demonstrations, suddenly they have no issues.” herald