PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, has dismissed widely held view that his boss could be framing political foes by continuously claiming that they were plotting to assassinate him.
Virtually all of Mugabe’s opponents in the last three decades he has been in power have been accused of plotting his violent ouster.
Both the late Zanu-Ndonga leader Ndabaningi Sithole and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo once faced similar allegations.
Sithole died still facing charges of plotting to depose Mugabe while Nkomo (also late) was, at one time, forced to leave the country, fleeing state agents who were baying for his blood following Mugabe’s claims.
In the later years, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, together with his colleagues Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, would be accused of plotting Mugabe’s elimination on foreign soil.
None among the lot was ever convicted.
And now, according to Mugabe, ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru recently joined the list of coup plotters as she turned to sorcery in a desperate bid to eliminate her boss.
Asked to comment, Charamba chose to shoot the messenger, saying the possibility of a plot to assassinate the President would not go away simply because NewZimbabwe.com was “vouching for the alleged assassins”.
“Ah, look, does he have to have one assassination attempt? Come on don’t be crazy,” Charamba retorted, adding, “The fact of having multiple assassination attempts is what you are holding against the victim? Is this your point?”
But despite the serious allegations against Mujuru, she has yet to be arrested or questioned by the police.
Opponents accuse Mugabe of making unfounded allegations against his opponents to force them to abandon their bid for the country’s most influential job.
But Charamba insisted that attempts on Mugabe’s life were real, adding that by maintaining a radical stance in the face of international pressure, Mugabe has inevitably placed himself in the firing line.
“Is it unusual for an active politician who has done so much which is radical in the world to be a target of multiple assassination attempts?” he said.
“How many attempts were hatched against him when he was fighting for this country?”
Charamba continued: “The gist of your question is why has Mugabe survived so many assassination attempts and l am supposed to say ‘No, one man, one life cannot survive so many attempts, therefore these claims must be false?’
“How many times did the Rhodesians try to take him and have you read Ken Flower’s book which tells you that he sent so many parcels – and Mnangagwa has just confirmed it?
“You have not asked me why he has survived all those assassination attempts; you ask me why he has survived Ndabaningi Sithole’s assassination attempts and Joice Mujuru’s alleged assassination attempt.
“Crimes or allegations are not invalidated by the extent to which NewZimbabwe.com vouches for the assassins.”
Mugabe, a political schemer who brooks no nonsense from any challengers to his job, stands accused of mass killings, poll theft, and populist policies that have bred grinding poverty among his people.