FORMER War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has sensationally claimed that he personally mobilised disgruntled Zanu PF youths and war veterans to boo former First Lady Grace Mugabe during the ill-fated Bulawayo Presidential youth interface rally last month, where ex-President Robert Mugabe lost his temper and publicly announced plans to drop the axe on his then deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In an interview in Mutare last week while travelling to a funeral, Dube said the move was part of efforts to clip Grace’s wings.
He was on his way to the Gombakomba area in Mutare South constituency, where an unnamed war veteran had passed on.
“I want to tell you this for the first time. I was the one who organised that booing on the First Lady. I organised some war veterans and youths in Bulawayo and agreed that if she starts to insult the party leadership and members, they would then boo her. And it worked,” Dube said.
“I had not seen him (Mugabe) angry like that. He was very angry about that (booing). But I must say this heckling gave an insight of what was to come. She lacked respect for the party elders and her verbal insults were now becoming uncontrollable and we thought that should end. She lacked respect for the party’s core values and we said no to that and, as you can see, now she has fallen down.”
During the rally, a group of ruling party youths led by Magura Charumbira disrupted Grace’s speech, as they continuously heckled her, denouncing her as “too junior” before breaking into a mocking song Into Oyenzayo Siyayizonda (We don’t like what you are doing).
A visibly incensed Mugabe later took to the podium and unleashed venom at Mnangagwa, accusing him of engineering the heckling.
“We are denigrated and insulted in the name of Mnangagwa. Did I make a mistake in appointing him as my deputy? If I made a mistake by appointing Mnangagwa, tell me. I will drop him as early as tomorrow,” he threatened.
Two days later, Mnangagwa was sacked from the party and government, before Mugabe succumbed to military and public pressure and resigned two weeks later, as Parliament also moved in to impeach him.