FORMER State Security minister Owen Ncube yesterday described the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) as an enemy of the ruling party and encouraged Zanu PF supporters to defend the party against the opposition’s inroads.
Ncube, who is the Zanu PF Gokwe-Kana Member of Parliament, made the statement while addressing ruling party supporters at a Gweru inter-district meeting in the Midlands capital on Tuesday.
“Our President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has won the 2023 presidential election. It is only Zanu PF which must rule this country not the opposition because liberation fighters sacrificed for this country,” Ncube declared.
He then turned his anger on the divisions in Zanu PF particularly in the Midlands province saying: “The enemy is not in our (Zanu PF) party. The enemy is the CCC led by Nelson Chamisa.
“So do not waste your time fighting in Zanu PF. Midlands should be united under the chairmanship of Larry Mavima. As we approach the 2023 elections, the enemies of the revolution are growing in number and, therefore, as youths you should be defending the revolutionary party and Mnangagwa.”
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba said Ncube’s statement exposed Zanu PF’s fear of electoral defeat in the 2023 elections.
“For the former minister Mudha to say this, it shows the level at which the country is in dire need of leadership,” Siziba said.
“The words are a clear sign that the centre is failing to hold. It is a clear sign that Zanu PF is focusing on power retention instead of addressing the welfare of our people. Zanu PF is failing to address the plight of teachers and other public workers, students are failing to access education because of its failed policies.”
Ncube was alleged to be linked to a violent mob known in the Midlands province as Al Shabaab before his appointment as State Security minister.
He was fired as minister in January this year on charges of instigating post-election violence in Zanu PF’s Midlands province after the party’s disputed December provincial elections.
In 2019, the United States cited him for “gross violations of human rights” and added him to its sanctions list.
“In his role as the minister of National Security, Ncube, with the support of other Zimbabwean government officials, ordered the Zimbabwean security services to identify, abduct and mistreat individuals assumed to be supporters of a Zimbabwean opposition group,” the US State Department said then.
“In addition, while in his position, the government of Zimbabwe has at times used so-called “ferret teams” to abduct and beat individuals deemed to be a threat to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front. Ncube is being designated for being responsible for, or participating in, human rights abuses related to political repression in Zimbabwe.”
Ncube’s threats against the CCC follows recent acts of political violence against opposition members by suspected Zanu PF activists, with Chamisa raising fears over his safety after a suspected hand grenade exploded a few metres from the venue of his campaign rally in Chinhoyi on Sunday.
A latest human rights’ situational report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project, listed Zanu PF as the leading perpetrator of violence in August during which 257 rights abuses were recorded.
Zanu PF has, however, denied the charges.
This is not the first time that senior Zanu PF officials have declared that only a Zanu PF leader should rule this country.
In June this year while addressing ruling party supporters at Bata Shoe Company in Gweru, Mnangagwa said the opposition would never rule Zimbabwe because Zanu PF was the sole custodian of the country’s liberation history.