Former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube — who was sacked from Cabinet earlier this week — says although he harbours no hard feelings against President Robert Mugabe, he paid the price for being “too honest” and for backing calls for the nonagenarian to name a successor.
Dube lost his cushy job together with three other ministers — Prisca Mupfumira, Abednico Ncube and Farber Chidarikire — in a reshuffle which has drawn wide criticism from many Zimbabweans who say it was all about consolidating Mugabe’s power instead of improving the lives of long-suffering citizens.
The amiable former freedom fighter, who is regarded by many people as one of the few decent local politicians, is believed to have lost his job on account of lingering perceptions that he was an ally of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is currently facing a savage onslaught from his rivals in Zanu PF who do not want him to succeed Mugabe.
“I am not sick, neither am I in shock following my removal. It’s life and I am carrying on with my other responsibilities.
“I am not sure why I was sacked … but I feel I was just expressing an opinion (on succession) and people should not suffer for expressing their opinions.
“At the end of the day what people should realise is that our problems are caused by the dire state of the economy, and it is unfortunate that people then start finding scapegoats,” Dube told the Daily News in and interview yesterday.
Among other claims, he was also said to be too sympathetic to war veterans led by his ministerial predecessor Christopher Mutsvangwa — who was also fired from the government by Mugabe after his executive issued a damning communiqué against the nonagenarian.
The ex-combatants have publicly put their weight behind Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations, even warning that if the VP does not succeed Mugabe, there could be bloodshed in the country.
But Dube said yesterday that he was neither a Mnangagwa ally nor a member of Team Lacoste — the Zanu PF faction backing the VP.
“The problem with these allegations is that I do not even know what Lacoste is. Nobody ever talked to me and said join Lacoste … It’s all the same with the days of (former vice president Joice) Mujuru.
“Indeed, I was never part of the Gamatox (Mujuru) faction. I never even had three minutes talking to Mujuru, but still there were people who said if you are not with us then you belong to that faction.
“My relationship with Mnangagwa was very cordial, just as was the case with other superiors … there was never anything special between us,” he added.