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Expelled Rugare Gumbo Says Mugabe Lying Over Coup Accusations

FILE - Zimbabwean President and Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe (L) and his wife Grace greets delegates during the official opening of the 6th Peoples Congress of Zanu-PF in Harare, Dec. 4, 2014.

Expelled former Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, has described President Robert Mugabe as a liar, saying he is always accusing his opponents of attempting to kill him.

Reacting to remarks made by President Mugabe at his 91st birthday bash in Victoria Falls on Saturday that ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her colleagues wanted to unseat him using unconstitutional ways, Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 that the president is fond of misleading the nation on many issues.

He said Mr. Mugabe has over the years accused his opponents of planning to topple him.

Gumbo said such accusations were made during the war of liberation of the 1970s and after independence in 1980.

He said some of those people the president has accused of attempting to kill or topple him using unconstitutional ways, include him, the late Ndabaningi Sithole, the late Edgar Tekere, the late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and several others.

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Mr. Mugabe told thousands of people in Victoria Falls that Mrs. Mujuru even tried to use juju to take over the presidential seat.

The ousted vice president avoided the issue when she was interviewed by an independent radio station. She wished the president a happy birthday.

Mrs. Mujuru has already dismissed as misleading Mr. Mugabe’s allegations of a scheme she is said to have hatched before the Zanu PF elective congress last December to topple him.

Some critics have attacked the president of spending up to $1 million for the birthday bash, saying it was ill-timed as the Zimbabwe economy is receding fast due to many factors, including lack of foreign direct investment.

Zanu-PF Youth League secretary, Tongai Kasukuwere, has defended the bash saying Mr. Mugabe is a national icon.

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Zanu PF Matabeleland North youth chairman, Tamuka Nyoni, said his province successfully hosted Mr. Mugabe’s birthday party, and scoffs at criticism that the event was a waste of state resources, adding his party sourced funds from the business community and other well-wishers.