Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
WAR veterans and political analysts yesterday called for the removal of Public Service, Labour and Social Services Minister Nicholas Goche after he was implicated in hiring hit men to assassinate President Mugabe. The analysts and war veterans accused Minister Goche of being ungrateful after President Mugabe appointed him to serve in his Government despite the fact that he did not have liberation war credentials, but still had the guts to plot to unseat him.
It is alleged that Minister Goche made contingencies for the assassination of President Mugabe during his recent meetings with potential hit men in South Africa and Israel. Minister Goche is one of those senior Government and zanu-pf officials working with Vice President Joice Mujuru to unseat President Mugabe in their bid to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe. He allegedly used the cover of official Government business in Western Europe to make stops in Israel and South Africa to allegedly look for a hitman in pursuance of the plots which led to the suspension of zanu-pf secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo.
Minister Goche denied the allegations when contacted last night. “I have never been in Israel,” he said. “You can check my passport to see if I have been in Israel.” But political analyst Mr Alexander Kanengoni described the allegations against Minister Goche as treasonous.
“It is the most serious revelation that we have heard,” he said. “If it is true, it constitutes treason. It is a serious crime to plot to assassinate the sitting President. This is the extent to which things have degenerated.”
Mr Kanengoni said the revelations dovetailed with reports that there is a faction led by vice president Joice Mujuru plotting to depose President Mugabe.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said Minister Goche was ungrateful to the President. He said President Mugabe appointed Minister Goche at independence despite stiff resistance from the Rhodesian government that accused him of embezzling some money.
He said President Mugabe had to pass a law exempting people facing criminal allegations from being appointed to Government posts, a move which benefited Minister Goche.
“He now repays the President with treachery,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
“The time of impostors is over. He must resign or the President will give him the boot.”
Cde Mutsvangwa said Minister Goche turned against the President despite being entrusted with sensitive ministries including that of State security and Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development.
He accused Minister Goche of running down infrastructure under ministries he superintended, giving examples of the sorry state in which Air Zimbabwe and the National Railways of Zimbabwe are in.