Zanu-PF members in Mashonaland Central Province are pressing for the ouster of the party’s national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, accusing him of trying to sabotage recent Women’s League demonstrations.Cde Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, was not reachable for comment yesterday.
Women’s League members countrywide demonstrated against the organ’s two senior members — Cdes Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka.
Apart from accusations related to the demonstration, party members from Mashonaland Central, where Cde Kasukuwere hails from, are accusing him of fanning factionalism by setting up parallel structures and incessant interference in provincial affairs.
Cde Kasukuwere was also accused of trying to grab mines owned by members of the party’s Women’s League for personal benefit.
Zanu-PF members who spoke to The Herald in Bindura yesterday said Cde Kasukuwere’s leadership style as the party’s commissar was below par, compared to his predecessors, as he was dividing the party.
Cde Shantel Mbereko, who was forced to resign from the Mashonaland Central provincial structures after she allegedly refused to hand over women’s mining claims to Cde Kasukuwere said: “We were so surprised by the behaviour of the national PC (political commissar) because on the day of the demos people were barred from taking part.
“After women were mobilised to take part in the demonstration, an instruction then came from the national PC saying people should not attend it as there was a rice distribution programme on that same day.
“It was later changed to say we should go to Kitsiyatota where we would be given mining claims. As a result, there was a low turnout in Mashonaland Central for the demonstration.
“We then started to ask questions to say, all along we thought Cde Kasukuwere and his team were working together with the First Lady and President Mugabe, yet they are working against them.”
Cde Mbereko said the party should censure Cde Kasukuwere, together with his half-brother and provincial chair Cde Dickson Mafios “for such betrayal to our First Lady and leader of the Women’s League”.
She said Cde Mafios was the one coordinating Cde Kasukuwere’s instructions in the province.
“We have our legislator Cde Kenneth Musanhi, but he has been rendered irrelevant by Cde Kasukuwere who is running the show here.”
Cde Diston Wadi, who is a Zanu-PF district member in Bindura’s Chipindura district said: “We are not happy with the way the provincial chairman is operating and remember, he is half brother to the national political commissar.
“He (Cde Mafios) is poor and he just takes orders from the national political commissar. I think the mistake that we made was to allow confirmation of an acting chairman who was not elected by the people. A chairman should be voted by the people for him to serve their interests.
“As it stands right now, the chairman is serving the interests of the national PC, who is also his half brother.”
Another district member from Bindura urban, Cde Lucky Mabheka said: “I think when it comes to leadership, the national PC and his brother, who is our provincial chairman, have failed.
“As such, we are appealing to the national leadership to take measures against them. They have destroyed not only our livelihoods here in Bindura, but also the party.
“Cde Kasukuwere is literally running the province and district structures. We have never seen such kind of leadership in Zanu-PF. What is clear is that he is setting up parallel structures with a sinister motive. We want the two to be removed from their positions if we are to rebuild the party in a way that guarantees victory in next year’s elections.”
Commenting on Cde Kasukuwere’s interference in Women’s League affairs, Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (Ziliwaco) chairperson Cde Pupurai Togarepi said: “Ziliwaco supports the Women’s League position that they don’t want interference by men.
“The secretary for Women’s League (Dr Grace Mugabe) is a capable leader and allowing her to give direction to the league is most ideal for the stability of the party.
“The Women’s League is a critical wing of the revolutionary party which should be kept stable for the good of our great party. If there are men who are doing that we demand that they desist forthwith.”
During the demonstrations against Cdes Sandi Moyo and Mahoka in Harare, some members of the Women’s League revealed that Cde Kasukuwere had tried to influence them against the act through his side kick and Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe.
Women’s League executive members who met in Harare last week also called for action against Cde Kasukuwere’s actions.