Tendai Kamhungira 19 April 2017
HARARE – Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West and Norton MP Temba Mliswa says
only powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe can save the drowning ruling party’s
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu PF in 2014 and thus is familiar with
the bloodletting Zanu PF tribal and succession wars, said the influential
Grace could be the beleaguered Kasukuwere’s salvation.
This comes after Grace recently flexed her muscles in the build up to the
party’s last politburo meeting and jettisoned her perceived top allies in
the G40 faction – former women’s league treasurer Sarah Mahoka and former
deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo.
“I think it goes without saying that any home recognises the role of the
mother and it will be folly and naive for people to think that the
president makes decisions on his own. Whether you like it or not Sally
Mugabe (President Robert Mugabe’s late wife) was equally powerful.
“People also used to go and lobby for positions in Cabinet, in government
through her, but she was equally strategic that she would not expose
herself but she would still maintain that power. You have got to
understand that she used to facilitate meetings for the late (Maurice)
Nyagumbo, (Ian) Nkala, Didymus Mutasa to come and play tennis with the
president…,” Mliswa said.
This comes after six provinces have endorsed the calls for a vote of no
confidence to be passed against Kasukuwere, who is facing the boot
together with his brother Dickson Mafios and their presumed allies –
outspoken Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and youth
league boss Kudzanai Chipanga – on allegations of attempting to topple
With Mugabe now increasingly frail due to old age, many inside and outside
Zanu PF believe that Grace, who once boasted of being in charge, is
pulling the strings and has influence over party issues.
Speaking to the Daily News, Mliswa said Grace is the power behind the
throne especially when Mugabe is showing signs of old age and struggling
to keep up with his punishing workload.
However, Mliswa noted that the same tactic that was used to haunt him and
other former party bigwigs including ex-vice president Joice Mujuru,
Rugare Gumbo, Mutasa and Jabulani Sibanda out of Zanu PF, was also being
used against Kasukuwere.
Meanwhile, Energy Mutodi, a prominent supporter of Vice President Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who is facing disciplinary charges that were raised by those in
the G40 camp, to which Kasukuwere is an alleged kingpin, said the ruling
party’s political commissar is having a “taste of his own medicine”.
“Before the dust settled, it is now her (Grace) closest ally…Kasukuwere
and his brother Mafios who are now facing the chop on the deadly
allegation of wanting to overthrow Mugabe, that they have been using to
decapitate their political foes,” Mutodi said, adding that the ouster
might work good for Mugabe and bring back the support of war veterans, who
do not see eye-to-eye with Kasukuwere.