Tendai Kamhungira 23 February 2018
HARARE – ZANU PF’S deposed generation 40 (G40) faction was “within
touching distance” of snatching the party’s presidency amid revelations
that its vile plan included the capture of several strategic institutions,
including public media, just days before the ex-liberation movement’s
December 15 extra-ordinary congress.
This also comes as the vanquished group has been mobilising against
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government under the National Patriotic
Front (NPF) banner and a number of its staunch allies, including ex-police
commissioner general Augustine Chihuri, Kudzanai Chipanga and Ignatius
Chombo, remain under the cosh over a litany of political and professional
“G40 kingpins had not only set upon a plan to capture key state organs by
supplanting tried and tested cadres with their surrogates – across the
media spectrum, and numerous parastatals – on the Thursday before the army
takeover kicked in, but their trump card was the 10th Dzivaresekwa
interface rally and subsequent Zanu PF congress, and where they would have
wanted to install Grace Mugabe as acting president as well,” said a
“So sinister was the plot that we would have very well seen Robert Mugabe,
and Phelekezela Mphoko going on leave and that unhinged woman taking over
the reigns for up to three months after the old man would have been forced
on an extended vacation. And as the desperation to seize power set in, you
will be aware that they even tried to divide securocrats by roping in
people like Chihuri on their side with a view of (even) forming a military
buffer for the old man,” they said, adding the crafty schemers had also
tried to mask their true intentions by throwing in former Justice minister
Happyton Bonyongwe’s name.
“Of course, we know that the junta still wanted to put Mnangagwa in charge
at congress after sponsoring a spontaneous revolt against their former
leader by Zanu PF provinces, but it had to bring forward its intervention
after the G40’s increasingly bold manouvres. And like in any situation
where such evil plans collapse, there have been many casualties – albeit
willing messengers – in the form of the Chihuris, who are now being swept
by the tide after a number of dossiers detailing their expedient actions
such as the $120 million spot fines and illegal fundraising debacle,
failure to deal with Frank Buyanga’s cases and unresolved top cop
extortion saga,” the sources said.
With the ex-Zanu PF women’s league boss’ influence on her 93 year-old
husband, analysts polled by the Daily News recently concurred that it was
quite possible that the acerbic Gushungo Holdings owner would have gone on
a dry run of party and state presidency after the party’s December 15
“In the circumstances of the succession struggles in Zanu PF in 2017, one
cannot entirely deny the plans and actions of the various factions. While
pushing Grace to the presidency appeared a long shot… it may as well
tell us how political strategies were becoming amateurish and how seasoned
politicians were throwing caution to the wind,” Rashweat Mukundu, a former
Freedom House researcher and commentator, said.
Ethiopian-based security expert Maxwell Saungweme also said “anything was
possible (with these hawks and) the theory seems plausible given
Mnangagwa’s earlier dismissal. Nonetheless, the military might have gotten
wind of this hence its coup”.
However, Shakespear Hamauswa disagreed and said G40 kingpins – in the form
of ex-Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, and Saviour Kasukuweres –
were just out to create smokescreens for their real motive.
“The fight was for Mugabe to leave office. So the G40 wanted to create a
fake scenario where Mugabe would feel safe after his exit. The G40 had
someone else other than Grace. They knew Grace was not going to make it so
they were just using her for their hidden agenda,” the pro-government
And as the Zanu PF leadership contest, and intrigue continues – even after
Mugabe’s November 21 ouster – Moyo and the deposed leader’s nephew Patrick
Zhuwao have not only sought to continually project the Harare regime as
illegitimate, but have escalated efforts to fight Mnangagwa and his
military-backed government under the NPF cover.
According to recent media reports and indeed his own twitter posts, the
ex-Tsholotsho North legislator still believes the nonagenarian leader was
“wrongly, and unjustly” pushed out by the lacoste faction, and its
security sector allies.
As such, Moyo and his G40 allies – notably Zhuwao – have set in motion
plans to derail Mnangagwa by roping in Mugabe, National People’s Party
leader Joice Mujuru, the Movement for Democratic Change and a dissident
group called the 2018Resistance.
And in their latest, and nefarious activities to oust the new Zanu PF
leader, it is believed that the embittered lot was working “with certain
remnants of the old security structure and apparatus” that was behind the
former president’s feeble attempt to cling on to power in the after the
November 15 military intervention.
Meanwhile, Chihuri and several other Grace allies remain under attack for
a number of imprudent decisions, including the alleged looting of state
resources that have been exposed by police deductions saga, and messy
fight with Bigboy Pachirera.
“You see, Mnangagwa is such a calculative man for he simply lumped the
former Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) head’s political sins to his
professional indiscretions, which culminated in the latter’s sacking on
December 18 last year. In my understanding, the litany of allegations
ranged from his dodgy Kuyedza Club activities to the ex-top cop’s refusal
to investigate cases reported by Buyanga against five parties and
protecting surbodinates implicated in the Delish Nguwaya extortion cases,”
said a source.
“Apart from these issues and complaints, his obvious G40 bias also
reflected in the police’s failure to arrest Innocent Hamandishe on six
assault and kidnapping charges, and where his officers would even claim
they could not locate the former youth boss yet he was routinely attending
Grace’s interface rallies,” they said.
And with the long-serving police chief under fire for presiding over a
generally corrupt force – enmeshed in such hellish, and emotive issues as
the spot fines saga – the incoming government not only had enough fodder
to boot out Chihuri, but found support even among opposition quarters.
With all these outstanding issues that strike at the core of the force’s
integrity, new Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu has thus sanctioned
sweeping changes to improve police conduct and operations – now being
spearheaded by police boss Godwin Matanga.
In Manicaland, for instance, Chipanga is accused of grabbing a Headlands
farm that had been earmarked for a state university, while Chombo is
facing fresh charges of trying to muscle in on a Kariba fish farm.
In the Buyanga case, Chihuri is accused of sitting on dockets for the
prosecution of Tawanda and Winnie Jakachira, lawyer Tamuka Moyo, Simon
Charewa and Lawrence Muteswa over the flamboyant businessman’s loss of two
On the other hand, the stricken man was sucked into the Nguwaya case after
chief superintendent Nyaradzai Majachani, superintendent Shepherd
Tachiona, constable Clever Gadzikwa and Vengai Zano failed to appear in
court despite arrest warrants having been issued. And this was after the
Chinese Business Association had raised complaints over continued
harassment by the alleged syndicate.
And despite efforts to clean up the security sector of rogue elements,
Chihuri was seen as a hindrance to the operation by ignoring court
warrants for the bent cops.