BY MOSES MATENGA
Revelations that former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere is plotting a political comeback to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa has triggered a witch-hunt in the ruling party with some officials now being targeted for allegedly backing the plot.
Kasukuwere, who was known as Tyson during his heydays in Zanu PF, was singled out by the ruling party in an opposing affidavit in the case where a party member Sybeth Musengezi wants Mnangagwa’s ascendancy after the 2017 coup declared illegal.
Zanu PF said Musengezi was planted by Kasukuwere as part of factional wars in the party.
The former Local Government minister was hounded out of the country during the coup alongside several top Zanu PF officials that belonged to the G40 faction, which was loyal to late former president Robert Mugabe.
G40 is said to be re-grouping amid claims that the faction is making a comeback in the ruling party structures.
Zanu PF is already battling a serious internal rift with two factions said to be loyal to Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.
Kasukuwere has added a new dimension to the infighting with two top Zanu PF officials acknowledging that there were indications that the ruling party has been infiltrated by the exiled politician’s backers.
Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi claimed some party officials are pretending to be loyal to Mnangagwa yet they are working with Kasukuwere.
“I exposed that and I wouldn’t want to speak much, but what should be known is that the hallmark of Zanu PF when going for elections, it sheds off the jetsam and flotsam and anything that is meant to cause commotion and confusion and works on the basis of the willing and devout patriots,” Mugwadi said.
“Zanu PF has a way of exposing such in dealing with errant elements.
“What we know is they have been up to attacking government officials, government departments, and senior leadership and of course there was suspicion and that suspicion has been confirmed by what they are doing.
“This will not derail our plans ahead of 2023 and if you look at the numbers, there are just three or four elements causing confusion.”
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Mike Bimha said those supporting Kasukuwere were not genuine party members.
“Anyone can post anything on social media and cannot be stopped but I doubt if the people you refer to are genuine party cadres,” Bimha told The Standard.
“If one goes to social media I have doubts if they are really genuine party members.
“If people have issues in the party there are channels to do that.
“ We have channels for raising concerns or any contributions. The commissariat is open and people bring all the issues every day.”
One of the many former Mnangagwa loyalists and now a staunch supporter of Kasukuwere, Never Maswerasei recently apologised for supporting the president, a development observers said was a clear vote of no confidence against the Zanu PF leader.
Maswerasei is now campaigning for Kasukuwere on social media.
The former Zanu PF commissar has remained mum about his presidential ambitions, but his backers say his campaign is taking shape behind the scenes.
Mnangagwa was chosen as a Zanu PF presidential candidate during the party’s annual conference.
Last week, Chiwenga said Mnangagwa’s position as Zanu PF’s candidate for the 2023 elections was guaranteed.