Crunch time for Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF

Source: Crunch time for Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika and Blessings Mashaya      16 May 2017

HARARE – Zanu PF insiders say President Robert Mugabe is in a catch 22 as
the warring ruling party’s bigwigs gather in Harare tomorrow for an
eagerly-awaited politburo meeting – which is set to deliberate on the
political future of embattled national political commissar Saviour

This comes as the Daily News reported at the weekend that a probe team
which was appointed by the wily nonagenarian – to investigate grave
allegations against the under-fire Local Government minister – had
completed its work.

Ahead of tomorrow’s crunch meeting – where Mugabe will require the
biblical wisdom of Solomon to stem Zanu PF’s worsening, mindless
bloodletting – Kasukuwere’s backers have claimed that the Jacob
Mudenda-led party probe has exonerated him on most of the allegations he
faces, including charges that he was working to topple Mugabe from power.

But, and as expected, Kasukuwere’s enemies are insistent that the
combative commissar is “a dead man walking”, and that it is now “a matter
of time” before he is relieved of his duties in the former liberation
movement which is consumed by its ugly tribal, factional and succession

This is the unpleasant climate in which Mugabe will be called upon to make
a decisive ruling, as Kasukuwere also comes face to face for the first
time with many of the senior party officials – drawn from the party’s 10
provinces – who supported calls for him to be relieved of his duties at
both party and government levels.

Well-placed sources confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that after
Mudenda recently submitted his report to both Mugabe and Zanu PF secretary
for administration Ignatius Chombo, the Kasukuwere matter was now “ready
for dissection” at tomorrow’s politburo.

The usually reliable insiders also claimed that Mudenda’s report “cleared”
Kasukuwere of the most serious charge that he has been facing – that of
plotting to oust Mugabe from power.

“While there are other issues being raised in the petition from
Mashonaland Central, the key issue was probably that of the setting up of
parallel structures which the PCC (provincial coordinating committee)
failed to identify, and which could prove to be his (Kasukuwere’s) way out
of trouble.

“Nevertheless, there are other issues regarding the Kitsiyatota Mine that
might not please the president . . . It is now up to him (Mugabe) to
decide,” one of the insiders said.

However, one of Kasukuwere’s party rivals told the Daily News that there
was “no way back” for him, as all the former liberation movement’s
provinces had sent a “clear message that he is no longer wanted”.

“Remember there are other provinces that have passed votes of no
confidence against the PC. So, those cases ought to be heard again . . .
it’s game on.

“Masvingo, for example, has written a petition to say it no longer has
confidence in his (Kasukuwere’s) leadership, and we expect that to be

“How can he therefore be exonerated on the basis of one province, when the
calls for his dismissal are nationwide?” the senior party official said.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said
while Mugabe would try to appease the Zanu PF heavyweights pushing for
Kasukuwere’s sacking, the nonagenarian was unlikely to jettison him.

Masunungure said Mugabe would, in the worst case scenario, re-deploy the
Mount Darwin South legislator to another senior party portfolio.

“I doubt he (Kasukuwere) will be chopped . . . but the party may redeploy
him to another portfolio and this will be a way of dealing with people’s

“It won’t be another (former vice president Joice) Mujuru case . . . He
will survive as a politburo member . . . because as you know, this issue
is about factional fights. Mugabe regards Kasukuwere as an asset. He may
have messed up, but he will survive the chop,” Masunungure told the Daily

Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past
few weeks, with angry Zanu PF supporters pushing for his ouster from both
his party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include
allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting
Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central.

Apart from having to deal with Kasukuwere’s saga, sources say Mugabe and
his colleagues are also expected to deal with the contested results of the
Masvingo provincial chairmanship election, which was comprehensively won
by an alleged Team Lacoste candidate, Ezra Chadzamira – who walloped
Mutero Masanganise who had pulled out from the mini internal poll days
before polling, citing a number of irregularities.

Masanganise told the Daily News yesterday that he was hopeful the
politburo would “deal with” the burning Masvingo issue decisively.

“I am waiting for the politburo to deliberate on the issue. For me, there
was no election done to choose the Masvingo chairperson,” he said.

Masanganise – who is linked to the embattled Generation 40 (G40) faction,
which in turn is opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding
Mugabe – pulled out of the Masvingo poll re-run  arguing that it was

Mugabe and the politburo had nullified the results from the initial
regional poll, which was won by Chadzamira – amid claims of
irregularities, including people not voting in some districts.

Chadzamira, who is the former regional chairman and an alleged Mnangagwa
backer, crushed Masanganise then – polling 12 393 votes against his
opponent’s 4 888, amid the allegations of rigging and failure by people in
Mwenezi and some parts of Chiredzi to vote.

Sources have previously told the Daily News that Zanu PF’s ever-fluid
factional and succession politics were changing gear again, as there was
now an apparent realignment of alliances within the warring former
liberation movement – as Mnangagwa’s allies cranked up their assault on
the G40.

Observers have also consistently said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu
PF’s thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party’s deadly
infighting, which is worsening by the day.

The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that
the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own