Kasukuwere on tenterhooks

Source: Kasukuwere on tenterhooks – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 23, 2017

UNDER-FIRE Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere was left scrambling for answers on Wednesday after an extraordinary politburo meeting to decide his fate ended inconclusively as his backers spiritedly defended his skin, NewsDay heard yesterday.


Kasukuwere’s allies — Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo — reportedly pushed to have Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa also charged with the same offence of plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe.

Kasukuwere stands accused of creating parallel party structures to topple Mugabe.

Impeccable sources who attended the highly-charged meeting said Mphoko and Moyo attempted to turn the tables on Mnangagwa accusing him of clandestinely plotting to unseat Mugabe.

But, Mugabe reportedly stated that Moyo should bring the matter for discussion in the next politburo meeting, setting the stage for him to turn the tables on Mnangagwa.

There are two distinct factions in Zanu PF — the G40, whose kingpins are Kasukuwere and Moyo, and Lacoste, which is sympathetic to Mnangagwa.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday declined to comment on the matter.

“The politburo is chaired by His Excellency the President R G Mugabe. Deliberations are made on many issues and my duty as a spokesperson is to relay the outcomes, which I did. As I said, the presidium will digest on the matter and make a pronouncement later on,” he said

According to sources, the Higher Education minister unsuccessfully tried to persuade Mugabe to agree to an investigation into Mnangagwa’s ambitions.

“He wants Mnangagwa charged with subversion citing the Blue Ocean document as well as the interview Mnangagwa had with a British magazine (The New Statesman). But the President was not interested,” NewsDay heard.

The sources said Mphoko was the first to claim there were two factions in Zanu PF, one fighting to take over power from Mugabe and led by a senior member of the party, in apparent reference to Mnangagwa, and the other loyal to Mugabe.

In his lengthy presentation, Moyo, who was the last to present, accused Mnangagwa of factionalism, saying he had, since the Tsholotsho Declaration of 2004, been working to take over power from Mugabe.

Moyo reportedly vowed to table a voluminous dossier supported by DVDs on Mnangagwa’s alleged shenanigans, but Mugabe rejected outright the idea of playing the discs.

Mugabe last month appointed an ad-hoc committee headed by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to investigate the allegations against Kasukuwere after the Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial executive passed a vote of no-confidence against the party’s national commissar and his half-brother, provincial chairman Dickson Mafios.

The anti-Kasukuwere crusade later spread to other party provinces across the country, forcing Mugabe to order a probe into the matter.

The sources also claimed Kasukuwere and his “acolytes” in the G40 faction, including the Higher Education minister spent the better part of this week gathering evidence against Mnangagwa, including videos, audio-clips and newspaper cuttings to bolster their assault.

“There were meetings on Tuesday evening at which they looked at possible evidence to nail Mnangagwa. Moyo brought discs that he wanted played to show that the people who demonstrated in Mashonaland Central against Kasukuwere were not from the province.

“Moyo also argued that the provincial executive council that pronounced the suspension of Dickson Mafios and rejection of Kasukuwere did not constitute a quorum.

“But Mudenda defended his report, arguing a petition did not need a quorum,” another source said.

“Mudenda, in his defence of his findings, also accused Kasukuwere and Mafios of pillaging party resources.

“Mudenda told the President that indeed parallel structures existed because Kasukuwere and his acolytes had usurped the powers of the province and suspended those they viewed as enemies,” the sources said.

“Kasukuwere was accused of corruption and Mudenda revealed that the commissar was the sole signatory to the province’s bank account. He argued that a member of the national executive should never have been part to provincial finances. He (Mudenda) also told the President that the co-options by Kasukuwere were illegal.”

In response to allegations that Kasukuwere and his “acolytes” had usurped the powers of the province, Mugabe reportedly quipped: “Zvino ingava province here kana vanhu vose vari vekwaKasukuwere chete chete … moti apa pana mukoma waKasukuwere apo pane muninina …? (Can it be a properly constituted province if everyone is a member of Kasukuwere’s family … here there is his brother, and there his younger brother?)”

After the heated exchanges, Transport minister Joram Gumbo reportedly proposed that Mugabe should make the final call, “given that most politburo members were agreed that Kasukuwere was guilty on the charges raised”.

“Mugabe agreed, but suggested that the presidium looks into the issue and make a statement,” the sources said.

Earlier, Mnangagwa had asked for the dissolution of the Mashonaland Central province executive to pave way for new elections to select a new executive, but Moyo trashed it, saying Mnangagwa wanted to put people loyal to him so that they could fight Mugabe.

Mudenda was reportedly livid that most of the recommendations he raised were being trashed.

The sources added party treasurer Obert Mpofu, transport secretary Oppah Muchinguri and Information minister Christopher Mushowe queried the presence of a television set for multimedia presentations.

Mushowe allegedly claimed that he also had video recordings of Kasukuwere attacking him and journalists, but had not brought them into the meeting.

Mugabe, however, quashed Mushowe’s point, saying Moyo had requested to get in with the DVDs to bolster his presentation.