via Msipa rips into Mugabe – The Standard April 3, 2016
FORMER Midlands governor Cephas Msipa has accused President Robert Mugabe of breeding chaos by letting loose “trigger happy” national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere to cause more damage in Zanu PF by purging his opponents in the ruling party at will.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Msipa — who retired from politics a few years ago — said Mugabe’s failure to deal with his succession was causing problems in the Midlands province, where two acting Zanu PF chairpersons and other parallel structures have brought party activities to a halt.
According to Msipa, the Midlands fights are a tip of the iceberg as most ruling party officials are now allegedly living in fear of expulsions.
He said the chaos was caused by Mugabe and his top lieutenants.
In the Midlands province, deputy chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube was nominated by the provincial executive to take over as acting chair following the suspension of Kizito Chivamba on allegations of disrespecting the First Lady, among other crimes levelled by Kasukuwere.
But the political commissar handpicked Tapiwa Matangaidze, the secretary for administration, to take over as acting chairperson.
This, according to Msipa, has fuelled division within the province as some members feel Kasukuwere was being unfair.
“If you talk of Midlands, there seems to be discrimination against this province by the top leadership there,” he said.
“I share the same belief because if you look at the way things are done, it is not proper.”
“If Kasukuwere suspended Chivamba, he should not have handpicked Matangaidze to act as chair, but allowed the province to determine on its own. This is a crisis which I wish Zanu PF could resolve.”
Kasukuwere is due to travel to Midlands later this week to resolve the infighting. Msipa urged Kasukuwere to handle the fights carefully, or else the party would break-up.
Mugabe is accused of creating legends in the party instead of legacy by anointing “provincial godfathers”.
“It was a deliberate ploy to have a leader in each province but this caused fissures in some cases, like here in the Midlands,” Msipa said.
“We had [Emmerson] Mnangagwa fighting Gumbo [Rugare]. This really caused problems for the party.”
“I raised some of these issues then but no one seemed to pay attention to it. It has been an issue that has caused problems within the party.
“We should not have individuals who are [more] powerful than party structures.
“We should have systems that are respected, not individuals. Look at the way the Mnangagwa group acted on loyal cadres like [Francis] Nhema and [Flora] Buka, because they did not support him.”
He added: “When this theory of individualism was introduced, it made some people important and hero-worshiped and those who did not support, or were just suspected of being against them were punished.”
“It has come to haunt them today. The commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has to be very careful in the way he handles the Midlands issues because he might cause a split within the party,” the former governor and one time senior Zapu leader said.
Msipa said certain loyal party cadres were kicked out of the party on allegations that they were against the provincial leader.
Only a clear succession plan would stop the infighting within Zanu PF and failure could trigger a civil war as a divided Zanu PF fights for power, he said.
“Everyone is asking, so what’s next? As a country, we are in the dark as to what is really happening and this is not good for investment and stability. As a citizen I don’t want to be asking myself so what’s next for my country,” he said.
“Zanu PF must be told that it is the face of the country and whatever it does, has a potential effect on the future of this country. We should be clear that we are taking this route and not guessing always.”
Ex-Zanu PF spokesperson, Gumbo, who is now a founding member of the Zimbabwe People First — a political outfit led by former vice-president Joice Mujuru — said Msipa was spot on.
“It’s true, Mugabe should address the succession issue in his Zanu PF. some of us were kicked out because we were against individualism, but a proper succession plan; Mugabe believes otherwise,” Gumbo said.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo said the party was a democratic party that survived on the wishes of the people.
“We have a guiding bible called the constitution, so I don’t know what individualism you are talking about,” he said.
Mugabe last week said he would run for another term in 2018 because Zanu PF had already nominated him as its candidate.