HARARE - For weeks now, rumours have flown about regarding an imminent purge of provincial chairpersons by First Lady Grace Mugabe and her supporters who are aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF faction.
And true to the conspiracy, all the gory predictions are coming to pass.
The tone was set last month when Mashonaland West suspended regional party boss Temba Mliswa, over allegations of fanning factionalism and allegedly selling out to Americans as part of the so-called “Dirty Dozen” of similarly fingered legislators.
Since then, there has been a deluge of votes-of-no confidence against other party provincial chairpersons.
Amos Midzi of Harare, Callisto Gwanetsa of Masvingo, Jason Machaya of Midlands, and now Ray Kaukonde of Mashonaland East have all been pushed to go by their opponents in the party, amid talk that John Mvundura of Manicaland and Andrew Langa of Matabeleland South will soon follow suit.
This has consolidated perceptions that our first lady has become Zanu PF’s de facto leader, working hand in glove with the Mnangagwa faction to achieve her and their political ambitions as the party hurtles towards its December elective congress.
There is no doubt that the serious and sustained attack that Kaukonde is currently under, emanates from Grace’s public savaging of the embattled businessman-cum-politician last month, when she fingered him as a kingpin supporter of beleaguered Vice President Joice Mujuru, who Grace wants ousted as the party’s and government’s number two.
What makes this ill-advised assault on Mujuru and the provincial chairpersons under attack so difficult to understand is that no cogent reasons have been advanced for the putsch other than untested allegations that they want to remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
Firstly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with politicians aspiring for higher office, or dreaming about replacing those above them as long as this is done within the confines of the law. This is after all the nature of politics and democracy.
Secondly, not a single shred of evidence has been proffered ever since the allegations of plotting against Mugabe, fanning factionalism and engaging in corruption have been made against Mujuru and her supporters.
For, if anyone had any evidence, not contrived rumours peddled as fact, they would have taken such “evidence” to law enforcement agencies for formal investigation and prosecution.