HARARE - The Zanu PF political careers of a number of allies of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa are hanging by a thread, after they appeared before the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) on Wednesday night.
Well-placed party sources told the Daily News yesterday that it was almost a foregone conclusion that the members concerned, including War
Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, were “dead men walking” and that their political careers in the former liberation movement were “as good as dead”.
This latest dose of bad news for Team Lacoste, as the Mnangagwa faction is known, comes amid FROM P1
revelations yesterday that the leadership of the three party provinces that are supporting the beleaguered VP — Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East — is being dissolved in toto.
The members of the party’s NDC which met on Wednesday, and which was chaired by VP Phelekezela Mphoko, included women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi Moyo and the party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere. Contacted for comment yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said he had not yet been informed of the outcome of the disciplinary hearings.
But the Daily News’ sources claimed that the NDC had, for example, recommended that women’s league secretary for administration, Espheniah Nhari, be suspended from the party.
“Mutsvangwa went to the disciplinary hearing but refused to say anything, while his wife said that she had not received the letter of suspension,” one of the sources said.
The Mnangagwa faction members in trouble with the party are accused of, among other things, disrespecting President Robert Mugabe and his influential wife Grace.
This week’s disciplinary hearings were convened after the Mnangagwa camp complained in last week’s politburo meeting that their members were being arbitrarily expelled from the party without being heard.
In the meantime, and in an ominous sign of worse things to come in the bitterly-dived ruling party, youths opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe have declared war on war veterans and the Team Lacoste faction.
Addressing a Harare provincial rally on Wednesday that was graced by politburo member Kudzai Chipanga, the youths said they would never respect anyone “aspiring” to succeed Mugabe.
The Zanu PF national youth league deputy secretary also came out guns blazing against Mutsvangwa and ex-war veterans secretary general Victor Matemadanda.
The gathered youths said “attacking the first lady is just tantamount to attacking the president because a husband and a wife are one” in a pointed warning to the Mnangagwa faction.
Chipanga said “the time has come to take head on all people who are denigrating the first family”.
“The 21st Movement is ours and we have a responsibility to organise it and no one can stop that programme. That is impossible. The only leader of Zanu PF is VaMugabe and these other factions cropping up pasi navo (down with them).
“There are some people who are dreaming, but let us warn them that all the youths are going to Masvingo, we will be there to match them pound for pound,” Chipanga added, following claims that there were plans within the party to disrupt Mugabe’s birthday celebrations slated for Masvingo at the end of the month.
On Tuesday, the national co-ordinator of the obscure Save Zanu PF campaign, Godfrey Tsenengamu, also told a Harare press conference that Mugabe must “rein in” his wife.
“Comrade president, we plead with you to rein and restrain your wife Grace Mugabe for the good of the party, your legacy, unity and for her own good as a politician,” Tsenengamu said.
Chanting slogans such as “pasi (down with) naMutsvangwa”, Chipanga declared that the party’s youths were prepared to put Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda “into early retirement”.
“As the youths we say to Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda we will give them ‘their size’. As the youth league we are the vanguard of the party. If you threaten war we will give it to you.
“Mutsvangwa you are now diabetic and whatever you are saying is nonsense. As the youth league we have declared war on the war veteran leaders. Mutsvangwa, who cannot even run 100 metres, cannot tell us what to do,” Chipanga added derisively.