Team Lacoste courts Mujuru

HARARE - As the ugly factional and succession wars devouring President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF get uglier and ever more fluid, the party faction rallying behind embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations is stepping up its efforts to woo supporters of former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Well-placed Team Lacoste (Mnangagwa camp) sources told the Daily News yesterday that in their bid to outmanoeuvre Zanu PF’s marauding Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40) — who are rabidly opposed to the Midlands godfather — the faction was working hard to augment its forces.

It was in this light that war veterans aligned to the faction were agitating for ex-combatants in Mujuru’s corner, including former war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda to be part of the planned make-or-break meeting with Mugabe on April 7.

“We are engaged in a fierce war comrade, against an enemy (G40) that is ruthless, and that will do anything, including lying and selling their mothers, to destroy us and Ngwena (Mnangagwa). So, we have to fight back with everything we have,” one of the bigwigs said.

The move comes at a time when war veterans are now fiercely divided along Zanu PF’s deadly factional lines, as the party battle to succeed the increasingly frail Mugabe continues to escalate.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, the secretary-general of the Mnangagwa-aligned faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Victor Matemadanda, confirmed the move saying their meeting with Mugabe should be “all-encompassing”.

“While it is not within our powers as the ZNLWVA to decide who attends and who does not, it would be ideal for all veterans to attend the meeting, including ... Sibanda, seeing that this is the first time that we have been able to meet with the president.

“The presence of all war veterans will be symbolic and that is why we are saying it is absurd for the Mandi Chimene-led war vets to say those who are still serving in the security sector cannot attend.

“What is going to be discussed there does not only affect members of the association but is about the welfare of all veterans of the liberation struggle, including those in the opposition.

“We do not need a situation where others will then say, after the meeting, we were not included,” Matemadanda said.

The move also comes after the Lacoste ex-freedom fighters met with Sibanda at a meeting of war veterans that was held in Bulawayo three weeks ago — with the “unusual reunion” raising eyebrows.

The scheduled April 7 meeting with Mugabe follows an earlier gathering of war veterans at Harare’s City Sports Centre being ruthlessly thwarted by riot police last month.

Soon after that staggering development, Mugabe went on television to savage former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa for organising the supposedly “unsanctioned” meeting — subsequently sacking him from his Cabinet team.

Amid all this, Zanu PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, has accused some senior party officials of harbouring and fanning divisions in the warring former liberation movement — plotting to succeed Mugabe using underhand methods.

Speaking in coded language at Highlanders Sports Club in Bulawayo, during the celebrations of the appointment of Tshinga Dube as War Veterans minister last week, Kasukuwere warned the “plotters” to back off saying there was “no vacancy for the presidency”.

“The leaders we have are sworn-in by God, so let us respect and support them. Morgan Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni among others contested the presidency and lost to ... Mugabe.

“We reaffirmed he is our president therefore that is where the centre of power is. There is no vacancy for the presidency both in Zimbabwe and in Zanu PF.

“There is only one leader and one centre of power,” Kasukuwere thundered in remarks that attendees said were aimed at the ruling party faction rallying behind Mnangagwa.

“You can’t create a vacancy. It won’t work and it’s not going to happen anytime soon. My plea to you comrades is that hatifanire kukwidza vatungamiriri ndenge dzemashanga (comrades, we must not stroke the egos of misguided leaders), making them believe kuti pane zvigaro kana kuti pane zvamuka (that there are vacant posts where there none).

“No, there is no vacancy. Mdhara Gushungo aripo (Mugabe is still there). Let him rule. He has the blessings of his people,” Kasukuwere warned, saying the work of such plotters would come to nought.

Speaking at the same gathering, Dube challenged war veterans who were suspended or expelled from Zanu PF to seek clemency and go and apologise to Mugabe — in remarks that were seen as directed at Mutsvangwa and his supporters.

“Those who were fired or suspended in the party, I urge them to go and apologise to their patron, His Excellency President Robert Mugabe. I know that he is a Christian, he will accept their apologies.

“In our African culture we never challenge the authority or decision of an elder, let alone demonise him. Even in England, I have been to Hyde Corner where people say anything they want. I have never heard them insult their Queen,” he said.

Kasukuwere and Dube’s exhortations came at a time that Zanu PF is reeling from its worsening factional and succession wars that have recently witnessed a damaging breakaway from within the party’s ranks of Mujuru and her supporters.

Now, the former liberation movement is facing yet another bitter split — this time involving party members loyal to Mnangagwa.

Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News last week said the latest acrimonious “divorce proceedings” involving Team Lacoste — which they said were “well under way” and evident in the troubled provinces of Midlands and Mashonaland East — would deliver a knock out punch to the fast-unraveling party.

“The die is cast and there is no going back. We are going it alone now. When you see State media dredging up malicious stories about Ngwena (Mnangagwa) from 33 years ago (regarding the VP’s alleged inflammatory comments on Gukurahundi), then you know this has to happen,” a senior party official linked to the VP said.

Another Zanu PF bigwig said never in his “wildest imagination” had he ever contemplated that the former liberation movement would suffer more splits than the MDC.

“I’m embarrassed that after Zanu PF Gamatox (Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First), we are now going to have Zanu PF Lacoste, all within the space of a few months. Before that, we had the likes of (Edgar) Tekere, Margaret (Dongo) and Simba (Makoni) splitting from the party as you know.

“At least in the case of the MDC when they were splitting this was largely due to the work of our boys (infiltration and destabilisation by spies). What excuses do we have for this anarchy?

“And the chaos is worsening, what with some war veterans passing votes of no confidence against national leaders such as VP (Phelekezela) Mphoko and Tyson (Zanu PF national political commissar Kasukuwere),” a politburo member who has always claimed that he is “non-aligned” said ruefully.

The Daily News also reported exclusively last week that the party had effectively split into two bitterly-opposed formations in the Midlands, the citadel of Mnangagwa’s support.

Regional party officials confirmed to the newspaper that there were now two structures at most levels — belonging to the rival Mnangagwa and Generation 40 (G40) camps.

“It’s war here. For every G40 structure, there is now a parallel Team Lacoste one, and vice-versa. Our worry is how this will be resolved going into 2018,” one of the officials said.

Comments (26)

" .... the party faction rallying behind embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa's mooted presidential aspirations is stepping up its efforts to woo supporters of former Vice President Joice Mujuru." Team Mujuru, Team Lacoste, both of them teams without balls. Scared of a walking carcass. A sure indication that fighters or real war vets are all gone - dead. What we now have making noises are phony immitators bent on twisting Mugabe`s arms to line up their pockets. There was never a price for liberating Zimbabwe, neither will there be any to send Mugabe packing. These idiots like Mujuru and Mnangagwa and their long tail of close supporters hoping to strike it big when their horse wins the race have let Zimbabwe down. They have allowed the foreigner ( and now his wife) to abuse our Zimbabwean hospitality and cultural inclusiveness.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 29 March 2016

Hameno ikoko.

Inini - 29 March 2016

dailynews this is recycled story,with qoutes picked up from your stories during the week,infact this passes more as an opinion piece than news,the country is awash with items worthy of news than to recycle the same stories under a different headline,politicians have always had talks secretly despite displaying animosity in public,so if a clueless team lacoste gets in touch with jabu whats 'mujuru' about that?if 36 years after independence people are talking about their welfare it shows how shalllow these people are,they have been getting pensions,gratuities,farms,shares in companies under share ownership scheme etc?the future of this country is for the youth therefore every under 40 must make sure that they participate in the future of this country,when the time comes for the iconic gushungo to leave office,the future cannot be squandered by putting in power some,ngwena who is already frail or the grandma mujuru or grandpa morgan,the country needs a president who will have youth on his side,eg tyson,chipanga,zhuwao

truth - 29 March 2016

Look, if Mujuru finds herself in bed with an enemy who called her mandu, and sang a song kuti pasi nemandu with reference to her, then indeed she is an idiot who does not deserve a single vote, who will never repent from zanu pf ways coz she is a die hard zanu. l will mdc if she distances herself from mnangagwa and those qouting her

zunde - 29 March 2016

Viola uripikoooo

gire - 29 March 2016

The more zanu pf changes the more it gets worse and is going nowhere slowly..

X-MAN IV - 29 March 2016

War veterans don't belong to Zanu PF. They are free to join any party of their choice. They are also free to be apolitical.

Madhebhura - 29 March 2016

So the splitting of MDC-T was the work of CIO? Can we have a response from Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti? Is it true that they broke away from MDC because they were dining and wining with ZanuPF and plotted against Tsvangirai?

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 29 March 2016

Mr Editor may please pass on my question to Dr Mujuru, Sekuru R. Gumbo, VaMutasa and co. it seems they are not coming clear on this.My question which I always ask is: If they had not been fired from ZanuPF in 2014 were they going to denounce and criticize Mugabe as they are doing now and then break away? They did not voluntarily leave ZanuPF they were fired.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 29 March 2016

Without praising Tsvangirai all opposition parties being formed now have to respect MDC. What people are realising today was noticed by MDC 16 years ago. I am not talking about Tsvangirai but about people who facilitated the formation of the party. All these new parties coming up are just made up of greedy people who cannot make it up in ZANU PF and they think otherwise. If we are to look at our African polygamous system MDC ndiyo vaHosi in opposition politics. All the others are people coming to enjoy playing ground established and leveled by MDC. People were bonded and killed kwana Chimbondi kwaMakoni for MDC. So as Zimbaweans lets have one voice to remove ZANU PF from power.

Kumanyenga - 29 March 2016

@Moyowaonda, as much as I am skeptical about the ZPF project, Mujuru responded to that question live on SAFM. Just Google the interview to hear her answer for yourself

Mentalist - 29 March 2016

I listened to that Mujuru inyerview. There was nothing there, with the woman exposing herself as shallow and very naive. She did not once respond to the direct questions of rigging and disappearances. Don't be taken for a ride, people.

Dunlop Munjanja - 29 March 2016

All opposition parties are welcome. MDC does not hold the monopoly over this. Had this movement capitalised when it should have, they would be in power right now. New parties will bring in new thinking on how to get rid of Mugabe and then to the important task of fixing the economy. Instead of shooting others down, why don't you work together? Jealous are we that you are not the only ones willing to go against HE?

All opposition parties welcome - 30 March 2016

madzimbabwe yasvika nguva yekuti tese tisvinure ahead of 2018. with all dirt of rigging and zanu infiltration now out, it is now time that we realise how demonic zanu and its zpf cousins are. let us collectively put faith and support in the mdc-t and register to vote so that we can deliver ourselves from the colonial bondage of zanu. baba vachine zanu mumoyo Havana urozvi. it is high time welsman, Elton and tindo (WET) come back to the train (mdc-t) lest you will be left high and dry come 2018!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 30 March 2016

if change is a reality then it must start with you mdc t. you cannot sloganeer change that you're not part of. its time to change tsvangirai even by your constitution. otherwise, you should not expect people to take you seriously come 2018. we are fed up with cults formed around individuals. zanu = mugabe, mdc t = tsvangirai. what is the difference in replacing a dictator with another one? 2018 lets vote dr amai mujuru.

zvirozviyedzwa - 30 March 2016

Guys ka, but ur heading is meaningless, you just mentioned the "wooing" part in your intro and the went totally off topic kumwe kwese muchiita zvenyu copy and paste from your previous editions. if you don't have anything to write ka, regai henyu shuwa.......Anyway, this team lacoste seems to be on fire, it is not backing down shuwa. we just want people who hve e country at heart. zvekuti nhingi adzinga nhingi hazviite kuti nyika iite zvakanaka shuwa! focus on the development of the country.

muwoni - 30 March 2016

vote DR Joice Mujuru for change

boltpaGlendale - 30 March 2016

apa ngairebe futi, seriously Daily News I am disappointed, for real.

muwoni - 30 March 2016

Maybe thats why viola is not in it anymore.stale news is not news Daily

unandi - 30 March 2016

birds of the feather

Thomn - 31 March 2016

it's only now that the expelled group are seeking to justify their relevance lm sure the first step they should have took is issuing a Public Apology and tell us why their sudden urge for the change in the status quo which they were part of. Its crystal they are eyeing another 15 billion scandal if given the chance. In short please company Expelled LEAVE US ALONE AND GIVE US SOME SPACE.....................................

itai tione - 4 April 2016

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