Mugabe lashes Team Lacoste, G40

MASVINGO - President Robert Mugabe yesterday blew a gasket, savaging his brawling Zanu PF lieutenants, while openly admitting that some of his top aides wanted to see him gone — as the ruling party’s tribal, factional and succession wars continue to burn hot.

Officially opening the Zanu PF annual conference here, Mugabe made a thinly-disguised dig at the party faction rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations, saying the party’s leadership was not won through plotting the arrest of opponents, but through elections.

Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF foes, who go by the moniker Generation 40 (G40) and are rabidly opposed to him succeeding Mugabe, have over the past few months alleged that the Midlands godfather and his allies — who are commonly referred to as Team Lacoste — are abusing State institutions to grab power in the former liberation movement.

“Hukuru mu party hunouya nekusarudzwa...hahuuye nokuti tosunga uyu tipindewo isusu (the leadership of the party comes through elections and not through plotting the arrest of fellow members,” Mugabe thundered.

In October this year, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) torched a political storm in Zanu PF after it swooped on Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa during a hotly-contested graft probe.

Moyo, who party insiders say is a key member of the G40, not only accused Team Lacoste and key players at Zacc of waging a factionally-driven war against him and other alleged G40 kingpins, he also threatened to sue Mnangagwa and other senior government officials.

“Also creeping in our party, is this new culture of disrespect, and even contempt...arrogance against party leaders or its decisions. Our legacy has come under attack and as a result our standing is now mired in controversies.

“We have to take a firm position against indiscipline. Those little ambitions from now onwards must be bridled. We witnessed this during the course of this year. Let us ensure that as we go to 2017 we will be united and know the rules of the party. We should be principled members of the party,” the increasingly frail Mugabe told thousands of gathered party supporters yesterday.

As Mugabe attacked Team Lacoste, G40-aligned party officials, who have been receiving a brutal pummeling from the Mnangagwa camp in recent months, nodded vigorously and gleefully in agreement.

But, in his typically cunning fashion, Mugabe also moved to attack the G40 members for their alleged indiscipline and for abusing social media to attack fellow party officials.

“To the party leadership, we do not run matters of the party through Twitter or Facebook,” Mugabe said in a perceived dig at party bigwigs such as Moyo.

Ahead of the conference, Zanu PF’s ugly ructions had taken another ominous turn after Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao — who is Mugabe’s nephew — told the Daily News that he had received death threats related to his recent public criticism of Mnangagwa and his supporters.

Zanu PF insiders have claimed that Zhuwao is another key member of the G40, a charge that the youthful minister, like Moyo, flatly denies.

The dreadlocked Zhuwao said after receiving the death threats from people linked to Mnangagwa, he had moved to report the matter to the police, under case number RRB 120763.

This was after a self-proclaimed Mnangagwa loyalist, Frank Onismo Ziyambi, warned him via Facebook that he risked being killed for his recent withering attack on the Midlands godfather.

Zhuwao publicly attacked Mnangagwa and his Team Lacoste faction a fortnight ago, further describing the VP as “unelectable” and not worth supporting because of the tendency of his “excitable” backers to bully and threaten people.

This appeared to rub Ziyambi the wrong way, who went on to write the threatening message on his Facebook wall.

“Can someone tell...Zhuwao kuti (that) his relationship nasekuru (his uncle Mugabe) is eternal, but relationship with the presidency (sic) is not. It is not every day you will wake up uchingori muzukuru wapresident (you will not be the president’s nephew forever).

“Even in the Bible, the twelve disciples one day woke up Jesu Christu asisipo wani (and found Jesus Christ gone) . . . Zhuwao go and ask for forgiveness kuna 1st VP . . . Mnangagwa and war veterans. If you don’t I will kill you. Do the right thing now, it is never too late. Apologise today.

“...Zhuwao, who are you to tell people of Zimbabwe kuti (that) 1st VP Cde Hon Mnangagwa is unelectable. Are you electable your dirty self? Didn’t you lose a primary election in Zvimba, your home area?” Ziyambi said.

“So you think HE Mugabe is gonna be president for eternity? He is of blood and flesh, one day whether you like it or not he will leave.

“The sun will never stop setting because your uncle is no longer president. You dumb Patrick. What do you have against 1st VP Mnangagwa? Unogwei navo (why fight him) are you afraid he won’t protect you from the enemies (sic) you are busy making?” he added.

Zhuwao has had several run-ins in the past few months with alleged Mnangagwa allies, including a large section of war veterans who are backing the VP to succeed Mugabe.

Stung by his fierce criticism of their executive two weeks ago, war veterans viciously attacked Zhuwao in turn over his recent  remarks suggesting that ex-combatants were intimidating Zanu PF supporters to back Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations.

The spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya, told the Daily News then that Zhuwao had “no moral ground” to comment on their activities as he was “not yet born” when they waged the war of liberation.

“Zhuwao doesn’t know anything . . . when we went to war he was not yet born. He is trying to personalise or make it (leadership of Zanu PF and the country) a family thing because you will never find justification when this issue comes from the nephew of the president.

“They want to separate us from the people, but we will remain with the people. We expect such a thing from Zhuwao considering his age. If it was not the determination of war veterans, he would never have had his dreadlocks and he would never have been a minister.

“We don’t see him occupying that position as justifiable. It’s part of what we think is nepotism. He doesn’t know about the revolution, he only knows this from books. He must shut up. People must not call people like Zhuwao comrades. It’s an abuse of the name,” the forthright Mahiya thundered.

Zhuwao had suggested that some of Mnangagwa’s supporters were allegedly using fear to try and impose the VP on Zanu PF supporters. This also came after war veterans had previously warned that if Mnangagwa did not succeed Mugabe blood could be shed in the country.

This is not the first time that a Cabinet minister has received death threats over the past two years, and as Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable ructions have become more intractable.

Earlier this year, Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane found a bullet in his hotel room in Harare, where he was staying. The bullet had been placed on a headboard in the room.

The deadly fights within the warring Zanu PF also took a similarly ominous turn last year after Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha received an AK47 bullet and a threatening message telling him to step down or risk suffering the same fatal fate that befell the late Zanu PF political commissar, Elliot Manyika, who died in a suspicious car accident in 2008.

Comments (2)

So what it means this war within is intensifiying slowly. No one in Zimbabwe want him now. All those so called ZANU PF bigwigs do not want him now deep down their hearts. It time for all Zimbabweans to openly tell the oldman to quit. In Zimbabwe we need new brains not these Chimurenga singers we are tired of them. Lets change our singers not these ancient singers.

Gana - 17 December 2016

Mugabe, what you are saying does not make sense. You murdered MDC activists and arrested some of them so that you stay in power.

Mentalist - 19 December 2016

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