Midlands want summary expulsion of Kasukuwere

HARARE - Midlands bigwigs in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF want the party’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) to seal national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s fate without referring his case to the politburo.

This emerged after the provincial coordinating committee recommended at its Thursday meeting that the Patrick Chinamasa-led NDC should immediately demote the Mount Darwin South legislator from his post before the politburo deliberates on it, against the dictates of the party’s constitution.

After the Midlands meeting held in Gweru, provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri told State media that they had indeed recommended that Kasukuwere be relieved of his duties.

“We had an issue of national PC . . . Kasukuwere. It has been proven that the PC is involved in the province in the running of parallel structures. There are people that are not in the party structures that he is giving instructions to create parallel structures,” Mupereri said.

Sources who attended the meeting told the Daily News yesterday that Kasukuwere rivals’ desire to bypass the politburo is emanating from their fear that First Lady Grace Mugabe — believed to be close to the Local Government minister — would use her influence to block his ouster.

Contacted for comment on the feasibility of the move, Chinamasa said he will only be able to comment on the matter after the Easter holiday.

“I am in church now, don’t you realise it’s Easter? Don’t you Daily News guys go to church as well? I will only talk to you on Monday, so good bye for now,” Chinamasa said yesterday before switching off his phone.

According to the Zanu PF constitution, the NDC is supposed to hand over its recommendations to the politburo for the final decision. 

But regional sources said provinces dominated by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s allies in the Zanu PF battle to succeed Mugabe, including Masvingo and Bulawayo  that have since drawn up petitions recommending the ouster of Kasukuwere whom they see as blocking the Midlands godfather’s mooted presidential ambitions, hope to “finish him off” at the NDC level.

“Chinamasa is Lacoste, so they want him to personally deal with Tyson because if the matter is taken to the politburo it becomes anybody’s game because that organ is a mixed bag.

“The first lady could influence things and the moment she sides with Tyson, it will be difficult for those opposed to him. It can easily be misconstrued for a challenge on her,” a Midlands provincial member aligned to the Generation 40 (G40) faction that Kasukuwere is associated with, said.

The Team Lacoste plan, the insider said, also faces another hurdle in its bid to have Kasukuwere demoted “because even if they succeed in having Chinamasa seal his fate, he will still have an opportunity to appeal through the party’s  Appeals Committee chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who sympathises with him”.

Kasukuwere is under the cosh from his political rivals over a slew of allegations, including allegedly seeking to topple Mugabe, fanning factionalism, setting up parallel structures, and insulting and disrespecting the party’s leadership. There have been calls by his foes for all Zanu PF’s 10 provinces to write petitions to the national leadership seeking his ouster.

However, other provinces including Mashonaland East, West and Manicaland, have refused to back the ouster bid.

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