'Only Grace can save Kasukuwere'

HARARE - Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West and Norton MP Temba Mliswa says only powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe can save the drowning ruling party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu PF in 2014 and thus is familiar with the bloodletting Zanu PF tribal and succession wars, said the influential Grace could be the beleaguered Kasukuwere’s salvation.

This comes after Grace recently flexed her muscles in the build up to the party’s last politburo meeting and jettisoned her perceived top allies in the G40 faction — former women’s league treasurer Sarah Mahoka and former deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo.

“I think it goes without saying that any home recognises the role of the mother and it will be folly and naïve for people to think that the president makes decisions on his own. Whether you like it or not Sally Mugabe (President Robert Mugabe’s late wife) was equally powerful.

“People also used to go and lobby for positions in Cabinet, in government through her, but she was equally strategic that she would not expose herself but she would still maintain that power. You have got to understand that she used to facilitate meetings for the late (Maurice) Nyagumbo, (Ian) Nkala, Didymus Mutasa to come and play tennis with the president…,” Mliswa said.

This comes after six provinces have endorsed the calls for a vote of no confidence to be passed against Kasukuwere, who is facing the boot together with his brother Dickson Mafios and their presumed allies — outspoken Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and youth league boss Kudzanai Chipanga — on allegations of attempting to topple Mugabe.

With Mugabe now increasingly frail due to old age, many inside and outside Zanu PF believe that Grace, who once boasted of being in charge, is pulling the strings and has influence over party issues.

Speaking to the Daily News, Mliswa said Grace is the power behind the throne especially when Mugabe is showing signs of old age and struggling to keep up with his punishing workload.

However, Mliswa noted that the same tactic that was used to haunt him and other former party bigwigs including ex-vice president Joice Mujuru, Rugare Gumbo, Mutasa and Jabulani Sibanda out of Zanu PF, was also being used against Kasukuwere.

Meanwhile, Energy Mutodi, a prominent supporter of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is facing disciplinary charges that were raised by those in the G40 camp, to which Kasukuwere is an alleged kingpin, said the ruling party’s political commissar is having a “taste of his own medicine”.

“Before the dust settled, it is now her (Grace) closest ally...Kasukuwere and his brother Mafios who are now facing the chop on the deadly allegation of wanting to overthrow Mugabe, that they have been using to decapitate their political foes,” Mutodi said, adding that the ouster might work good for Mugabe and bring back the support of war veterans, who do not see eye-to-eye with Kasukuwere.

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