Zanu PF MPs in Tyson ouster U-turn

HARARE - Mashonaland (Mash) Central Zanu PF MPs who have been clamouring for national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s ouster made a surprise U-turn, leaping to his defence before a President Robert Mugabe-commissioned probe team last week.

Mugabe set up the Jacob Mudenda-led team to investigate allegations that Kasukuwere — also Local Government minister — was abusing  his authority in both government and the party, and tinkering with Zanu PF structures ostensibly in a bid to out manoeuvre the 93-year-old leader at an anticipated special elective congress to be called anytime soon.

This came on the back of anti-Kasukuwere demonstrations and petitions by the 10 Zanu PF provincial executives, including his Mash Central home province.

However, some of the MPs who were said to have mobilised the Mash Central demonstration in Bindura exonerated both Kasukuwere and his brother Dickson Mafios ahead of the visit by Mudenda’s committee.

Mazoe South Zanu PF MP Fortune Chasi told the Daily News that he was invited by Mudenda to respond to an allegation that he was asked by the brothers to chair a committee whose objective was to wrestle Kitsiyatota Mine from its owners.

“My answer was that this was not true. I pointed out that it was agreed at the PCC (provincial coordinating committee) that we should form a trust whose objective was to establish the true and legal ownership of the mining claims at Kitsiyatota,” he said.

“I went further to explain that at no point in time did I ever have a private discussion with Kasukuwere or Mafios over the trust or activities at Kitsiyatota. To that extent, my evidence was clearly exculpatory of the duo in the point that had been raised”.

Kasukuwere was accused of trying to grab the mine owned by members of Zanu PF women’s league for personal benefit.

Chasi said he has never had issues with Kasukuwere to warrant a call for his ouster.

“I fight issues not people,” he said.

“So far, we have never crossed paths per se but we are different people. Sometimes I hear things I don’t like though they may not apply to me directly, but there is a lot of rumour-mongering propelled by social media, but they are all lies.”

Sources who attended the highly charged Mudenda-chaired meeting also said MPs such as Joseph Mapiki (Shamva South) argued Kasukuwere had done nothing wrong, blaming Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha instead.

Mapiki told the Daily News yesterday: “The Provincial Executive Council and the PCC never called for the ouster of Kasukuwere. The people who turned up for the alleged anti-Kasukuwere demonstration had been called for a march in solidarity with President Mugabe. We never sent any petition.”

Both Mafios and his deputy Kazembe Kazembe declined to comment, saying their views could be misconstrued as an attempt to influence the outcome of Mudenda’s probe.

“You were there (at the PCC) and you heard what people said, so I am not at liberty to say anything.  Let us wait for the politburo to decide,” Kazembe said.

Other regional sources, however, said the reason why Kasukuwere received backing from his former foes was as a result of their realisation that contrary to the “propaganda” that was being peddled by his adversaries, Mugabe and his wife Grace had not sanctioned his persecution.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Associations provincial chairperson Sam Parirenyatwa said he was not happy with the way Mudenda handled the hearing, accusing the National Assembly Speaker of bias.

“This was a G40 arrangement, which was stage-managed and we are surprised to realise there is now a constitution to be followed, yet all along people were being fired left right and centre without the constitution,” he said after the Bindura meeting.

“Now it is Kasukuwere and everyone else wants to bring in the constitution to protect him. In any event, the people have spoken countrywide and things will never be the same again for him. We know most of the people there were hired to stage-manage the said position of Mash Central.

“The chairman (Mudenda) didn’t want anyone opposed to Kasukuwere to speak. War veterans were chased out and it appears he brought his people to defend his position,” Parirenyatwa claimed.

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