Kasukuwere feels the heat

HARARE - It appears as if it does not rain but pours at the moment for under-fire Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere — with the Local Government minister now facing fresh damaging charges by his party foes, as the ugly war to succeed President Robert Mugabe continues to escalate.

This comes as Zanu PF bigwigs, stung by the level of animosity among its various rival camps, have vowed to punish severely perpetrators of Sunday’s horrendous violence in Bulawayo — which exposed to the world the ruling party’s deepening tribal, factional and succession wars.

In the latest instalment of the myriad charges being levelled against Kasukuwere, he is standing accused of stoking intra-party tensions further, by ordering Midlands to disregard the weekend winner of party primary elections in the province for the forthcoming Chiwundura by-election — which became vacant last month following the death of Kizito Chivamba.

At the same time, rival Zanu PF youths are said to have engaged in running battles in Harare South on Monday, a constituency that is represented by provincial political commissar and close Kasukuwere ally, Shadreck Mashayamombe.

Zanu PF is currently deeply divided, with the camp which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40) faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the VP’s backers, Team Lacoste.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Zanu PF insiders claimed that Kasukuwere had further stoked tensions in the warring party after he ordered Midlands province not to accept Pearson Mbalekwa as the winner of last weekend’s primary elections which were held to choose Chivamba’s replacement.

Mbalekwa was sacked from Zanu PF after the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in 2004, in which Mnangagwa was then accused of organising a palace coup against Mugabe.

A former intelligence operative, Mbalekwa later joined opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, before being elected MP for Zvishavane in 2008.

In Sunday’s primary elections, Mbalekwa polled 1 511 votes ahead of Brown Ndlovu (1 196), Celton Charamba (1 161) and Bigboy Mzila (660).

“The party received names from the contestants who were prepared to stand in the Midlands province. Out of the 21 candidates, 20 were approved by the party and … Mbalekwa’s application was turned down for various reasons.

“That is the position of the party. So, whoever emerged at the top, outside the candidature of Mbalekwa  will stand for the party,” Kasukuwere, who is attending the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Conference with Mugabe in Mexico, said in his defence yesterday.

“We advised the province of Midlands this morning (yesterday), and so we will not entertain the defiance to party decisions and directives given to the province.

“The province wrote to the party and was given appropriate response after thoroughly analysing all the candidates. I personally also advised … Omega Hungwe (deputy national political commissar), who was leading the party process in Midlands that Mbalekwa was disqualified,” Kasukuwere added.

Midlands is one of the nine provinces that have passed a vote of no confidence in Kasukuwere, and is said to be a Team Lacoste stronghold.

But a Team Lacoste-linked official was adamant that Mbalekwa was the province’s “official candidate” for the forthcoming by-election, and that the region was ready to take Kasukuwere head-on.

“Mbalekwa re-joined the party and was rehabilitated. Charges from Tsholotsho do not stick because if we were to use that as a yard stick, then Jonathan Moyo should not be a minister and member of the politburo.

“Similarly, Daniel Shumba would not be an MP and chairperson of a parliamentary portfolio committee, and July Moyo would not be deputy secretary for administration, and Mark Madiro would not have been a member of the central committee.

“All these people were once expelled for their alleged involvement in the Tsholotsho meeting. But after serving their suspensions, they were re-admitted into the party and were rehabilitated.

“We say bring it on, Kasukuwere. We will resist his move to destabilise our province like he tried to do in 2015,” the official told the Daily News.

The Harare South clashes on Monday occurred when youths resisted orders to vacate the land they had occupied illegally, claiming that they had been given the green light to do so by Mashayamombe.

The land belongs to a private company which bought it from Harare businessman and Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.

The youths are said to have subsequently directed their anger at Mashayamombe.

However, Mashayamombe claimed there was never any fracas in his constituency, blaming his party enemies yesterday for circulating false images of the alleged upheavals on social media.

Mashayamombe has come under increasing pressure lately to leave his post by his rivals, who last month issued him with a prohibition order barring him from conducting any Zanu PF business before this was overturned at the last minute.

His rivals accuse him of being “a willing tool of Kasukuwere” and thus also want him ousted from his position.

On the other hand, Kasukuwere is sweating over his future in the warring former liberation movement, after the party’s provinces passed votes of no confidence in him over a slew of untested allegations which include creating parallel structures and planning to topple Mugabe from power.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate the allegations against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party rivals are “systematically working for his demise” — in the same manner former Vice President Joice Mujuru was chased out of the warring former liberation movement in 2014.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo claimed yesterday that the ruling party was not being wracked by worsening infighting.

“What has been happening nationwide was not violence but peaceful demonstrations which are permissible under the Zanu PF constitution.

“We are a revolutionary party that prides itself in promoting democratic values where we agree to disagree and agree to differ.

“While it should be appreciated that Zanu PF is a massive organisation that breeds a diversity of opinions, we condemn violence of any nature and those behind the Bulawayo violence will face the full wrath of the law.

“The party has organs that deal with such wayward cadres and they will certainly be brought to book. But it would be an exaggeration to take that isolated incident and make it a national issue,” Khaya Moyo told the Daily News.

Comments (4)

peaceful demonstration mumwe achibaiwa ne banga??? Ko vakasungirwei??

Yohwe - 24 May 2017

Khaya Moyo a useless barking dog

Tariro Shumba - 25 May 2017

Khaya Moyo a useless barking dog

Tariro Shumba - 25 May 2017

@Yohwe, those are Zanu PF standards of peace. Kubayana nemapanga.

Chigunduru - 25 May 2017

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