'We whitewashed ED-Lacoste link'

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa sanctioned the nationwide tour by war veterans earlier this year as he tried to clear his name on allegations that he was trying to unconstitutionally remove the then President Robert Mugabe, one of the envoys has revealed.

Before his dramatic comeback last month, Mnangagwa had been publicly humiliated by allies of the then powerful Grace Mugabe, including legislators Sarah Mahoka and Mandi Chimene, who accused him of being the mastermind behind “rogue” youths and war veterans who routinely attacked the former first family.

According to Jimayi Muduvuri, he confronted Mnangagwa, who was the then vice president, last year, to come clean on charges that he was the leader of the Team Lacoste faction as alleged by Grace’s allies in the G40 faction.

“I went to him as his relative and said what is it that we are hearing and he said his hands were clean. He then instructed me to go around the provinces to flash out people who were abusing his name.

“We did this mission with politburo member Pupurai Togarepi and compiled a 51-page report that we then took to the  former VP and also the former president.

“Mugabe exonerated Mnangagwa and conceded that there were people who were trying to put a wedge between him and the then VP. During our tours, there was no one who we found to have been sent by the vice president except a few,” Muduvuri said.

After going around the provinces, Muduvuri and some top government officials then went on a sustained campaign against the party’s former political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and former women’s league members Eunice Sandi Moyo and Mahoka who once branded Mnangagwa a duck.

“When he was attacked by Mahoka, he showed no emotion but some of us were angry and I was sent again to the provinces and we organised marches against the women who had attacked him. We printed T-shirts and also banners that we gave to demonstrators.

“All the provinces rejected Kasukuwere and this happened while the former first lady was outside. When she came, she told me that she had lost confidence in me,” Muduvuri said.

Despite having been rejected by nine out of 10 provinces, Kasukuwere survived the chop after Grace leapt to his defence.

This was despite Kasukuwere’s case was pending before the presidium and also that a probe by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda had found a prima facie case against him.

After Kasukuwere’s Houdini kind of survival, Muduvuri was then hauled before a disciplinary hearing in Mashonaland West.

His case against the former political commissar was still pending when the military intervened last month.

“As they say, the rest is history,” he said.