PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe cleared the demonstrations against the Zanu PF national political commissar and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere who is being accused of plotting to topple the veteran leader, Zimbabwe Independent has heard.
By Elias Mambo
This comes in the backdrop of a fallout between First Lady Grace Mugabe and key members of the G40 faction including Kasukuwere, ousted Women’s League deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo and secretary for finance Sarah Mahoka.
Sources said Kasukuwere was tasked with restructuring the party ahead of the 2018 elections, but is now accused of plotting to plant his loyalists throughout the structures to further his succession ambitions.
Officials said Kasukuwere had drawn a list of officials to be elected into the presidium in the event of an extraordinary congress ahead of polls, which list excluded Mugabe and Grace.
The extraordinary congress, sources said, was meant to be called on the pretext of pushing out Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Kasukuwere’s alleged plan was, however, exposed by former Zanu PF central committee member and Kadoma businessman Jimayi Muduvuri and the State House principal director Innocent Tizora, who presented a dossier to Mugabe on Friday last week detailing how Kasukuwere has been plotting to topple him.
“The meeting ran into midnight on Friday as Mugabe was shown alleged evidence of how Kasukuwere plotted to topple him in the event of an extraordinary congress,” the source said.
In the dossier, sources said, Kasukuwere and colleagues did not see Grace as a viable leader who can take the country forward if Mugabe decides to hand over power to her.
“The plan was to use Grace to push out all possible candidates to succeed Mugabe. Grace, whom they say is a weaker candidate compared to Mnangagwa, would then be propelled before the rug is pulled under her feet in the post-Mugabe era,” sources said.
Demonstrations against Kasukuwere were held in Mashonaland Central and Midlands on Monday. The protests were attended by legislators and other party officials, who were initially hesitant to take part until they were told Mugabe had given the go ahead.
Legislators from Mashonaland Central sent Bindura North legislator Kenneth Musanhi to meet Mugabe on Sunday to enquire whether they should participate in the demonstrations, sources said.
“Musanhi met the President around 6pm. Soon after the meeting he alerted all the legislators that Mugabe was supporting the action,” said another source.
“Information was passed on to all members of parliament from the province to make sure they rally the party members so that the demonstration can be a success. “Some MPs received calls as early as 4am on Monday morning instructing them to be party of the demonstrators.”
In an interview on Thursday, Musanhi would neither confirm nor deny that he met the President.
“I do not comment on such issues. The party has its structure,” Musanhi said, adding: “What I can say is that since the demonstration our lives (Mashonaland Central MPs) are in danger as we are getting threatening phone calls. I was called by a South African number on Tuesday threatening me and my family.”
In an interview with this paper, Mashonaland Central provincial minister Martin Dinha said the demonstration was a legitimate expression of people’s grievances and is acceptable in a democratic state such as Zimbabwe.
“Kasukuwere and his brother, Dickson Mafios, brought into the fray the politics of division and factionalism, and regarded everyone with alternative views and opinions as enemies,” Dinha said.
“I tried to objectively advise them and warned them to move away from factionalism and to respect democratic principles, promote unity, peace and development of the province and country. I also tried to advise them against grabbing Kitsiyatota mining claims, a women, youth and people’s mining project but all fell on deaf eyes.”
Dinha also said: “Kasukuwere also abused his proximity to power so much and rode over his holier than thou attitude portraying himself as the ordained Son of Man. He abused particularly the name and his association with Her Excellency the First Lady. He also ran and controlled the Women’s League and Youth League and to some extent Zanu PF in general.
“He had his chosen provincial chairpersons and senior party officials in his pocket well tacked. When he and Mafios started questioning and challenging the one-centre-of-power principle and sponsored a resolution to strip President Mugabe of his powers last December, some of us knew he had crossed the redline.”