THE saga involving Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who stands accused of building parallel structures to topple President Robert Mugabe, has left the party deeply divided and fractured amid intensifying succession-fuelled internal strife.
By Elias Mambo
Documents seen by the Zimbabwe Independent show that the issue has been hotly contested from the very beginning.
The saga began when a petition was drawn by Zanu PF members and supporters from Mashonaland Central province expressing their loss of confidence in the leadership of Kasukuwere, Dickson Mafios (acting chairperson) and Wonder Mashange (secretary for administration) on April 3.
The primary demand was that the three must be removed for the following reasons: plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe, setting up parallel structures, fanning factionalism, tribalism and nepotism, dictatorial leadership and disrespecting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Kasukuwere was also accused of insulting the media and being involved in corrupt activities in relation to mining claims while Mafios and Mashange were accused of selling party cards and failing to account for the funds as well as privately selling a party vehicle. They are also accused of not accounting for party funds and donations. In addition, Kasukuwere was accused of disrespecting war veterans.
The petition was forwarded to Mugabe, resulting in the politburo appointing a five-member probe committee led by Jacob Mudenda.
The team also ascertained that despite lack of a quorum by the provincial executive and provincial coordinating committee, the bodies endorsed the petition on April 3 and 4 respectively.
In response during the investigation by the probe team in Bindura, Kasukuwere, Mafios and Mashange denied the allegations of corruption and abuse of funds as well as unprocedurally selling a party vehicle.
“We all know the politics of who is pushing this agenda,” Kasukuwere said.
“Our province has just been refusing to follow a given narrative. All this talk about me replacing the president is naïve. I am a national commissar and my seniors are (Obert) Mpofu, Ignatious Chombo and the VPs,” Kasukuwere said.
“The constitution says in the case of the president retiring, resigning or whatever, for 90 days one of the VPs will be in charge. So if I were to say successfully we have dethroned his excellency how can I take over the throne with such a hierarchy?”
“This is treason. I am accused of treason. ”
In its findings, the Mudenda probe team said 11 allegations were elaborated in the verbatim report as submissions by members of the provincial co-ordinating committee during the probe in compliance with the first term of reference.
“The probe team discovered that there were two contending groups. One group had a prominent member in the person of the national political commissar S Kasukuwere, while the other had the minister of State for Provincial Affairs Martin Dinha.
“A further finding by the committee was that the co-option process was irregular and unprocedural hence the interpretation of parallel structures pronounced mainly in the main wing and Women’s League.
“The committee noted that such actions victimised members of the party so affected by these irregular and unprocedural co-options as well as the indiscriminate transfers of party civil servants.”
The report also states that: “The leadership of the acting chairperson Dickson Mafios and the provincial secretary for administration Wonder Mashange leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the shambolic state of administrative and financial records as well as party assets.
“This is revealed by the unauthorised sale of party vehicle, unaccounted for funds from the sale of party cards and data forms as well as the abuse of donated funds and building materials.”
According to the report, “Kasukuwere was ostensibly the principal signatory to the provincial party account at the exclusion of the provincial secretary of finance, which is a gross abuse of authority by a national political leader.”
It also highlights that there are competing mining interests, which led to the victimisation of members of the Women’s League.
Mudenda’s committee also noted that “the petition presented by the party members demonstrated lack of confidence in the leadership of the three accused persons by bringing the party into disrepute, but most importantly that the underlying reference to the parallel structures and fanning factionalism were intended to topple the elected president and first secretary of Zanu PF, Cde Mugabe.”
However, according to the report: “The committee found it difficult to establish the nexus between the allegation of the formation of parallel structures and the removal of the president.
“It is therefore recommended that the state security apparatus and other intelligence arms of government may be in a better position to make further investigations on the matter.”
The report recommended that the national secretary for administration takes urgent corrective measures to deal with the shambolic state of the province’s administrative and financial records.
Among many other recommendations, it also suggested that an audit be carried out to investigate unaccounted funds, that Kasukuwere should stop being a signatory to the province’s account and that the politburo should revamp structures in the province.
In a heated politburo meeting, Kasukuwere’s defence was led by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
“… Moyo went on to the issue of the petition against Kasukuwere. He said for a start it was not provided for in the Zanu PF constitution, which means it must be declared void ab initio. Besides, he asked how could 4 500 demonstrators, comprising Zanu PF members and supporters as the report said, compile a legitimate petition?”
He said in terms of the party’s constitution there is no provision for supporters, but only members, hence the petition — even if it was to be assumed it wasn’t a nullity — would not meet the basic and elementary test of credibility, independence, transparency, valid signatures or attestation, lawful demands and the need for it to be free of fraud, malice and other abuses.
“Moyo argued the petition was a nullity, and so there was no need for the meeting to proceed with a debate on the basis of a nullity. Quoting case law, a ruling by the late Justice Wilson Sandura, Moyo said: ‘If an act is void, then it is in law a nullity. It is not only bad, but incurably bad. It is automatically null and void without much ado; every proceeding which is founded on its basis is also bad and in fact incurably bad.’
Moyo went on to say: “You cannot cause a lawful exercise of power on the basis of an unlawful event.”
He rounded up by saying:
“The Mudenda probe team is seeking to investigate nothing but you cannot put something on nothing.” “It must therefore follow that nothing should arise from the report. There can be no decision or recommendation or action that can come out of the report. If we read or discuss it as we are doing right now it is merely for our information and nothing else because the whole process is void.
“There can be no valid findings or recommendation that can come out of the Mudenda committee probe because the whole process is void from the start to finish.”