By Peta Thornycroft
Many are rolling around with laughter in Harare on Sunday after the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper said that Julius Malema is in a deal with Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere to topple President Robert Mugabe, 93, and that their plot was backed by a former British ambassador to South Africa, Robin Renwick.
Calling it an “unholy alliance” the Sunday Mail said that Renwick met Malema in London in 2015 “after which the Economic Freedom Fighters leader apparently dumped his economic nationalisation mantra and started rabidly pursuing President Jacob Zuma’s ouster”.
Kasukuwere is allegedly involved in a faction within Zanu-PF known as G40 which appears to be opposed to vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 74, widely tipped to succeed Mugabe when he dies or retires.
Martin Dinha, a provincial governor said he was “ready to prove the collusion….I submitted the allegation that Cde Kasukuwere is working with Julius Malema because they both share the ambition to take over power from Presidents Mugabe and Zuma respectively”. He said Kasukuwere brought Malema to Zimbabwe in 2010 and that many suspect Malema is funding G40.
Many analysts say that the mainly state-controlled newspapers, such as the Sunday Mail, and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation which dominate the media scene in Zimbabwe, are partial towards Mnangagwa.
Renwick served as UK ambassador to South Africa in the last stages of the National Party government and had much to do with Nelson Mandela after he was released. The Sunday Mail said Renwick did much to “destabilise” the ANC after it was unbanned in 1990. He was a member of the British team in Rhodesia during the ceasefire leading to elections in 1980.
It is not clear whether the so-called G40 faction wants Kasukuwere to succeed Mugabe or if it is backing first lady Grace Mugabe to take over when her husband dies, or if this faction is just trying to stop Mnangagwa inheriting the job. Independent Foreign Service