By Fungi Kwaramba
The ugly tribal, factional and succession wars devouring President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF have once again reached worrying levels, amid revelations that the party faction opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding President Robert Mugabe is facing a complete annihilation.
This comes as the party’s national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, remains under pressure in the troubled ex-liberation movement after 10 of the party’s provinces passed votes of no confidence in him over a slew of untested allegations, which include planning to topple Mugabe.
At the same time, it has also emerged that Matabeleland North has put in motion plans to haul before the coals politburo member and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who — together with Kasukuwere — are two of the alleged kingpins of the Generation 40 (G40) faction.
On his part, the Tsholotsho North legislator upped the ante yesterday as he fought back furiously — mercilessly savaging fellow politburo member Obert Mpofu who had indirectly criticised him over the weekend.
Well-placed sources also told the Daily News that what had started as a women’s league move or strategy to reign in former heavyweights, Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, was in fact the beginning of “a much bigger project — the G40”.
“What is happening to Kasukuwere and to Moyo, is part of a broader plan to annihilate the G40 faction, as critical realignments take place in the party. It’s not a coincidence that Sandi Moyo and Mahoka were expelled from the party and that Kasukuwere and his colleagues (in the G40 camp) are also facing the same fate,” a central committee member told the Daily News yesterday.
“Connect the dots. Sandi Moyo and Mahoka were forced out after all provinces endorsed their ouster and it is the same with the political commissar (Kasukuwere). There is now convergence among former rivals over this issue and G40 is the target,” they said.
Former women’s league deputy secretary, Sandi Moyo, and its then treasurer, Mahoka, resigned from the influential Zanu PF organ before the politburo was set to endorse their expulsion last month.
The duo — both said to be key G40 players — had been accused of undermining powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe and engaging in fraudulent activities, among a litany of other allegations.
Similarly, Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past few weeks, with angry Zanu PF supporters pushing for his ouster from both his party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include plotting to topple Mugabe from power.
And it emerged at the weekend, through Mpofu, that Moyo could be facing anxious days ahead as well, after his home province put him on political notice — accusing him of criticising government policies, including the much-touted command agriculture programme.
But the ex-Information minister, hit back yesterday, accusing his fellow Cabinet minister of having deliberately misled the Matabeleland North provincial coordination committee.
“While on government duty in India, my attention has been drawn to reckless, irresponsible, disrespectful and unacceptable remarks about me by Mpofu . . . at an extraordinary meeting of Zanu PF’s Matabeleland North provincial coordinating committee in Lupane on 23 April 2017,” Moyo said.
“From the published remarks . . . it is clear that . . . Mpofu abused the PCC, as he so often does, in his mistaken belief that just because he has a big body he should throw his weight around and usurp the PCC for his personal purposes . . . that the people of Matabeleland North have come to loathe for its depravity,” he said, adding the “allegation that I worked with . . . Kasukuwere to set up parallel structures to topple . . . Mugabe would be laughable but for its very serious implications”.
“Thanks to the successionist antics of the likes of Obert Mpofu, the time has come to say without fear or favour that the allegation that Kasukuwere has set up parallel Zanu PF structures to topple . . . Mugabe is high sounding nonsense,” Moyo charged in a hard-hitting statement.
Apart from Moyo and Kasukuwere, Manicaland province on Friday passed a vote of no confidence in its chairperson Samuel Undenge, while plans are also apparently afoot to depose his wife, Letina, as the provincial chairperson of the women’s league.
Insiders claim that the duo is part of the G40 faction.
Apart from the two, Harare provincial political commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe, has also come under increasing pressure to leave his post.
He was given a reprieve at the weekend when the province suspended a prohibition order barring him from conducting party business that he had been slapped with by disgruntled party members.
Insiders also told the Daily News yesterday that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s unprecedented attack on war veterans — and particularly that they were behind Kasukuwere’s woes — was part of a fightback plan by the “panic-stricken” G40.
The Zanu number two is said to be sympathetic to the G40 faction.
“The Kasukuwere war is not about Zanu PF. The Kasukuwere issue is between him and (war veterans chairperson Christopher) Mutsvangwa, not Kasukuwere and Zanu PF. They want to infiltrate you because Mutsvangwa wants to put their person,” Mphoko said.
“How genuine are those people? They never speak when the president is being insulted. They just say Kasukuwere must be fired at the same time they are the people who allow others to insult the president. We’ve seen such things,” he said.
Yesterday, the war veterans hit back saying Mphoko was “seeing shadows” as they had nothing to do with the current brawling in Zanu PF.
Victor Matemadanda, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general described by Mphoko as a “renegade” war veteran, roundly criticised the VP over his comments.
“He wants to liken me to Selous Scouts when we know that he deserted the war and had a lavish wedding in Mozambique. If he thinks we can cause demonstrations countrywide then we are influential. They (Zanu PF) must just admit that they have failed,” he said.
“We are very happy that he accepts defeat . . . we made him vice president. We were sent to see him as we were countering the Gamatox faction that wanted Simon Khaya Moyo to be the vice president representing Zapu. I was the one who was sent to approach him and found him . . . in Makokoba,” Matemadanda said.
“The mission was to make him sit down along with other Zapu members like (State Security minister) Kembo Mohadi to choose who would become the vice president and national chairperson,” he thundered.
“I never liked him because he always regarded himself as a Mozambican. But he was able to assert himself over Mohadi. I remember one day he called me asking for directions to State House . . . he was lost. We left deserving people out because we were all being used to push out people who were regarded as gamatox,” Matemandanda added. Daily News