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Zanu PF wars changing gear

By Fungi Kwaramba

Zanu PF’s deadly but fluid politics is witnessing yet another dramatic realignment of forces, with the warring former liberation movement now said to be courting youth leaders who were expelled two years ago on fuzzy charges of undermining President Robert Mugabe and his powerful wife Grace.

President Robert Mugabe

This comes as national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and his allies have come under severe pressure in the brawling ruling party — with insiders saying the development bears similar echoes to the political Tsunami of three years ago which buried former Vice President Joice Mujuru and other party stalwarts.

Sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the deeply divided party was working feverishly to pardon the six provincial youth chairpersons who were expelled in 2015, at the height of the infighting between the Generation 40 (G40) and Team Lacoste factions.

At the time, all the expelled youths were said to belong to Team Lacoste, the party camp which is backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

The consistently-reliable sources said some of the youth leaders had even held a private meeting at State House last Friday with influential director of State Residences, Innocent Tizora — who is said to be very close to the first family.

“These youths did nothing wrong and were being persecuted by Kasukuwere. This is why they went to State House and met with Tizora. I will not tell you yet what they discussed, but yes they were there,” one of the sources told the Daily News.

“The youths are willing to come back home to Zanu PF. Remember, these are the same guys who played a crucial role with the backing of the first family to demolish Mujuru and her cabal,” the insider added.

Among those said to have attended the Friday meeting was former Harare youth leader Godwin Gomwe, who now stands accused by his rivals of mobilising against Kasukuwere and Harare province political commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe.

However, Gomwe claimed yesterday that he was not part of the meeting, but  also challenged “anyone” to prove that he was behind Kasukuwere’s mounting political woes.

“The commissar (Kasukuwere) has structures behind him. Where could I get the power to mobilise people, unless my enemies are saying I was expelled on false allegations by people like Kasukuwere?

“How could I mobilise when I am now out of the party? If one passes through a road close to Zanu PF headquarters, it does not mean that you have been there. Unless those in the Harare province give me boundaries, I am free to walk anywhere I want,” he shot back.

Outspoken former Mashonaland Central youth leader, Godfrey Tsenengamu, also told the Daily News that he was “not going to fall into the trap of being lured back to Zanu PF”.

However, he said he had “heard” that his colleagues had attended the State House meeting — adding emphatically that he had had “enough of Mugabe’s trickery”.

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“I heard about the meeting but I was not invited, probably because I talk too much. However, I would not have attended that meeting because it would have been against my principles.

“Tyson (Kasukuwere) failed in his mandate as commissar and it’s right that he should be relieved of his duties. The appointing authority (Mugabe) should have done that a long time ago, but continues to play hide and seek games on this matter.

“He (Mugabe) is the one centre of power and must act, but wants to burden the people to do it for him. I am against the deliberate abuse of an innocent membership.

“Although very misguided and power hungry, Kasukuwere must not be expelled, but reassigned . . . These perennial suspensions and expulsions won’t build the party,” he said.

Tsenengamu and his colleagues have consistently claimed that they were used by Mugabe in the demolition of the Mujuru faction, including being coached on what to say and do.

Mujuru, now leader of the National People’s Party (NPP), was together with other Zanu PF bigwigs, who included former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, expelled from the warring party in 2014, on untested allegations of plotting to topple and assassinate Mugabe.

Early this month, Tsenengamu also claimed that he had been approached by ruling party bigwigs to participate in a demonstration against Kasukuwere and his brother Dickson Mafios in Bindura — where the two were hammered by irate party supporters who issued a petition calling for their expulsion from the ruling party.

Curiously, Tsenengamu said he had refused “to gain a measure of revenge” against Kasukuwere — whom he accuses of having engineered his expulsion from Zanu PF in 2015 — by participating in the march.

“It is clear that the president is behind Kasukuwere’s woes, and whether he (Kasukuwere) survives or not is entirely dependent on Mugabe.

“What is also very clear is that Mugabe is playing people against each other, as he has done on so many previous occasions.

“I remember very well that Mujuru faced similar charges of trying to topple the president through a coup and those are the same charges that Kasukuwere is now facing,” Tsenengamu reasoned then.

“During the night, he (Mugabe) sends people to attack others, and during the day he extends an olive branch to the victims.

“He supplies political bullets and guns to A, so that A can shoot B. Then he goes on to supply bulletproof vests to B, so that B is protected from being shot by A. Those are his typical double standards,” Tsenengamu said.

“Yes, I learnt my lessons from 2014. The reality is that we were used. Suits were bought for us and for some time we were even treated like royalty as the powers-that-be coached us to smear Mujuru’s name,” he added.

Zanu PF is currently being devoured by its ugly tribal, factional and succession wars which have intensified in the last two months, leading to the resignation of former women’s league heavyweights Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, as well the current push to have Kasukuwere and several other bigwigs aligned to the G40 faction axed.

Insiders have also said the G40 faction is facing a complete annihilation, unless Mugabe changes his mind and decides to save them.

This comes after the party’s 10 provinces recently passed votes of no confidence against Kasukuwere over a slew of untested allegations which include planning to topple Mugabe.

At the same time, it has also emerged that Matabeleland North province has also put in motion plans to haul over the coals party politburo member and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who — together with Kasukuwere — are two of the alleged kingpins of the G40 faction.

On his part, Moyo upped the ante on Monday, fighting back furiously — and mercilessly savaging fellow politburo member Obert Mpofu who had indirectly criticised him over the weekend during the provincial meeting where he was put on political notice. Daily News