By BLESSED MHLANGA
ZANU PF could soon embark on a new wave of purges on senior party leaders accused of sabotaging President Emmerson Mnangagwa under the guise of flushing out remnants of the G40 faction from the ruling party.
The Zanu PF youth league has already been placed in charge of the cleansing exercise, after Mnangagwa, while addressing the youths last month gave a directive that remnants of the G40 working against the party should be flushed out.
“I encourage you all to continue to work hard for the good of the party and guard against the whims of the enemies of our party. We still have elements of the G40 participating among us as wolves in sheep’s clothing. These must be flushed out, not only in the youth league but also within the rank and file of the party in general,” Mnangagwa said.
G40 refers to a rival faction in the ruling Zanu PF that was vanquished in November 2017 when Mnangagwa took over from the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Most of the faction leaders went into self-imposed exile after the coup that propelled Mnangagwa to presidency overtaking then Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, who was Mugabe’s preferred successor. But since then, the relationship between Mnangagwa and the G40 faction has remained turbulent.
The purge is looming after Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo on Wednesday this week described the G40 as a national security threat, setting the ball rolling for hostile purges of party members seen as linked to the group.
“Anybody; it doesn’t matter at what level, if they are hobnobbing with G40 they stand warned. G40 is not only a threat to Zanu PF. It is a threat to the country including the MDC. It’s a threat to national security and national security affects everyone,” Moyo said.
In 2014, Zanu PF had nasty purges of then Vice-President Joice Mujuru loyalists to prepare for Mnangagwa’s rise to the position of Vice-President. Purges continued after the vanquishing of the G40 faction in 2017.
The latest war against the G40 is likely to take a nasty turn with Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi, who is allegedly battling ill health, saying the faction, ousted from Zanu PF, had now employed maids to poison Mnangagwa’s ministers in their homes.
“Team G40 is back again with dirty tactics this time using house maids to administer poison, explosives and other harmful substances including ambushes, ministers be warned,” Mutodi said on his Twitter handle this week.
Self-exiled former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who was in the G40 faction and has reportedly been accused of mobilising fellow comrades through social media in order to return to Zimbabwe politics, immediately responded, saying Mnangagwa was just looking for an excuse to crush dissenting voices.
“The statement alluded to is a serious cause for concern. You want to continue the persecution of innocent citizens who happen to differ with your diabolical leadership? Will not be intimidated and better you pay attention to the crumbling health institutions,” Kasukuwere said. NewsDay