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Kasukuwere claims coup was not necessary as Mugabe backed ED

Exiled former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has suggested that the military coup that brought Emmerson Mnangagwa to power was not necessary because the late former President Robert Mugabe had already agreed his then Vice President should take over.

Kasukuwere was speaking at an event hosted by the Sapes Trust marking the 5th anniversary of Mugabe’s ouster titled: Back to the Future: A Review of the Post-November 2017 Coup in Zimbabwe.

The former Youth and Empowerment Minister claimed Mnangagwa was put under pressure by his allies to stage the coup in November 2017.

“Those colleagues were looking at the watch and wanted to taste power. Their ages were advancing and some were turning 79, others 80.

“If we had discussed this at the party we would not have been where we are now,” Kasukuwere said.

“The appointment of Mnangagwa as then Vice-President was an indication that Mugabe wanted him to come in.

“This was a discussion he had with us to say: ‘Let Mnangagwa come in and we can move forward.’ But Zanu PF being Zanu PF there was a secretive way of doing things which created problems for us up to this day.”

Battle lines drawn ... Saviour Kasukuwere seen with President Emmerson Mnangagwa in happier times (Picture via NewsDay)
Battle lines drawn … Saviour Kasukuwere seen with President Emmerson Mnangagwa in happier times (Picture via NewsDay)

Kasukuwere claimed Mugabe only fired Mnangagwa after when he developed doubts about his loyalty.

“When Mugabe developed doubts about Mnangagwa’s loyalty, that is when Mnangagwa failed to control his faction members. That led to the unconstitutional events of removal of President Mugabe,” Kasukuwere added.

“We should have stuck to the constitutional process to challenge the President. The big problem in Zanu PF now is that nobody can stand up and say ‘I want to be a Zanu PF president.’ You can say that in exile, not in Zimbabwe. We should have stuck to the constitutional process to challenge the President.”

“After the 2002 elections and thereafter, Mugabe intended to step down, but factors took place that meant he remained in office until 2008 when we had that humiliation with the MDC and he stayed up to 2013 when he won.

“We thought after winning the election in 2013 he would put in place processes for a much more stable succession programme.

“In 2017, he told me as his political commissar that he was stepping down. We were in Mexico attending a conference and we talked for about seven hours. Still, it was too late because of the dynamics of the politics at that time,” Kasukuwere said.

Former cabinet ministers Patrick Zhuwao and Jonathan Moyo
Former cabinet ministers Patrick Zhuwao and Jonathan Moyo

Last week fellow exiled former ministers Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao issued an apology to the ruling party for supporting opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in the 2018 elections.

The move appears to the first steps toward re-integrating the former ministers back in the ruling party.

It does not appear Kasukuwere intends to join his colleagues in crawling back to Zanu PF, at least for now.

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