PICS: Grace Mugabe's ally needs a 'saviour' as Zanu-PF supporters seek his ouster

2017-04-04 08:50
Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

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Bindura – Zimbabwean Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere's political career is hanging on a thread after ruling Zanu-PF party supporters staged a demonstration seeking his ouster for allegedly plotting against President Robert Mugabe.

This comes amid internal squabbles in the nonagenarian’s party - being caused by his failure to groom a successor in his 37 years in power.

Zanu-PF is sharply divided into two camps with one faction calling itself "Team Lacoste" backing Mugabe’s deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take over from the veteran leader while another grouping made up of young Turks calling itself Generation 40 and linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe wants to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.

Both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions and thrown their weight behind the 93 year-old leader.

Close to 1 500 placard carrying demonstrators marched on Monday in Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province’s provincial capital, demanding that Mugabe wield the axe on Kasukuwere. Some leaders of the protest accused Kasukuwere of harbouring presidential ambitions and plotting behind Mugabe’s back with a view to take over power from him.

Residential stands 

One of the provincial leaders, John Ngwenya, told the protesters who were carrying a coffin with Kasukuwere’s pictures stuck on it that the local government minister, who doubled as the Zanu-PF political commissar, had overstayed his welcome as a cabinet minister and senior party official.

“We want President Mugabe to dismiss Kasukuwere from his position as the party’s political commissar because he is busy creating parallel structures working in cahoots with Dickson Mafios to advance Kasukuwere’s presidential ambitions.” Mafios is the ruling party provincial chairperson for Mashonaland Central Province.

Ngwenya also accused Kasukuwere of being the leader of G40 – a clear departure from the national belief that the First Lady was the leader of that faction.

Kasukuwere

Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

“He has been lying to the president that some people want to remove the president from power yet he is the one who is leading G40. It’s not true that G40 is led by Amai Grace Mugabe but Kasukuwere is the leader of that faction,” claimed Ngwenya.

Another provincial leader, Chantelle Mbereko, told News24 on the sidelines of the protest that Kasukuwere had grabbed a number of un-named mines and parceled out residential stands to his relatives despite the stands having been provided for Zanu PF youths.

“Hundreds of residential stands were shared amongst his relatives and close friends at the expense of the party’s youths; he is corrupt and he must be relieved of his ministerial duties forthwith,” said Mbereko.

Kasukuwere
Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

Other senior members of the party, like former labour minister Nicholas Goche, were part of the demonstrators.

The protesters sent a petition to Mugabe amid reports that Mugabe had called for an emergency meeting of his party’s supreme decision making body between congresses, the politburo, this week on Wednesday to deal with internal fissures in his party.

Following Monday’s protests, Mugabe on Monday told guests to his belated birthday party hosted by his cabinet ministers at State House that demonstrations will not remove anyone from office and should not be used to discipline errant party members.

Mugabe’s government has previously clashed opposition protests in some parts of the country but the anti-Kasukuwere protesters were being protected by anti-riot police.

Kasukuwere
Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

Efforts to get a comment from Kasukuwere were fruitless as he was not answering his mobile phone.

Meanwhile, more anti-Kasukuwere protests have been lined up nationwide with a “mega demonstration” set for the ruling party’s headquarters in Harare.

Mugabe fired his former deputy Joice Mujuru from both the ruling party and government, including other several other senior party members in 2014 - for allegedly plotting to topple the 93 year-old. Mujuru, who is now leading the opposition National People’s Party,  denied the allegations and she is now working with other opposition parties to form a proposed grand coalition of pro-democracy that would challenge Zanu-PF and Mugabe in 2018.  

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  saviour kasukuwere  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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