HARARE – Zanu PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, says some ruling party bigwigs who are allegedly plotting to remove President Robert Mugabe from power have also now hijacked programmes of the former liberation movement’s women’s league to advance their “successionist” agendas.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Kasukuwere said he and other “committed and consistent” party cadres would not allow the unnamed successionists to succeed.
This comes as disgruntled war veterans have made it clear that Mugabe should not lead both Zanu PF and Zimbabwe anymore, adding that the nonagenarian will soon be removed from office in the same way that former national football team coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, was ousted from his position last month following the country’s exit from the continental soccer showpiece in Gabon.
Kasukuwere’s comments also come as a wave of protests have erupted across the country, as irate members of the powerful women’s league demonstrate against the wing’s embattled deputy chairperson, Eunice Sandi Moyo, and treasurer Sarah Mahoka — on charges of undermining the authority of powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe and embezzling party funds.
“What I would like to say is that the party stands 100 percent behind the president and the first lady. The first lady is the mother of the nation and thus the loyalty towards the two is beyond doubt, and that must be clear to all and sundry.
“The president and the first lady are the keys that hold the nation together and thus deserve the utmost respect … The party is strong and the (women’s league) demonstrations are disciplinary issues and purely women’s league issues that they will deal with.
“What we must ensure is that we do not have other players jumping in with their regime change agenda,” Kasukuwere said.
While the Local Government minister tried to paint a rosy picture of the party, the situation within the former liberation movement has been far from serene, as rival factions have escalated their ugly succession wars — amid fears that the party’s centre can no longer hold.
And with Mugabe getting older and increasingly frail, insiders say both the Team Lacoste faction, which is rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the generation 40 (G40) camp — which is rabidly opposed to the Midlands godfather succeeding Mugabe — are pushing for an early party congress to resolve its thorny succession headache.
“We will not accept anyone who trivialises the president. We will make sure that the party leadership toes the line because we have discovered from the (women’s league) demonstrations that there are some people who are shedding crocodile tears,” Kasukuwere said yesterday.
Responding to allegations that he had tried to stop the demonstrations, he said what was pleasing to him was that the marches had shown “tremendous support” for Grace.
“We are happy at the support that has been shown by the women’s league to the first lady … the bottom line is that the party is solidly behind the president and the first lady.
“However, it is clear that there are some people who would want to hijack the programme (demonstrations) and bring their ideas to oppose the essence of the demonstrations and further their interests. This will be resisted.
“Let me reiterate that the women’s league is an arm of Zanu PF, with their own political commissar and they make independent decisions for their organ. I’m at national level and we will only deal with the issue when it comes to us, but for now allow the women to handle their issue,” he said.