HARARE – Dark clouds are hanging over embattled Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere after Mashonaland Central provincial affairs minister Martin Dinha yesterday ominously warned that his political career was “finished” despite the party having not yet decided on allegations raised against him by its provincial leaders.
Dinha, who has consistently claimed he is close to the First Family, described Kasukuwere as a “lame duck” who tried unsuccessfully to usurp power from President Robert Mugabe through the Generation 40 (G40) faction.
Zanu PF insiders have claimed that Kasukuwere and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo are two of the kingpins of the G40 faction which is fiercely opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
Both ministers have repeatedly batted away these claims.
Yesterday, Dinha told the Daily News that Kasukuwere had reached his “best before” date in Zanu PF and was now only surviving on the goodwill of Mugabe.
“Apera uyo (he is finished) he has always been coming for me, remember they even wanted me behind bars …pandiri ndopaachaperera. Angova chidhadha chisisina manhenga, (he is finished politically and is now just a plucked duck).
“Tyson is now on the ropes. We have finished him, now people know that the owl has no horns.
“The hunter is now the hunted, his networks have been exposed and politically, he is battered. He is now at the mercy of baba naamai (Mugabe and Grace) whom he was gradually undermining and whose power he was usurping, creating his own power base. He is under pressure,” Dinha said.
“He is used to be the one throwing missiles at others. Strategic objective number one was attained which was to expose G40 and put in check the destructive ambitions of this cabal.
“Now they are running naked and scared and exposed. Secondly we have re -asserted the centre of authority where it should be- kwa baba naamai (first family).
“He is no longer a threat to the throne or even a contender for the coveted seat because he is disgraced and has been rejected by the mainstream Zanu PF,” added Dinha, without holding anything back.
Kasukuwere yesterday told the Daily News, after officiating at an event held at his offices that he was not going to comment on claims made by Dinha.
“Dinha, no, I am not entertaining that,” he said before walking away.
Dinha and Kasukuwere’s rows have escalated ever since the Local Government minister was put on political notice in April by irate party supporters who want him jettisoned from his influential post over a slew of allegations which include untested claims of wanting to topple Mugabe.
Kasukuwere has denied all the charges levelled against him — maintaining that he holds unquestionable loyalty to Mugabe and his influential wife, Grace.
He accuses a rival faction, Team Lacoste, of trying to engineer his downfall through these accusations which he says are trumped up.
Team Lacoste has previously accused Kasukuwere of purging its officials in the party restructuring allegedly to further his own interests.
Two months ago, he suffered the surprising spectacle of witnessing demonstrations against him in his Mashonaland Central home province, as angry supporters demanded, among other things, that the party recalls him on bizarre charges of attempting to unseat Mugabe.
Since then he has been fighting to save his political career, with his Zanu PF enemies pushing for his ouster from both his party and government positions.
Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central.
Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last month’s postponed politburo meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations against him had completed its work.
Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party rivals are “systematically working for his demise” — in the same manner former Vice President Joice Mujuru was chased out of the warring former liberation movement in 2014.
The latest row between Kasukuwere and Dinha comes as Mugabe is scheduled to hold a big rally in Marondera today as part of his nationwide tour of provinces in preparation for next year’s watershed elections.
However, sources have said the increasingly frail nonagenarian would also use all his forthcoming rallies “to deal with internal dissent” — as part of stamping his authority on the continuing mindless bloodletting by his lieutenants.
Political analysts yesterday told the Daily News that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Kasukuwere was going to be jettisoned from his post of political commissar.
“It appears that Martin Dinha thinks his proximity to Amai Mugabe, whom he offered land in Mash Central Province including the controversial Arnold farm, gives him some authority to write an obituary on Kasukuwere’s political career.
“But he is clearly mistaken, Zanu PF is far more complex that Dinha imagines. Even with provinces passing resolutions on Kasukuwere to go, it is Mugabe who has the final word.
“Without Mugabe’s approval nothing will happen to Kasukuwere and, as elections approach Mugabe will want to keep the party together and act only after elections in 2018,” political analyst, Dewa Mavhinga, told the Daily News.
The G40 faction has for some time now been described as being “at sixes and sevens”, following the growing pressure that has been brought to bear on its leading figures.
Sources have also previously told the Daily News that Zanu PF’s ever-fluid factional and succession politics were changing gear again, as there was now an apparent realignment of alliances within the warring former liberation movement — as Mnangagwa’s allies cranked up their assault on the G40.
Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu PF’s thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party’s deadly infighting, which is worsening by the day.
The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own choice.