by GIFT PHIRI AND HELEN KADIRIRE
HARARE – Combative Zanu PF political commissar and Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, is under the gun from his ruling party enemies, who are throwing everything at the burly party enforcer in a desperate bid to oust him, including mobilising for a vote of no confidence against him.
Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday accused Kasukuwere — who is nicknamed Tyson for his aggressive political style — of stepping on the toes of many party bigwigs in his short tenure as national political commissar, as well as allegedly exhibiting “unbridled higher ambitions” despite his relative youth and juniority in Zanu PF.
“As we speak, there is serious canvassing taking place within the party, which will culminate in a petition demanding the dismissal of Tyson being handed to President Mugabe in the next few weeks,” one of the sources — a senior party official who admitted to being opposed to “him, the G40 and other weevils” — said.
The G40 is short for Generation 40, a term referring to Zanu PF’s ambitious Young Turks who are allegedly impatient to assume power in the ruling party, and to turf out its old guard, including President Robert Mugabe and under fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
On the other hand, the derisive term refers to the party’s Johnny-come-latelies (Mafikizolo).
Repeated efforts yesterday by the Daily News to speak to Kasukuwere and Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo were unsuccessful.
But the claim of moves to oust Kasukuwere from power, who is seen as a leading member of both the G40 and the so-called Gang of Four (the alleged operational command and think tank of the G40 and weevils), dovetails with the contents of discussions of a Zanu PF social media group opposed to Kasukuwere, which the Daily News has seen.
“On the 11th of September 2015 we choose to add our voices and rescue our party and revolution. We choose to defend our President Cde R.G. Mugabe.
“We will sign the petition against this power-hungry opportunist. Yes we will sign against factionalism and artificial divisions in Zanu PF. Oh yes, we will sign against this CIA-sponsored attack on our party.
“We will ask Saviour Kasukuwere to leave office honourably. Yes peacefully, we will take to the streets here and join the other revolutionaries on the 12th of September 2015.
“As all roads lead to the Zanu PF HQ on Monday the 14th, we will be there with others to hand-over our petition to our living icon and leader Cde R.G. Mugabe,” some of the group’s anti-Kasukuwere postings say.
“Our party is bleeding. Our hearts are bleeding. We write this to you with very heavy hearts… This is a clarion call for action to save this our party… Raising our heads and looking ahead all we see is a bleak future as a party… We are hopeless. We are in pain. Yes, we are devastated.
“Cry our beloved party. Cry our revolution cry… we have to shed tears as we mourn our party. My party is in its death-bed. The supposed current builder (Kasukuwere) is holding a 12-pound hammer as he sweats while bringing down this 52-year-old-structure named Zanu PF.
“He is that driver supposed to drive a sand loader for further extension of the building, but alas he is now behind the wheels of a bulldozer. The supposed guard has now turned thief… The revolution has been betrayed.
“There is chaos in Gwanda. There are cries in Bulawayo. Mutare is in tatters. Disorder is now the order in Harare. Lupane is weeping bitterly. Masvingo is on its knees. Chinhoyi is in intensive care. Marondera is lifeless. Bindura has collapsed. The Gweru train has just been derailed. Pandemonium is all you see from Zambezi to Limpopo.
“My National Commissar is the man of the moment. He is at the centre of the confusion. His dirty hands are everywhere. His nose pokes everywhere. His name is associated with confusion and meaningless fights.
“He is giving false reports to the party leader. He is pitting the First Lady against the VPs. He is pitting the two VPs against each other and creating artificial divisions. Senior leadership is at each other’s throat as he creates artificial enmity.
“He has ignored the President’s call for sanity and a stop to suspensions and votes of no confidence. He has created his own centre of power which is a contradiction to the 2014 congress resolution stressing one centre of power. He has divided the Women’s and Youth leagues.
“Kasukuwere has insulted our heroes, those who lost their limbs for his freedom also. Freedom fighters were labelled drunkards. He continues to tear the party apart in his quest for power. He continues to cause confusion in provincial party structures to justify dissolving of the current provincial committees which he alleges are not loyal to him.
“This he is doing in anticipation of an extraordinary congress where he plans to stand for the Presidency. He continues to sponsor divisive succession stories in the media and wrongly but intentionally implicating our two VPs and the First Lady so that the three will appear as power-hungry factionalists.
“Now we know why. He is the self-confessed biggest political thug in Zanu PF… One who disrespects and insults freedom fighters. The creator of parallel structures everywhere … We cant fold our hands now and watch as our party is destroyed.
“We cant afford to smile as this self-confessed thug places a knife on our revolutionary throat. We can’t clap hands as our future is destroyed by this factionalist. His grip on the media won’t save him on this one … Whatever it takes we will defend our party,” the postings continue.
The Daily News recently reported that as Zanu PF’s deadly factional and succession wars continue to rip the former liberation movement apart, it had emerged that Mnangagwa’s supporters were ratcheting up the pressure on Kasukuwere and fellow senior party official Jonathan Moyo, including allegedly trying to convince Mugabe to drop them from Cabinet.
“Jonathan and Tyson think that they are clever. They have been plotting to put spanners in the works of Ngwena (Mnangagwa’s nickname) and it is now time to see to it that the two leading Weevils are turfed out once and for all,” a senior party official believed to be in Mnangagwa’s camp said.
He claimed that it had not been a coincidence that all Zanu PF and government officials who were linked to Mnangagwa were allegedly receiving negative press coverage in the media and being “disadvantaged” at party level — blaming Moyo and Kasukuwere for these “acts of sabotage”.