HARARE – Gloves are now truly off in the warring post-congress Zanu PF as the party meets for its potentially-explosive annual conference this week, with Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere openly accusing some of his comrades yesterday of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe from power.
At the same time, another Cabinet minister has claimed that Mugabe is in grave danger of being poisoned by his ambitious underlings who are allegedly impatient to succeed him, as the mindless bloodletting in the ruling party gets nastier and more confused by the day.
Addressing Zanu PF Harare province, Kasukuwere — who is the party’s national political commissar — came out guns blazing, fingering his party foes in a plot to oust from power the increasingly-frail leader of the former liberation movement.
“We know what we are talking about, some of you have turned against him (Mugabe). You no longer like the president of our party. You are hiding behind the G40 (claims about the G40 to advance this agenda).
“If what I am saying will cause my death, then I am available. Go ahead and kill me. Enough is enough of this (War Veterans minister Christopher) Mutsvangwa nonsense. Enough is enough. We are ready to take the war anywhere be it in the air or on the ground,” the angry Kasukuwere fumed.
He said while he respected the country’s war veterans for what they did for the country, there were a few of them who wanted to “monopolise the struggle”, adding defiantly that, “We are not going to be scared by the crooks we know, by the thugs we know”.
“Some of them stole money from ZBC while others turned against Zanu PF. We know that they want to politically destabilise the leadership of the party, engaging in money-making deals. We know all that and we are not going to be intimidated.
“When it comes to President Mugabe comrades, none of you has a monopoly over him. He is my leader too. We will defend President Mugabe, do not try to intimidate us to advance your interests.
“They stole from ZBC and were sacked. If you are a war veteran why do you steal? We know they are going to China to try and cut deals … to subvert the president of our party,” Kasukuwere said.
“We are not scared. We will not be scared … I have a right in this party, the party of my father. So, don’t come to me and tell me Kasukuwere does not qualify (ostensibly to be Zanu PF commissar). Who are you? You are the one who does not qualify.
“We are aware of your machinations, musarove imbwa makaviga mupinyi (your plot is a transparent one). The person you no longer want is President Mugabe. Let us be frank with each other. We know that is what you are after.
“You are going for President Mugabe because you are used to making money using this succession issue. But President Mugabe is still there. So, we are taking our gloves off. We are taking our gloves off. We will not be intimidated by criminals we know … We will defend ourselves. We are behind President Mugabe,” Kasukuwere fumed further.
Meanwhile, another Cabinet minister has warned that Mugabe is in grave danger of being poisoned by his ambitious underlings who are impatient to succeed him as the mindless bloodletting in the warring post-congress Zanu PF gets nastier and more confused by the day.
Giving the vote of thanks at First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rally in Gutu last Friday, Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe suggested that the ruling party’s seemingly-unstoppable factional and succession wars were now so bad that they could even claim the life of Mugabe.
Giving impetus to Hungwe’s fears are the claims that there have been a number of attempts on the life of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the past few months — who is said to harbour presidential aspirations and whose supporters are locked in a vicious succession war with the G40.
According to lapdog State media, the attempts on the VP’s life have included his offices being sprinkled with cyanide, prompting him to beef up his security and highlighting both the fear and animosity devouring the upper echelons of the bitterly-divided ruling party.
Giving his spine-chilling vote of thanks, Hungwe — said to be a close Mnangagwa ally — urged Grace to be more vigilant about taking care of her increasingly-frail nonagenarian husband saying there were some bigwigs in the ruling party who hated him so much that they could even poison him.
In that light, he added, Grace needed to make sure that she consistently and thoroughly vetted the people around Mugabe, as well as the source of the food he ate.
“There are those who do not like him (Mugabe). They are many and some will be born tonight. We do not care about them.
“Chatinongokumbira chete amai ndechekuti musarega vachingodya pese pese (All we ask from you mother is that you remain vigilant and mind the food that Mugabe eats for he could be poisoned),” Hungwe warned.
However, he also promised Grace that Mugabe would be protected by his many supporters.
“The people who are here are his supporters. If one Mugabe enemy is born today, his supporters multiply. If one is born tonight, five supporters of his will also be born the same night,” Hungwe opined.
A Zanu PF insider who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said while Hungwe was “a little guilty of overzealous bootlicking”, the ruling party’s unending wars suggested that there was “an unhealthy stampede to succeed Gushungo (Mugabe)”.
“Unfortunately, many of those who are either fighting for the party’s top position or sponsoring their favourite candidates appear as if they are becoming increasingly impatient with the president remaining in office. This can only be destructive to the party and the country.
“It is also for the same reason that some comrades feel that what happened during the official opening of Parliament in August, when the president ended up reading the same speech as the one he presented during his State-of-the-Nation Address, was not a genuine error by officials but a calculated plot by one of the warring factions to expose him (Mugabe) as no longer fit to rule,” the senior Zanu PF official said.
Commenting further on the succession puzzle, the party bigwig said the Constitution of Zimbabwe said if a vacancy arose in the presidency by death, resignation or incapacitation of the incumbent, the political party that was represented by the departing president would have the power to select a replacement within a period of 90 days.
In the interim, the person who was the last acting president would be in charge of the country.
“Recently, the ruling party, in order to comply with the national Constitution resolved that if a vacancy occurs in the office of national president requiring the party to nominate a successor, Zanu PF can hold a congress at the insistence of the secretary for administration,” he said.Dailynews