HARARE – The uneasy alliance of the past year between First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is apparently unravelling, as President Robert Mugabe’s increasingly influential wife is now said to be working again with Zanu PF’s ambitious Young Turks who operate as the Generation 40 (G40) camp.
Zanu PF insiders told the Daily News yesterday that a number of developments over the past few weeks suggested that the pact between Grace and Mnangagwa, which had been witnessed when they worked together to annihilate former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies, “is now on shaky grounds”.
One of the well-placed sources said it was clear that all was not well between the two, particularly as it became more evident that “Dr Amai (Grace) could be priming herself for the ultimate post, rather than assist Ngwena (Mnangagwa) to get there”.
“I think you guys in the media are missing a trick here. It’s not the G40 that is reeling under pressure, no. It is the Mnangagwa camp that is taking a massive beating at the hands of people who are hobnobbing with Dr Amai as comrades and their factions fight to the bitter end to succeed President Mugabe,” he said.
Giving examples of how much the Mnangagwa faction was under the cosh, the senior party official said in the past fortnight alone, a number of alleged key allies of the VP had either been suspended from the smouldering ruling party ship or had been publicly humiliated, with Grace said to be at the centre of all of this.
“It’s not a coincidence that (Zanu PF) Mashonaland West (province) kicked out interim chairman Ziyambi Ziyambi this week and replaced him with Keith Guzah. Ziyambi is in the VP’s faction and you will remember that Dr Amai dressed him down in public when she officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony of housing stands in Kadoma recently,” he added.
The province’s secretary for administration, Simbarashe Ziyambi, said part of the accusations against Ziyambi included untested allegations that he was feeding ousted former provincial boss Temba Mliswa with incriminating information about how the ruling party had allegedly rigged the recent Hurungwe West by-election.
“Due to the gravity of these offences, and as clearly spelt out in the Zanu PF constitution, we recommended that Ziyambi be expelled from the party on grounds of misconduct, disloyalty and treachery,” Simbarashe Ziyambi said.
The province which presented its petition on Ziyambi to Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko — who apart from heading Zanu PF’s disciplinary committee, is also aligned to the G40 camp and is engaged in a vicious power brawl with Mnangagwa — accused the ousted acting chairperson of working against Grace.
“In gross violation of the party statutes, Ziyambi Ziyambi, connived with a small cabal and leaked party secrets to Temba Mliswa and clandestinely encouraged and assisted by way of passing information on our campaign strategies to him and his family,
“Ziyambi Ziyambi mounted a vigorous campaign to dissuade members of Zanu PF from attending the much publicised Kadoma ZimAsset-inspired business and housing initiative by Macsherp, which was officiated by the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, in the company of two vice presidents, Cde Mnangagwa and Cde Mphoko, the secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo and several politburo and central committee members,” Simbarashe Ziyambi added.
Another well-placed source corroborated the claims that the G40 — which allegedly includes self proclaimed “political thug” and Zanu PF’s national commissar and minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere — had “floored” many of Mnangagwa’s supporters in the party’s ongoing restructuring programme.
“Surprisingly, where you would have expected Tyson (Kasukuwere) and the G40 to be punished by the party for doing this, President Mugabe has actually moved to reward the group with important Cabinet positions,” the central committee member said-Dailynews