HARARE – Six out of 10 ruling Zanu-PF’s provinces have unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, calling for his ouster from both party and Government positions.
Mugabe has banned Zanu PF rival factions in the volatile Mashonaland Central province from holding meetings as the battle to push the party’s commissar Saviour Kasukuwere took a dramatic twist.
He is accused of, among other things, plotting to oust President Mugabe by creating parallel structures and corruption.
Zanu PF has been on the edge for the past month after a coterie linked to controversial businessman Jimayi Muduvuri began a campaign against Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo and Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka.
The duo was accused of plotting against first lady Grace Mugabe and has since been forced to relinquish their women’s league posts.
After the success of the plot against Moyo and Mahoka, the guns were turned to Kasukuwere, who is accused of plotting to unseat Mugabe.
However, the 93-year-old ruler has tried to shield the Local Government minister first by trying to stop demonstrations against him and the latest move to ban meetings in his home province.
In defiance Mashonaland West Province became the latest province to pass a vote of no confidence on Kasukuwere yesterday, joining five other provinces; Harare, Midlands, Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and Bulawayo.
“Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial executive council unanimously endorses the ouster of Saviour Kasukuwere from all party and Government activities,” reads a document prepared soon after the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting.
According to a petition signed by 38 out of 50 PEC members after a meeting held in Chinhoyi, Kasukuwere is accused of plotting to depose President Mugabe, who is the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, by tampering with party structures throughout the country for his personal gain.
Kasukuwere who is also Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, is also accused of corruption at both party and Government levels by demanding bribes in exchange for land allocations.
He also stands accused of imposing a candidate for the National Assembly seat in Norton resulting in Zanu-PF losing the by-election to an Independent candidate.
In Mashonaland Central, the party also wants Kasukuwere’’s half-brother and provincial chairman Dickson Mafios kicked out.
Kasukuwere is also accused of abetting former treasurer of the Women’s League Sarah Mahoka and former deputy secretary Eunice Sandi Moyo to undermine the First Lady and secretary for Women Affairs, as well as destabilising the League’s structures in Mashonaland West Province.
The province also alleges that Kasukuwere distributed land in the province to his cronies such as Mahoka, aborting prior commitments to youths programmes.
“Now, therefore, we the undersigned members of the provincial executive council willingly and voluntarily appended our signatures in support of the above mentioned ouster of Saviour Kasukuwere,” reads part of the petition.
In a letter addressed to the party’s national secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo, the province said it was supposed to hold its Provincial Coordinating Committee soon to endorse the decision.
However, since the party had already received overwhelming support of 38 out of 50 executive committee members supporting the ouster of Kasukuwere, the PCC meeting would just be an academic exercise.
The Zanu-PF Harare provincial executive council on Saturday also passed a no-confidence vote on Kasukuwere and Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe in a day of high drama that witnessed skirmishes at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters.
Three people sustained head injuries and broken arms as party supporters sympathetic to Mashayamombe and, George Mashavave (provincial secretary for administration) ran amok in the city.
Mashavave was among the provincial leaders who called for the ouster of Kasukuwere and Mashayamombe, respectively.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the skirmishes.
State media reports that police briefly detained Mashayamombe for allegedly instigating the disturbances.
On the same day, 28 Harare provincial executive members appended their signatures to a petition calling for the dismissal of Kasukuwere and Mashayamombe over a raft of allegations, including plotting to topple President Mugabe and insulting First Lady Grace Mugabe. The Zanu-PF constitution says a motion of no-confidence can be passed by a simple majority of an organ’s members. The PEC has 50 members.
The Harare and Mashonaland West provinces’ petition will be submitted to the Zanu-PF national leadership in keeping with the party’s disciplinary code.
Announcing the no-confidence vote, provincial secretary for administration Mashavave said the petition was in accordance with Article 29 (section 251) of Zanu-PF’s constitution.
Kasukuwere has written a letter to Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios and his deputy Kazembe Kazembe.
The two had organised rival meetings during the ongoing Easter and Independence Day holidays as the two main Zanu PF factions sought to outdo each other.
“It has come to the attention of the party leadership that there are a series of parallel inter-districts meetings that have been lined up to take place in Mashonaland Central province during the current Easter and Independence holidays separately led by Cde Itai Dickson Mafios in his capacity as Mashonaland central provincial chairperson and Cde Kazembe Kazembe in his capacity as vice-provincial chairperson,” read part of the letter to the two seen by The Standard yesterday.
.“The party leadership has directed that these meetings should stop forthwith in order to allow the party membership in the province to forge unity of purpose as the nation celebrates the Easter and Independence holidays.”
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister, Martin Dinha in a WhatsApp message shared by Zanu PF members claimed that he had met Mugabe in person to receive instructions on the ban.
“Cdes and friends I have advised law enforcement agents as Minister of State in the President’s Office to enforce a ban on all meetings be they PEC (provincial executive committee) or PCC (provincial co-ordinating committee) or Inter district meetings in Mashonaland Central Province by Cde ID Mafios and Cde Kazembe Kazembe and their executives with immediate effective,” read part of the message.
“This follows the directive I got from the President Cde R.G Mugabe today.
“I have written to the concerned parties and copied to National political commissar and national secretary for admin at Zanu PF. I am aware they have similar instructions from the president.”
Dinha said Mugabe had indicated that complaints against Kasukuwere and Mafios had been received by the party’s leadership and would be handled by the politburo.