THE Zanu PF youth league has withdrawn its support for beleaguered national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, joining the ruling party’s six provincial executives that have already endorsed the decision to kick him out on allegations of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister, was also accused of abuse of authority and tinkering with party structures to outmanoeuvre Mugabe through an expected special elective congress anytime soon.
The normally boisterous Kasukuwere, who looked downcast as he officiated at the main Independence Day celebrations in Harare yesterday, stands accused of creating parallel structures across the country and using First Lady Grace Mugabe as a ruse in his bid to topple Mugabe.
Highly-placed sources confirmed that the Zanu PF youth league had effectively turned its back on Kasukuwere and endorsed the decision to relieve him of his influential party post.
“It is a tricky situation. The youth league has no choice, but to support the petitions. His (Kasukuwere) position is now untenable because the decision to get rid of him has support from the very top of the party. The charges he is facing are the same that Mai Mujuru (Joice, former Vice-President) was facing. Kasukuwere seemed to have inherited the remnants of Mujuru’s structures that were left in the party,” an insider told NewsDay yesterday on condition of anonymity.
But, youth league politburo secretary Kudzanai Chipanga was evasive when contacted for comment.
“I am at the Independence celebrations, can we not talk tomorrow? Plus the issue is now beyond the youth league because the President has indicated that it will be discussed by the politburo at our next meeting. It would not be right for us to comment,” Chipanga said.
Pressed on whether the youth league would support Kasukuwere even in the politburo, Chipanga seemed to confirm claims the Zanu PF commissar could be sacrificed.
“The youth league stands with the President and the First Lady. These are the people we will die for and we are ready for that anytime. Any other member of the party we respect and especially those in the higher echelons. They are our elders, but we stand with the President and the First Lady only,” Chipanga said, refusing to directly answer on whether Kasukuwere still has the support of the league.
Another source said Chipanga has found himself in a difficult situation.
“It has been a difficult situation for the likes of Chipanga and others to openly declare that Kasukuwere must go because they worked together during the campaign to remove Mujuru.
“The other thing is when the plan to fire (women’s league treasurer) Sarah Mahoka and (women’s league deputy secretary) Eunice Sandi-Moyo was mooted very few people knew despite the fact that the First Lady supported it. The Kasukuwere scenario is also coming in the same way,” the source said.
Six Zanu PF provinces have already endorsed Kasukuwere’s ouster while four others were yet to decide his fate.
The party’s top executives in Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North will this week sit to endorse the petition calling for Kasukuwere’s removal.
“In Manicaland, there is consensus that Kasukuwere must go, but some people want to take advantage as happened elsewhere to throw in other names like Chipanga, Mandi Chimene (Provincial Affairs minister), chairman Samuel Undenge and provincial youth leader Mbuso Chinguno,” NewsDay heard.
Bulawayo women’s league provincial chairperson Eva Bitu said Kasukuwere should be removed.
“Whether the main body of the party sits or not, we do not care. For us, Kasukuwere was using Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo and he must go. We are aware that the provincial leadership has been dilly-dallying on the issue. The women’s league inter-district meeting last week agreed we would support the demands for Kasukuwere to be removed. He has divided the party and only worked to expel people than build Zanu PF,” Bitu said yesterday.
However, confusion surrounds the endorsement of the petition in Harare and Mashonaland West provinces. Mashonaland West deputy chairperson Keith Guzah yesterday said the provincial executive would sit today to consider the petition.
“I’m not at liberty to say much serve to say that Mashonaland West is still to make a decision. So please, if you are interested come to our meeting in Chinhoyi on Wednesday (today), our chairperson (Ephraim Chengeta) will announce our position,” Guzah said.
Women’s league national spokesperson Thokozile Mathuthu said she was “busy” with independence celebrations, but after an executive meeting that endorsed the anti-Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo resolution last month, members of the league reportedly declared “Kasukuwere would be next”. – NewsDay