HARARE – Embattled Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has suffered another setback in his bid to stave off pressure from his ruling party foes who want to see him sacked from both his party and government positions.
This comes after a meeting which had apparently been called to give him breathing space was aborted at the last minute yesterday to Wednesday, just as it also emerged that the under-fire Local Government minister is facing new charges of plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe.
The cancelled Bindura meeting had been okayed by Mugabe and was scheduled to investigate the veracity of the slew of allegations that are being levelled against Kasukuwere, who is nicknamed Tyson for his combative political style.
“The meeting has been cancelled. We have been told that the politburo members who were supposed to preside over the meeting had prior commitments,” Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister, Martin Dinha, told the Daily News yesterday.
The Zanu PF politburo members who were slated to preside over the meeting included Cabinet ministers Ignatius Chombo, Sydney Sekeramayi and Kembo Mohadi — all of whom are in charge of security ministries in government.
However, well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the meeting had been cancelled at the 11th hour after it was brought to the attention of the senior party officials that as the issue was already before the politburo, taking the matter back to Mashonaland Central would not help matters.
“It was felt that the politburo should deal with his (Kasukuwere’s) case, in a similar way it has recently handled the recommendations for the expulsion of (Eunice) Sandi Moyo and (Sarah) Mahoka, after their case was forwarded by the women’s league.
“Crucially, it was also noted that what was initially raised by Mashonaland Central has now also been raised by all the other provinces and, therefore, there is no way Mashonaland Central can be said to have misled the president,” one of the insiders said.
Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past few weeks, with angry Zanu PF supporters pushing for his ouster from both his party and government positions over a raft of charges which include plotting to topple Mugabe from power.
Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting chairperson for Mashonaland Central — Kasukuwere’s home province.
The Daily News was also told yesterday that Kasukuwere now also stood accused of receiving significant funding from foreign interests to allegedly advance his claimed bid to topple Mugabe from power.
Dinha, who has had many run-ins with Kasukuwere, claimed that Mashonaland Central had allegedly “unearthed” evidence which showed that both foreign and local businesspeople were allegedly funding Kasukuwere and his Zanu PF allies.
“Some white elements are sponsoring the G40 (Zanu PF’s Generation 40 faction which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe).
“We know the people behind Kasukuwere. He is the one pushing for regime change and is aspiring to be the country’s next president … we all know that.
“Some white people and companies have been promised land and mining concessions. There are some Chinese and whites who are funding the operations of this man. We have their names and that of a (Zimbabwean) businessman who is also putting money into G40.
“But whether he survives or not will depend on the president. The president has eyes and he appoints or disappoints … and we respect the one centre of power principle,” Dinha told the Daily News.
He also accused Kasukuwere of “riding roughshod” over other senior party officials, as well as creating parallel structures to advance his alleged presidential ambition.
“He has fought with everyone … he placed his puppets in key positions and he was kicking out people so that he takes over.
“He hates war veterans and the army commanders because of the strait jacket position that says only a war veteran will rule this country.
“He was also lying and abusing the names of First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
“We also know that he has links with people like (the leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters) Julius Malema … we have evidence to prove that,” Dinha thundered further.
Dinha and Kasukuwere have been throwing brickbats at each other ever since Kasukuwere was put on political notice by his home province.
Last week Kasukuwere, in turn, accused Dinha of working with his enemies in the party to have him axed from the former liberation movement.
This came as Dinha — who recently claimed that he had received death threats in the aftermath of demonstrations against Kasukuwere and Mafios — had said that the combative minister was now facing “superior forces” in the wake of the slew of damaging allegations that he is facing.
“Dinha is an instrument to aid the regime change agenda. His activities in Mashonaland Central are clearly aimed at advancing a factional position.
“He has made himself the point man to advance a so-called alternative narrative and at the same time lying that he is close to the first family and abusing this theory.
“I will soon expose his hidden agenda of fast-tracking regime change, and I will dispose of all his allegations one by one.
“Besides the hidden agenda he is pushing at the behest of the real people who no longer want the president, he has a personal agenda where he asked me to help him lobby to be the minister of Justice.
“If he wants that job, he has to approach the appointing authority who is president Mugabe,” a fuming Kasukuwere told the Daily News then.
But Dinha pooh-poohed Kasukuwere’s claims that he had approached him to lobby for the Justice job.
“He is a liar. I never went to him seeking to become the minister of Justice. Who is he? He is just a leader of a faction but now seems to be already dreaming to be the country’s president.
“The truth of the matter is when I won in Mazowe North, he approached me and said he wanted to make me the Justice minister because the holder of that post (Mnangagwa) was allegedly using his position to punish us.
“He said ‘since you have a constituency, are you interested’, and I turned him down. I said I will not be involved in factions.
“Kasukuwere was angry with the rejection. I told him I am content and happy as the provincial minister.
“He said he would do everything to ensure that I become a politburo member. He claimed that he had the power because the country’s leadership was in his pocket. He boasted of having connections,” Dinha charged.
“I want him to sue me so that I get an opportunity to expose him. He destroyed many political careers … he was fighting people like Border Gezi until his death.
“He is not satisfied that he is commissar. He stoops so low to the point of wanting to have his hands everywhere, even at the village level.
“We are grateful to the president for stripping him of powers over traditional leaders. I also agree with what his friend Philip Chiyangwa has said (that he asked for $5 million to facilitate a land deal).
“I am ashamed on his behalf because he is my tezvara (brother-in-law). I know him very well … this is just a tip of the iceberg.
“If I really want to say everything I know he will not be able to stand even in a supermarket,” Dinha added, as he twisted the knife into Kasukuwere further.
Observers have previously said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu PF’s thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party’s deadly infighting, which is worsening by the day.
The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own choice. – Daily News