Zanu-PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has dismissed reports that a rift exists between him and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The privately owned Daily News claimed Kasukwere was part of a group of senior Zanu PF officials derisively known as the ‘Gang of Four’ and these had bandied against Mnangagwa and other party leaders while “taking advantage of their positions both in the party and government to advance their narrow economic and political interests.”
The Daily News on Sunday followed up that story with another one claiming that there was “escalating anarchy devouring the ruling party” and that there was “rampant factionalism and “destructive ambition.” President Robert Mugabe was said to be seething with anger against the influential group led by Kasukuwere.
However, Kasukuwere said those who were “dreaming” of fissures in the revolutionary party were “wasting their time” as the party remained solid.
“I am on record as clearly saying that we stand behind the leadership of our party: number one President Mugabe and the appointments he made of Cde Mnangagwa, who is a seasoned cadre, and of (Phelekezela) Mphoko, another seasoned liberation hero.
“These are the leaders we are working with who have been appointed by President Mugabe. Those who are dreaming of a division are wasting their time. Our leadership knows where we exactly stand and what we are doing,” said Kasukuwere.
He added: “Zanu-PF is not divided. Zanu-PF is a very strong party and those who are making those statements or innuendos are trying to destroy the party, but they will not succeed.
“We have gone through that before; we will go through it again in the future, but we are not shaken. We are very clear on who is who and there is no room for division and we are very well set to achieve our goals and objectives.”
Kasukuwere claimed the ongoing restructuring was not a one-man show, but involved the senior leadership of the party.
“We have gone out to restructure the party not as an individual but we have assigned key Politburo leaders to lead the processes in the provinces.
“It’s not Kasukuwere doing this but all of us as Zanu-PF. We design the programme, but we have to ask colleagues to carry out these tasks.
“So Kasukuwere will not restructure a province on his own but works with other members of the party, who are actually leading the restructuring,” he said.
He said that those that were insinuating that the commissar was power-hungry were misdirected.
“It is a negative view peddled by the likes of Rugare Gumbo, which any serious Zanu-PF person will not subscribe to because it is nonsense,” he said.
Kasukuwere said restructuring in Mashonaland East would be completed this weekend while he expressed displeasure over divisions that were emerging in Harare.
However well-placed Zanu PF sources who spoke to the Daily News said that Mugabe had over the past few weeks been inundated with incriminating information against members of the Gang of Four/Generation 40, who stood accused of running parallel structures that were in conflict with those of him and Mnangagwa.
“Matters came to a head last week when (Finance minister Patrick) Chinamasa, who is said to be close to the group announced the cancellation of civil servants bonuses without Cabinet approval.
“The group is also accused of restructuring the party in a one-sided fashion and imposing its candidates in party structures, in addition to undermining Mnangagwa.
“It is also well-known in the party that two weeks ago the Vice President (Mnangagwa) instigated the suspension of acting Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Aeneas Chigwedere but Kasukuwere as Zanu PF political commissar reversed this, which angered the VP’s allies,” one of the sources said. – Nehanda Radio