Angry war veterans yesterday told President Robert Mugabe to clamp down on the Zanu PF commissariat, which they accused of sowing divisions within the warring former liberation movement, as they continue their savage attacks against ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo.
The message was relayed to Mugabe as he met with excombatants and war collaborators, detainees and restrictees at a crucial indaba held in Harare yesterday, as the nonagenarian ups his efforts to heal the rift with them caused by the brutal infighting in his party. Kasukuwere and Moyo’s detractors say the two are kingpins of a Zanu PF faction made up of young party Turks going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
The former freedom fighters accused Kasukuwere yesterday of fomenting divisions in the ruling party through the selective expulsion of senior officials. Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere cuts a lone figure during President Robert Mugabe’s meeting with excombatants and war collaborators in Harare yesterday.
Pic: Annie Mpalume “Your Excellency the traditional enemies of external forces have gone to sleep because internal threats have taken over to destroy Zanu PF from within,” former Harare province chairman Godwills Masimirembwa, who spoke on behalf of the vets, told Mugabe. “It is these internal elements that say vaMugabe chete chete but they are working by night against you. These are the same internal threats that expel dedicated party cadres. They sit in their offices and expel party cadres who have done nothing.
“Mr President, they have become the complainants, prosecutors, judges and prison guards, and then they throw away the keys. Your Excellency, all cases that have gone before the commissariat should be revisited and given another trial,” Masimirembwa added. Kasukuwere who heads the Zanu PF commissariat has come under intense pressure in recent months from both the disaffected war veterans and Team Lacoste (the party faction backing Mnangagwa), as Zanu PF’s brutal factional and succession wars reach a climax.
Apart from the expulsions, he has also been blamed for Zanu PF’s defeat in last month’s Norton byelection which was won by former ruling party Mashonaland West provincial chairman, Temba Mliswa, who stood as an independent candidate. Masimirembwa also took a swipe at Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, another alleged G40 kingpin, for allegedly abusing social media to hit at party bigwigs.
“Your Excellency some senior party members are abusing social media. You have warned against this again and again but they still go on to abuse platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. “Your Excellency, paita nhinhi muparty (there are defiant people in the party). Even the party slogan that says those who don’t learn should be taught no longer works on them. They are beyond redemption,” Masimirembwa said. Last week, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, demanded the expulsion of both Moyo and Kasukuwere before war vets could reengage with Mugabe, whom they fell out with in July.
“We were not expelled from Zanu PF by Mugabe, but by (Saviour) Kasukuwere and the G40. As long as those people are there, it’s no longer Zanu PF but Zanu PF G40. “As long as Zanu PF G40 is still in control we are not going to work with them. We cannot afford to support people who suppress the ideals of the liberation struggle. People are suffering out there because of G40. “It is this one condition we need people to understand. If the G40 is removed and the party returns to its former position, we will work with them,” Mahiya said. And in a surprise move, on Thursday the war veterans buried the hatchet with First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko — but escalated their beef with both Moyo and Kasukuwere — as they cranked the heat up against the two politicians.
The move also came after the disaffected excombatants held a marathon meeting in Harare on Tuesday with Mugabe’s emissaries, War Veterans’ minister Tshinga Dube and the ministry’s permanent secretary Walter Tapfumaneyi, in a bid to heal the rift between the former freedom fighters and the nonagenarian which widened mid this year. Zanu PF insiders said the development marked yet another “decisive move” by Team Lacoste — to “finish off” G40