HomeLocalGrace Mugabe’s VP bid backfires

Grace Mugabe’s VP bid backfires

First lady Grace Mugabe’s campaign to be one of her husband’s deputies has left Zanu PF in disarray, with the party’s two factions taking advantage of the chaos created by infighting in the women’s league to settle old scores, it emerged yesterday.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

First Lady, Grace Mugabe
First Lady, Grace Mugabe

Former Zanu PF youths that were purged for allegedly undermining President Robert Mugabe’s wife are now co-ordinating demonstrations targeting Grace’s allies in the G40 faction.

Grace is the leader of the women’s league, but in recent weeks she has led a brutal purge against her allies to pave way for her bid for the vice-presidency as she seeks to take advantage of the women’s quota in Zanu PF.

Her deputy Eunice Sandi Moyo and secretary for administration Sarah Mahoka are likely to have their fate sealed by the Zanu PF politburo this week after the first lady engineered their purge through a series of demonstrations recently.

A demonstration against Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere by the youths linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa that was scheduled for Bindura flopped yesterday.

The demonstration is now being organised for tomorrow in Kasukuwere’s home province of Mashonaland Central, Zanu PF sources said last night.

According to Zanu PF insiders, the demonstration would be used by Mnangagwa’s supporters to force G40 members to abandon Grace and join their camp.

“The youths now organising the programme are linked to Lacoste and once openly vowed to deal with Grace after their expulsion from Zanu PF,” the Zanu PF source said yesterday.

“The youths appeared in the international burning t-shirts with Grace’s images and addressed press conferences denigrating Mugabe and his wife.”

Kasukuwere is being accused of trying to sabotage the demonstrations against Sandi Moyo and Mahoka. He denies the allegations.

Zanu PF MPs in Mashonaland Central have allegedly been told that they would lose their seats if they do not join the protests against the Local Government minister.

Former Harare Zanu PF youth leader Godfrey Gomwe was identified as one of the people behind the threats. Gomwe was among the seven youth leaders that were expelled from the ruling party for attacking Grace.

“All MPs in Mashonaland Central if you don’t support a demonstration against Tyson (Kasukuwere’s nickname) on Monday, you must know you are also finished and in 2018, you have no share,” read one of the messages sent by Gomwe to Zanu PF social media platforms.

“We know that you used to think Zanu PF resides in Kasukuwere’s house, but it is over.

“Do not be afraid, its either you chose to destroy the party or to be with the person who destroys the party.”

Another expelled Zanu PF member who has been mobilising for the anti-Kasukuwere demonstration was Batsirai Musona, a former youth league executive member who was kicked out alongside Gomwe.

“This serves to officially inform you that we the Zanu PF members of Mashonaland Central province have finally resolved to part ways with Mr Saviour Kasukuwere self-nicknamed Tyson who is the current national political commissar of the party,” he wrote on social media platforms.

“We are now fully behind his dismissal from the party. He must taste his own medicine and pay for his transgressions.”

A group of women that recently dragged Kasukuwere to the High Court in a dispute over gold claims is also said to be mobilising for the protest against the minister.

The ogranisers of the demonstration want to write a petition that would be handed to the Zanu PF politburo ahead of its meeting this week.

But Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson, Dickson Mafios yesterday said he was not ware of any planned demonstration Kasukuwere.

“I don’t know of any demonstration against anyone in Mashonaland Central,” Mafios said, who is Kasukuwere’s brother.

Attempts to get a comment from the provincial women’s league chairlady Mercy Jonga were fruitless as her mobile phone went unanswered.

Zanu PF sources said as a way to counter the protests and seek support from the top leadership, Kasukuwere on Friday afternoon met Mugabe for more than two hours.

“He was told by the president to ensure the differencesand the challenges he has (with Mashonaland Central provincial leaders) are resolved amicably,” the source said.

“The president said he could not be involved in the issues as they concerned a province and have nothing to do with national leadership.

Yesterday Kasukuwere refused to comment on the matter referring all questions to those who were said to be organising the demonstrations.

The minister is said to be member of G40 which is opposed to Mnangagwa’s ambition to take over from the 93 year old Mugabe.

G40 is reportedly made up of mainly youthful politicians and until recently was said to be fronted by the first lady.

However, Grace is now said to be distancing herself from the faction as she seeks to build her own political base.
Sources said Mnangagwa’s faction was now trying take advantage of the schisms between G40 and the first lady to finish off their rivals.

“If they push Kasukuwere’s name to be on the agenda at this week’s politburo meeting, it would mean his case would be referred to the national disciplinary committee,” a politburo member said.

“The whole idea is to create a wedge between the first lady and him which seem to be possible as last week Mai Mahofa (Shuvail Mahofa) during the women’s league national executive meeting moved a motion to have the political commissar censured for allegedly blocking their demonstration against Sandi Moyo and Mahoka.

“But she was told off by the first lady that the women’s league has no jurisdiction to censure Kasukuwere”.

G40 insiders say Sanid Moyo had become reckless with her ambition to land the VP’s post and was now being used by Lacoste to plot the fall of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.

If their plan succeeds Mnangagwa’s position at the top will remain secure even if the women’s quota is implemented.

But Grace’s fresh determination to land the vice presidency has complicated their calculations as the Midlands politician could be sacrificed to make way for the president’s wife.
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