The Zanu PF politburo is this week expected to decide the fate of its national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere following nationwide calls for his dismissal and investigations over allegations that he tried to unseat President Robert Mugabe.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/XOLISANI NCUBE
This comes amid remarks by Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao on Friday that organisers of the nationwide demonstrations against the Local Government minister are idiots.
Mugabe set up an investigating committee led by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to gather facts over the allegations and the report has reportedly been delivered to him.
All the 10 provinces together with members of the youth and women’s wings of Zanu PF supported Kasukuwere’s ouster on allegations that he wanted to topple Mugabe using parallel structures.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Standard on Friday, Zhuwao, who is minister of Youth and Economic Empowerment and also deputy secretary for science and technology in the Zanu PF politburo, said anti-Kasukuwere protests were illegal and organised by “idiotic factionalists”.
“There were certain individuals that were claiming to come from Mashonaland Central province and had issues with Kasukuwere. What was meant to be a localised issue then got turned into a national issue and you see certain provinces getting up to support what is happening in Mashonaland Central,” Zhuwao said.
“That was idiotic and nonsensical. It was foolishness of the worst order. I am a member of the PCC [provincial coordinating committee) for Mashonaland West. What the province did was stupid and that particular PCC was called for on a day we had Cabinet and I couldn’t attend but otherwise I was going to tell the chairman and all those who were pushing this nonsensical idea that they are being foolish and still continue to be foolish.”
Zhuwao said factionalism was destroying Zanu PF adding he was surprised that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was recently quoted as saying factionalism was healthy.
“I for one, I do not subscribe the notion that factions are good for the party; no they are not. I hope one of my senior leaders was misquoted when he said factions are good, no they are not,” he stated.
Mnangagwa was quoted in the media recently insinuating that factions were normal and healthy for Zanu PF.
But Zhuwao said the VP misfired.
“Whether it was him or somebody else, it is not proper to have factions in any formation whether political party football club or a church grouping. That thinking in my view is flawed because factions by their very own nature stop people from thinking and from being critical,” he said.
“The danger with factions is that if people are in a faction and you have somebody who has idiotic tendencies and is part of that faction you will still follow through whatever idiotic nonsense that person is coming up with.”
Zhuwao was however defensive when quizzed on why he was seemingly trying to suppress views of people who wanted Kasukuwere out.
“I have not said those views must be suppressed. No way have I stopped people from being idiotic,” he said.
“In what instance have I suppressed any views? A lot of these people have convened themselves into PCCs and displayed their idiocy and stupidity. Nowhere did I suppress them. They also displayed their disregard and disrespect of President Mugabe as the appointing authority.”
Zhuwao also spoke about the unfulfilled job promises by his party, the looting of the youth fund and the revival of the controversial national youth services.
Zhuwao is accused of supporting one of the Zanu PF factions, G40 which is locked in a bitter fight with a rival faction which is reportedly pushing for Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.
Zhuwao also said he was not happy with the concept of one centre of power.
In the past weeks, Zanu PF has witnessed intense in-fighting where Kasukuwere was the target of attacks.
Despite the challenges facing the ruling party and concern over Mugabe health, Zanu PF has endorsed the 93-year-old leader’s candidature and Zhuwao said he would trounce the opposition in spite of his age.
Zhuwao said things would be different for Zanu PF in the absence of Mugabe.
“You know why Zanu PF will win? It is because the people have confidence in President Robert Mugabe and as a party we have resolved that President Mugabe is going to be our candidate and we are lucky as Zanu PF that we have President Mugabe. It is him that will make Zanu PF win,” he said.
Zhuwao said Zanu PF has managed to create an indigenous economy arguing that jobs such as airtime vending and all sorts of street vending including roasting of maize must be counted among jobs created by the Zanu PF government.
The Youth minister also defended the revival of the dreaded national youth services commonly known as Green Bombers ahead of next year’s elections.
Concern has been raised over the Green Bombers who are feared to be Zanu PF’s tools of political violence.