FIREBRAND ZANU-PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere,
has plunged the strife-torn organisation into another crisis as sharp
differences have emerged over his attempts to restructure the fractured
ruling party, the Financial Gazette.
Robert Mugabe, currently on holiday, tasked the Mount Darwin South
legislator with the tricky task of revitalising the party, which is now
more divided than ever before. In an attempt to exorcise the ghost of
factionalism that has ravaged the party for many years, the movers and
shakers of the revival process set in motion around last September by
Grace Mugabe, President Mugabe wife, have left a trail of broken souls
in ZANU-PF, which Kasukuwere is now trying to deal with.
Kasukuwere is being accused of positioning his proxies through the
restructuring, raising suspicions that factionalism, which many thought
would end with Mujuru ouster, could rear its ugly head once again.
What has complicating matters is that the Environment Minister was one
of the so-called young Turks who were rumoured to be harbouring
ambitions to succeed ZANU-PF former guerrilla leader.
are that Kasukuwere would be taken to task once the Politburo,
ZANU-PF highest decision-making organ in between congresses, starts
sitting. It hasn`t been sitting due to President Mugabe absence. But
so fierce is the resistance that Kasukuwere is said to be fearing for
his life. The combative legislator, according to sources, is making good
use of his intelligence skills and networks, since he once worked for
the President Office, to avoid being predictable in his day to day
He has also surrounded himself with his most trusted
lieutenants, who trail him wherever he goes in order to give him
protection. To avoid alerting his nemesis beforehand, he has been
refusing to share his itinerary, an indication that he could, indeed, be
fearing for his life.
Kasukuwere inherited his post from Webster
Shamu a victim of the political tsunami that hit ZANU-PF ahead of its
congress whom President Mugabe felt had performed dismally. The job is
viewed in ZANU-PF as a high-risk assignment, a perception which was not
helped by a series of misfortunes that came upon some of its previous
Shamu predecessor, Elliot Manyika, died in a suspicious
road accident in December 2008, aged 53, while travelling to Gwanda.
Manyika had inherited the post from Border Gezi, who was also killed in a
road accident when his car skidded off the Harare-Masvingo road and
crashed in April 2001.
Contacted for comment this week,
Kasukuwere, said he has no reason to be afraid as he was just doing his
job. I am just carrying out the mandate I was given by the President as
usual. I have not reneged from my duties, he said. Kasukuwere started
re-organising the party this month to ensure all its structures are
aligned to the new thinking of those appointed to lead the party until
its next congress in 2019
His first port of call was Mashonaland
East seen as the epicentre of factionalism in ZANU-PF. The ZANU-PF
Politburo member has already caused a stir in Mashonaland East after
disbanding its provincial leadership, and replacing it with an interim
executive to run the affairs of the province until fresh elections in
ZANU-PF insiders said the development ran against a
resolution passed at congress, mandating the party national elections
directorate manage internal elections. The directorate is still to be
established. His next port of call is likely to be Harare, followed by
the three Matabeleland provinces. Informed by the Mashonaland East
incident, other provinces have started to put measures to guard their
Kasukuwere was adamant this week that there were no ulterior
motives influencing the restructuring other than the desire to
strengthen ZANU-PF. He said ,I am reviving structures sorely for the
benefit of the party. I have no reason to be afraid. Death comes to
everyone. It is the natural course of life, so nothing should prevent us
from doing our work whilst we are still alive.
Already, he has
had to attend to some problems in Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland
North, reversing post congress suspensions that took place there. This
has not gone down well with some members of a faction linked to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, which wants a new order to prevail
throughout ZANU-PF structures.
Kasukuwere approach has therefore
led them to question his motives. It was a very bad start for him to
disband the Mashonaland East executive if he is serious by saying he
would rebuild the party,said one senior ZANU-PF official who declined
to be named.
The interim executive was mainly picked from a pool of close associates and one of them is Charity Manyeruke who was his lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,the official added.