ZANU PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s political life hangs by the thread after ex-combatants from Matabeleland South, North and Bulawayo yesterday joined their colleagues from other provinces in the campaign to have him replaced by someone with liberation war credentials.
by XOLISANI NCUBE/SILAS NKALA
The war veterans argued that Kasukuwere be removed from the post of commissar and replaced by one of theirs.
“The war veterans’ association Matabeleland South and North and Bulawayo provinces stick to the resolutions by the national executive that secretary for lands be held by a member with war credentials, as everyone knows the core fundamentals of the liberation struggle,” read the statement ahead of the party’s annual conference in Victoria Falls.
Kasukuwere has been at war with a section of war veterans, who accuse him of being a member of the ambitious G40, which is said to be working against the ascendency of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the throne post President Robert Mugabe.
Although the combative Local Government minister has denied fighting war veterans, he has exchanged harsh words with the association’s leader Christopher Mutsvangwa.
The war veterans said Mugabe, who has the sole mandate to appoint politburo members, should replace Kasukuwere with someone who participated in the armed struggle.
“More so we are worried about victimisation of some war veterans in the party,” the statement read.
“As war veterans, we feel the Gamatox elements [Former VP Joice Mujuru supporters] are still maneuvering within the party ranks in the form of Generation 40. This is an indication of resurrection of divisive elements of gamatox.”
Kasukuwere courted the ire of war veterans when he accused some of them of being drunkards and since then there has been a campaign to have him replaced.
Zanu PF is divided into two camps, some backing Mnangagwa, while others are decidedly opposed to his rise and are working with First Lady Grace Mugabe to scupper his ambitions.
In Mashonaland East, the war veterans’ association has resolved to support the demand that one of the VPs, be a woman — but that has to be rotational, meaning the next female deputy should come from ex-Zapu members in line with the unity accord signed in 1987 — which brought the two liberation parties, PF Zapu and Zanu together.
The group also resolved to support the First Lady as the party’s secretary for women affairs from now till 2018 and beyond.
“The province backs the demand by the women’s league for quota system for women representation, but on a rotational basis between two signatories to the 1987 unity accord,” read the statement signed off by one S Maguma, the provincial secretary-general.
If the resolution is adopted at the conference, it puts Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s job on line, as he will have to step down for the female candidate, most likely not Grace.