Tendai Mugabe and Felex Share
Thousands of placard waving Zanu-PF supporters in Mashonaland Central and Midlands provinces yesterday staged demonstrations calling for the expulsion or resignation of the party’s national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and his half-brother, Cde Dickson Mafios, over a slew of charges they said threaten Zanu-PF’s victory in next year’s elections.
Among other charges, Cde Kasukuwere, who is also the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, stood accused of plotting to topple President Mugabe, fanning factionalism, setting up parallel structures, and insulting and disrespecting the party’s leadership.
Cde Kasukuwere was also accused of threatening journalists, of corruption, promoting regionalism and tribalism.
The highly subscribed demonstration in Mashonaland Central that brought business to a standstill in Bindura, saw the participation of 10 legislators from the province and members of the provincial executive that are fed up with Cde Kasukuwere’s leadership style.
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The legislators in attendance were Cdes Nicholas Goche (Shamva North), Remegio Matangira (Bindura South), Joseph Mapiki (Shamva South), Christopher Chitindi (Muzarabani South), Douglas Karoro (Mbire), Walter Kanhanga (Guruve North), Kazembe Kazembe (Mazowe West), Kenneth Musanhi (Bindura South), Monica Mavhunga (Senator Bindura/Shamva) and Fortune Chasi (Mazowe South).
In the Midlands Province, a similar demonstration was held yesterday, with youths and women marching in Gweru calling for the immediate ouster of Cde Kasukuwere.
It is understood that tempers were also simmering in Mashonaland East against Cde Everisto Pfungute, who was imposed by Cde Kasukuwere as deputy provincial chair and was setting up parallel structures in the province.
In Mashonaland Central, people defied threats by Cde Kasukuwere’s henchmen and come out in huge numbers to participate in the demonstration.
Minister of State in Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office Cde Thabeth Kanengoni-Malinga and some members of the Zanu-PF provincial youth league were accused of intimidating people to stay away.
Police details were present, ensuring peace prevailed during the demonstrations.
Some of Cde Kasukuwere’s backers threw fliers in Bindura trying to discredit the demo, but without success.
Cde Kasukuwere was spotted at a coffee shop yesterday morning in Belgravia where he was allegedly scheming on how to stop the demonstration.
He was in the company of Cdes Patrick Zhuwao (Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister) and Shadreck Mashayamombe (Harare provincial commissar).
The demo began at Tendai Hall, Chipadze Shopping Centre where people were singing songs denouncing Cde Kasukuwere, while others were waving placards.
Some of the placards read: “This thug must go”, “Ko nzou dzedu dzakafa nei kuHwange”, “Mafios $96 000 yemacards iripi: Sungwa mhani.”
Songs that dominated the event included “Taneta kunyengerera” and “Kasukuwere uri nhata”.
There was also a mock funeral procession where youths were carrying a coffin, which they said signified the demise of Cde Kasukuwere’s political career.
The procession was accompanied by a song “Famba zvinyoro-nyoro”, as people left Chipadze Shopping Centre heading for the party offices at the Showgrounds.
Cde Kasukuwere’s half-brother, Dickson Mafios reportedly fled the office on hearing the demonstration had started.
At the party’s provincial headquarters, several people took turns to nail Cdes Kasukuwere and Mafios, saying they should be expelled from the party.
A petition with a list of charges against the two was handed over to Mashonaland Central deputy chairman Cde Kazembe, who submitted it to Central Committee member Cde Martin Mavhangira for onward submission to President Mugabe.
Zanu-PF secretary for health in Mashonaland Central Cde John Ngwenya said: “These two people (Cdes Kasukuwere and Mafios) were evil, more than the devil.
“If we want to unpack their charges here we may end up sleeping here. You have made history today the people of Mashonaland Central. It was written that you will be here all of you when we expel Dickson Mafios, Getrude Chibhagu, Isaiah Mandaza, Miriam Kadara and Thabeth Kanengoni.
“We are saying these people should be expelled because they have failed to lead us as a province and as a nation at large.”
Cde Ngwenya accused Cde Mafios of loose morals saying he had snatched the wife of an elder with the Salvation Army.
He said the “Matope brothers”, as Cdes Kasukuwere and Mafios were commonly referred to, were corrupt and were trying to grab Kitsiyatota Mine that is owned by members of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
Secretary for indigenisation in Mashonaland Central Youth League Cde Ruwizhu Faranando had no kind words for the pair.
“Cde Kasukuwere and his brother were decampaigning the President,” he said. “Decampaigning the President is not just moving around saying you don’t like the President, but your actions and behaviour speak louder.
“So, we are removing those bad apples before we go for elections. We should clean up this mess. Pamberi with the deletion of Matope (Kasukuwere and Mafios clan).
“You all know what was being done by (Cdes) Kasukuwere, Mafios and Mashange. We are saying to them Zanu-PF is not your personal property and I am saying lets unite against this evil spirit. We are not happy as a party, we are not happy as a province and we are not happy as the mass of Zimbabwe. We have a lot of people who were fired from the party by (Cde) Kasukuwere for no apparent reason.”
Leader of war veterans in Mashonaland Central Cde Sam Parirenyatwa said: “The whole country is looking at us today saying it’s you the people of Mashonaland Central who gave us this person (Cde Kasukuwere), who has destroyed our party.
“As war veterans, we are concerned with developments in Zanu-PF. It is because of these traitors whom we have allowed to hijack our party. We saw it as war veterans that (Cde) Kasukuwere is not fit for the post of political commissar, but they had managed to manoeuvre their way to the State House and no one listened to us.
“Now several reports are coming out saying war veterans are against President Mugabe and the First Lady. I want to state it clearly that those claims are complete falsehoods. What we are simply saying is that there are now thieves among us that include the likes of (Cdes) Kasukuwere, (Secretary Science and Technology Prof) Jonathan Moyo and Mafios.
“They pretend to love the President during the day, but steal from his people during the night and in the end people hate the President. As war veterans we are saying today Mashonaland office is now ours. We are telling (Cde) Kasukuwere, Mafios and Mashange that we no longer want to see you here at this office.”
An elderly woman, Cde Emily Gwevo, who was holding a placard with Cde Kasukuwere’s crossed face said: “Uyu atinetsa uyu. Ngaaende zvake.”
In Gweru, the demonstrators handed over their petition to Women’s League provincial secretary for administration, Cde Perseverance Zhou.
She responded: “You have handed me a list of your grievances among which you are saying Cde Kasukuwere has destroyed the party and is fanning divisions.
“You have also accused him of working in cahoots with Cdes (Sarah) Mahoka and (Eunice) Sandi-Moyo in undermining the First Lady and the President. I will hand over the grievances to the provincial chairwoman (Cde Elena Shirichena), who is going to take them further.” checked kachere
In Midlands Province, the Women’s League members and youths also expressed dissatisfaction with prominent businesswoman Mrs Smelly Dube, whom they accused of using her financial muscle to destabilise the party.
The party members accused Mrs Dube of diverting land meant for youths and women developmental programmes.
“Some of your grievances are that Mrs Dube took land that belonged to the State, which she was allocated for developmental programmes for youths and women and sold it to individual home seekers,” said Mrs Zhou.
“You have accused Mrs Dube of using her financial muscle which she amassed through the party’s empowerment programmes to destabilise the party and plotting against the First Family.”
The demonstrators walked through the streets of Gweru to the party headquarters waving placards with messages that accused Mrs Dube of using money to destabilise the party, undermine the party’s provincial leadership, as well as corruptly acquiring gold mines and land for residential stands.