Saviour Kasukuwere has declared he is ready to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the Zimbabwe presidency during a virtual meeting with supporters.
In his first public comments about his political future, the former Zanu PF political commissar – who fled to exile in South Africa after the military toppled Robert Mugabe in 2017 – said he was answering a “clarion call” from supporters.
With Mnangagwa now entrenched after retaining the Zanu PF presidency unopposed in October, it was not clear what political vehicle Kasukuwere would use to mount a challenge.
Kasukuwere separately told ZimLive that he was ready to return to Zimbabwe ahead of general elections in the second half of next year.
In an audio obtained by ZimLive, Kasukuwere is heard telling his loyalists: “This price is not an easy price that we are looking for. It will be challenging but we have to do it.
“We sought realignment with the party (Zanu PF). We have had discussions and the party would have said what happened, happened; how do we resolve going forward.”
Kasukuwere was dismayed his career and those of some former party politicians have been ruined for aligning with Mugabe during Zanu PF’s internal fight for party control as it became apparent the late leader’s advanced age at the time was not going to allow him to continue at the helm of both party and country’s leadership.
He was frustrated Mnangagwa has failed to forgive his erstwhile comrades long after the incumbent had cemented his position as the Zanu PF number one.
Kasukuwere was back in Zimbabwe 2018 but was forced back into exile when it seemed apparent the Mnangagwa regime was still keen on settling scores with old foes.
Said the former cabinet minister and Mount Darwin lawmaker, “I have spoken passionately about the pain that many of us have gone through and what we are still going through; we hoped engaging would make a difference but what is quite clear is that there is no room, that is quite clear.
“There is no room for the party to engage their cadres, the party is tip-toeing, the party would rather have defectors for ED, we are being divided. We are being pushed around.
“It’s not because they don’t know what must be done or what should be done to rebuild our great party but because his (Mnangagwa) selfish interests have taken over.”
Kasukuwere added, “There are issues in the party, harassment, feud and labelling, so many comrades continue to lose their jobs and positions because they are said to be associated with the G40.”
The politician appeared critical of his colleagues Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao’s recent decision to write an open letter of apology to “Zanu PF comrades”.
“Yes there have been issues, to say write letters, apologise, for different circumstances other comrades have decided to do that,” he said.
“Don’t be in haste comrades, we might meet hurdles, we still have time as how we must resolve our question Zimbabwe; there’s issues of security of individuals which should be handled.”
The politician declared he was ready to mount a challenge for the country’s leadership.
“I’m available and if people say yes, lead us, I’m ready to do that, I’m not a coward, I’m not a fool,” he said.
“No leader must impose himself on people, no leader must say it’s me, it’s me, it’s me. Let the people make the decision.”