Zanu PF’s plot against Saviour Kaukuwere exposed

G40 kingpin Cde Saviour Kasukuwere

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is frantically trying to use the criminal justice system to cripple former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s campaign ahead of the presidential elections, it has been revealed.

The plot includes invoking arrest warrants against the exiled Kasukewere, which his camp says were invalidated by a court ruling that acquitted him of corruption charges.

Kasukuwere, who is based in South Africa, set the cat among the pigeons when he announced that he would challenge Mnangagwa for the presidency on August 23.

He is now officially among the 11 candidates that include his former boss Mnangagwa. His nomination papers were accepted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on June 21.

Police national spokesperson Paul Nyathi has indicated that Kasukuwere, popularly known as Tyson, has two warrants of arrest for absconding court.

The warrants were issued on January 18, 2019 by retired Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya after Kasukuwere defaulted court.

Justice ministry permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza was quoted by the state-controlled media saying Kasukuwere should come home and face justice.

Kasukuwere’s chief elections agent, lawyer Jacqueline Sande, however, said the warrants of arrest would not block the former Zanu PF top official from campaigning freely.

“His lawyer Harrison Nkomo is in the process of securing cancellation of the warrants or arrest,” Sande said yesterday.

“They should have automatically fallen away by virtue of the charges having since been dismissed by a higher court.

“They need not arrest him if he comes back to the country to present himself before the court for cancellation of the warrants of arrest.”

Nkomo also said the warrants of arrest were a nullity.

“They are of no effect and legal force,” he said.

“In this case, the so-called criminal allegations against Kasukuwere were quashed by High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi.

“The legal effect of that means that anything attached to the charges falls away, together with the charges, the warrants included.

“This is why after Justice Chitapi’s judgement, Kasukuwere was refunded his bail money.”

Responding to Mabhiza’s call for Kasukuwere to come and face the law, Nkomo said: “If charges are quashed, the court record is closed.”

Kasukuwere’s ally and chairman of his movement, former Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi described the utterances by Mabhiza as unprovoked intimidation.

“No amount of threats or intimidation will deter him from his impending travel to Harare,” Muzembi said.

“We call upon all Zimbabweans to ignore these attempts to weaponise the criminal justice system by creating the public perception that president Kasukuwere is a fugitive from justice.

“After his charges were quashed, president Kasukuwere’s bail conditions fell away.

“The passport, which Mrs Mabhiza refers to expired and was subsequently renewed by the state without incident.”

Zanu PF is said to be panicking over Kasukuwere’s presidential aspirations amid fears that his campaign would benefit from divisions in the ruling party based on tribalism and discontent over Mnangagwa’s leadership.

Mnangagwa is also facing fierce competition from Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa whom he narrowly defeated in the disputed 2018 elections.

Kasukuwere, who was believed to be the leader of a faction in Zanu PF, G40, has been exiled in South Africa since the 2017 coup that brought Mnangagwa into power.

Zanu PF insiders told The Standard that the ruling party was afraid Kasukuwere would decimate the party’s votes in Mashonaland provinces and deny Mnangagwa an outright victory.

Kasukuwere was the Zanu PF national commissar, and the ruling party still uses the 2014 structures which he presided over.

“The party is panicking because what Kasukuwere is saying about Mnangagwa is what is being said in Zanu PF structures,” a top Zanu PF official disclosed.

In 2017 after forcefully taking over power from his long-time boss the late Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa vowed never to forgive Kasukuwere and former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, a former G40 member who is also in self-exile.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure however, said Kasukuwere was not a game changer in the upcoming election.

“The remote-control campaign is ineffective,” Masunungure said.

“Those in the country are failing to penetrate some areas yet he is in South Africa, so that alone will destroy whatever is the purpose of his electoral ambitions.”

Masunungure said Kasukuwere and his other G40 close allies’ plot to oust Mnangagwa was too late.

“Those are opportunists,” he said. “If they had a vision they should have gotten together at a very early stage in 2017.

“You need to be on the ground. Zanu PF has never liked serious opponents to be on the ground.

“That is why it has been banning CCC rallies. If you want to play soccer you can’t play it remotely.

“You have to be on the ground.” Another analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said Zanu PF had consolidated too much power in the past six years to succumb to pressure from Kasukuwere.

“Zanu PF has strengthened its politics of patronage for the past six years,” Ngwenya said.

“He can garner just a few votes from Mashonaland Central province, his rural home. The message he is selling is the same as Chamisa’s, so he will not make a difference.”

— The Standard

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