LEADERSHIP wrangles in the ex-President Robert Mugabe-backed National Patriotic Front (NPF) have triggered a nasty fallout between former G40 kingpins, who are reportedly the party’s founding members.
The former Cabinet ministers who formed the core of the vanquished Zanu PF G40 faction before the birth of NPF have taken to social microblogging site Twitter attacking each other over alleged links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
Former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao have accused former Zanu PF national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere of working with Mnangagwa, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Central Intelligence Organisation boss, Isaac Moyo to negotiate his return home.
On Monday, Moyo accused the military and Zanu PF of using a former G40 kingpin to derail NPF, without mentioning names.
Yesterday, Moyo was more brazen, saying Kasukuwere had been negotiating a safe passage for the past five months.
“The term new dispensation to define period after illegal ouster of President Mugabe was coined and first used in a tweet by Hon Kasukuwere on November 21, 2017 shortly after President Mugabe’s forced resignation.
“Last five months, he’s been negotiating with ED, Chiwenga and CIO’s Isaac Moyo to return,” he said in a tweet accompanied by a newspaper clip.
In a tweet that was later taken down, Kasukuwere, without directly responding to Moyo, said he would return to Zimbabwe at his own time and there were no criminal charges against him.
On Monday, Zhuwao also launched a scathing attack on Kasukuwere, saying Zanu PF was planning on creating a copy-cat of the NPF to be led by the latter.
“Reports coming through are that the military junta is incubating the establishment of a copy-cat to the NPF to be called ZNPF in an effort to derail the real NPF.
“The reports indicate that this copy-cat ZNPF junta project will seek to hijack the membership of the real NPF and subsume them under the leadership of Saviour Kasukuwere.
“Kasukuwere has been reported at some meetings of the real NPF as either having been arrived in Zimbabwe or as being on the verge of landing in an effort to tie his supposed leadership of the copy-cat junta project with the real NPF,” he wrote in a blog post.
Zhuwao distanced himself from Kasukuwere’s supposed political machinations, saying he was not convinced he was the right person to lead the NPF.
“Some of the reasons for my taking such a position include the fact that Kasukuwere has been actively discouraging efforts towards the establishment of the real NPF up to a point where I stopped engaging him on the progress of that endeavour,” he continued.
Zhuwao accused Kasukuwere of having high level interactions with the military, which meant he could not play any meaningful role in NPF.
The former minister was also wary of “Kasukuwere’s dogged desire” to return to Zimbabwe, saying he could only come back after he had been given assurances of his safety.
Kasukuwere yesterday declined to comment on the allegations and attacks.
“I will not comment on that,” he said.
Moyo, Zhuwao and Kasukuwere are all in self-imposed exile following Mugabe’s ouster last year.
Kasukuwere has been linked to the fight for the leadership of the NPF, with reports claiming he would be coming back to the country to lead the party, a move that has irked Moyo and Zhuwao, who now claim their old time friend was working with the Mnangagwa regime to destabilise the new party.
The fallout manifested at the weekend after it was alleged lawyer Farai Mutamangira was set to take over the leadership of the party from Ambrose Mutinhiri.
NPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire yesterday attacked party members who expressed their personal views purporting to speak on behalf of the party, adding the leadership issue was a process of deliberation from founding members, not an individual decision.
“Attempts by some cadres identified and appointed to specific roles by the party’s founders, to arrogate themselves power to impose leaders of their choice is patently unconstitutional as these appointed officials have not been subjected to any electoral process themselves,” he said, insisting Mutinhiri is still the leader of the party.