Former president Robert Mugabe’s loyalists, including those that were forced into exile after the 2017 coup, are regrouping amid indications that they are rallying around former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere, who was forced into exile after his Harare home was sprayed with bullets by soldiers during the coup, was a key member of a Zanu PF faction known as G40.
The faction that also included former first lady Grace Mugabe was involved in a bruising battle with another one known as Lacoste, which was associated with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was Mugabe’s deputy at the time.
After Mnangagwa was fired by Mugabe and forced into brief exile in South Africa, the army intervened.
The then doddering ruler was forced to resign and his loyalists were scattered into different parts of Africa where they are in exile.
Zanu PF insiders said Kasukuwere was tapping into discontent among some of the ruling party’s key constituencies such as graduates of the Border Gezi National Youth Service, who feel excluded from the current set up.
His supporters have already started distributing campaign material.
Videos circulating as part of the campaign have people, mainly the youths, speaking on the current economic and political crisis and how Mnangagwa has allegedly failed.
“We have suffered as Zimbabweans. “Nothing is happening in the hospitals.
“There are no doctors, no nurses and women are resorting to desperate measures to give birth.
“There is a crisis in schools and I think in Zimbabwe we are lacking leadership,” says a man in one of the campaign videos posted online.
“As youths, the future is in our hands and we must find a leader, who has the youths at heart. Let us support Kasukuwere to take us forward.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday refused to comment on the developments, saying G40 members were a security threat.
“We do not discuss national security issues with the press,” he said.
A close Kasukuwere ally, who spoke on condition he is not named, confirmed that something was brewing but could not get into details.
Zanu PF national political commissar, Victor Matemadanda last week claimed there was a plot by G40 to overthrow the government and that millions of dollars had been injected into the scheme.
Matemadanda claimed that more than US$5 million had been given to the former Zanu PF members for a social media campaign.
— The Standard