EXILED former Zanu-PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has advised MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa against perennially resorting to the courts to settle political problems rocking the opposition party, but to take the game back to the people.
In a virtual interview with Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE) director Zenzele Ndebele yesterday, Kasukuwere accused MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe of grabbing the MDC Alliance using the courts after suffering a massive electoral defeat in 2018.
“Politics is about the people and Nelson must take the game back to the people,” Kasukuwere said.
“Let the people make decisions. It is about the people voting and the verdict will come from the people.
“If they are to go to the by-elections and a determination is made by the people, it will make all those making those decisions think twice. As it stands, the people’s will and the people’s decision is being undermined on a daily basis.”
Khupe contested the 2018 elections under the MDC-T banner and garnered a paltry 45 000 votes against Chamisa’s over two million.
“Did people vote for Khupe? The answer is no, and for Khupe, to walk in and say I am now the president of this party, MDC Alliance, I think at a personal level, I wouldn’t take such a position because I know that I wouldn’t get 45 000 votes.”
“I wouldn’t want to take an institution that somebody has built. We all know the game at play and at the end of the day, do you get the best results out of the courts or it is a political game?” Kasukuwere asked rhetorically.
Chamisa has accused Zanu-PF and the courts of using Khupe in plotting his downfall.
This was after his party was left in chaos following a controversial Supreme Court ruling in March that declared him an illegitimate leader of the opposition party.
Khupe, ruled the interim president, has recalled 84 councillors voted for under Chamisa as well as 21 MPs, apart from grabbing the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House and recently the name MDC Alliance.
Kasukuwere and his G40 colleagues, forced into exile after the November 2017 coup, have been accused by President Emmerson Mnangagwa of propagating falsehoods to create in impression of a country in a crisis.
This followed the deployment of delegations by South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa whose country insists Harare is in a crisis, an assertion denied by the ruling party.
Kasukuwere said Mnangagwa’s rise to power in Zanu-PF should be challenged, but ruled out taking the legal route saying “a political fight is fought politically”.
“I always look at what history has taught us,” he said.
“At what point do you get the law on your side especially when you have a system which is desirous to protect its turf?
“Are you sure you can go to the courts today as it is and put a case and win it? Are you sure you can challenge the coup in a court of law when the courts themselves just a few days after the coup said it was a legal process?”
He added: “I think people go to court for different reasons but in politics, you don’t need to go to court. You need to play in political courts where we continue to engage until you agree.
“You can’t take politics to court. When the judges are guarded by coup soldiers at home, do you think they will rule in your favour?”
He said there was need for Zanu-PF to reform and get the military back in the barracks.
“There is an armed Zanu-PF that does not have legitimacy. Zanu-PF is an idea and subscribes to people first and the (late former President Robert) Mugabe idea of empowerment. In its current state, it’s a no,” Kasukuwere said.
“Is this the norm? We have raised a question to say, do you use guns to solve problems? Do you hire and fire using (military) tankers? When somebody is running for their lives, you are calling for a central committee meeting to say somebody has been fired.
“Is that the way? If we do not challenge and question and put right what went wrong even in Zanu-PF, we are likely to see a repeat of that behaviour at national level and even as we go to 2023. If you institutionalise wrong behaviour from day one, it becomes a permanent feature.”
He said Zimbabwe was in pain and the leadership should find a solution.
On allegations made by Zanu-PF that he and his allies were badmouthing Zimbabwe, Kasukuwere said: “I am Zimbabwean and I don’t have to badmouth anyone. What I say here is what I will repeat anywhere else. I don’t have to badmouth my country.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party was considering using all tools available to it.
“We will fight this battle using all tools available to us. There are no short stories in politics. What’s indisputable is that political power lies in the people,” she said.