All eyes on next politburo meeting

HARARE – Attention in Zanu PF will shift to the forthcoming politburo meeting after the supreme decision-making organ of the ruling party failed to conclusively deal with a report on its national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, at its meeting last week.

Indications are that the meeting that was meant to be convened on Wednesday could be deferred to a later date in the wake of the passing on of legendary war veteran, Dickson Chingaira on Friday.

Popularly known as Cde Chinx, Chingaira died in Harare on Friday at the age of 61 and is likely to be declared a national hero.

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Early this year, Zanu PF structures across the country demonstrated against Kasukuwere, accusing him of clandestinely trying to remove President Robert Mugabe from power through unconstitutional means.

The Local Government minister faces a total of 11 charges, with the major one being that of setting up parallel structures in the provinces to upstage his boss. Kasukuwere flatly denies the allegations.

Instead, he accuses his political foes of attempting to remove him from his position because he has become a stumbling block to their factional agendas.

With Wednesday’s stormy politburo meeting ending late into the night without exhaustively dealing with the matter, the national political commissar will only know his fate at the next meeting.

A team set up by Mugabe to look into his case has produced a damning report that seems to nail Kasukuwere on some of the charges.

Parts of the report gleaned by this newspaper, confirm the existence of parallel structures in Mashonaland Central, where Kasukuwere hails from.

It also confirms the existence of two contending groups in Kasukuwere’s home province epitomised by the creation of shadow Members of Parliament and a sitting Senator.

Led by politburo member and Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, the committee said this “may of necessity create divisions and factions in the province”.

The report further alleges that the structures in Mashonaland Central — a Zanu PF stronghold — were in shambles, and that despite being a member of the national leadership of the party, Kasukuwere was a signatory to the provincial party account.

It recommended therefore that he “should stop forthwith from being a signatory to the provincial party account” and that “the politburo finds ways and means to take corrective measures to revamp the Zanu PF structures in the provinces”.

Another of its recommendations was that an audit be carried out through the national secretary for finance to investigate unaccounted funds that should have been banked in the party’s national bank account in order to ensure financial prudence in the handling of party funds in the province.

Fundamentally, the committee makes the point that it lacks the capacity to prove allegations that Kasukuwere had hatched a plan to elbow Mugabe from power. The committee washes its hands by recommending that the issue be dealt with by the intelligence services, which fall under the Office of the President and Cabinet.

“It is the finding of the committee that the petition expresses loss of confidence in the leadership of the three accused persons by bringing the name of the party into disrepute, but importantly, that the underlying reference to the parallel structures and fanning of factionalism were intended to topple the elected President.

“The committee noted that while the allegations emanating from the petition and the subsequent responses from members of the Provincial Coordinating Committee during the probe and the information submitted through the dossier, acknowledge, among other things, the existence of parallel structures the committee found it difficult to establish the nexus between the allegation of the formation of parallel structures and the removal of the President.

“This position is compounded by the fact that the national political commissar has approached the High Court to prove his innocence. In any case, the party policy directs that such issues be resolved internally,” reads part of the report.

“It is therefore recommended that the State security apparatus and other intelligence arms of government may be in a better position to make further investigations on the matter.”

According to the report, the trio of Kasukuwere, his half brother Dickson Mafios, who is Mashonaland Central province’s acting chairperson and the provincial secretary for administration Wonder Mashinge — abused their roles by selling party properties, including a vehicle, and also ran the province like their own.

It was alleged in the report that Kasukuwere administered the financial accounts of the province even though he is a national member.

This, the report said, required urgent redress to inspire confidence in the party.

“Kasukuwere was ostensibly the principal signatory to the provincial party account at the exclusion of the provincial secretary of finance, which is a gross abuse of authority by a national political leader,” reads the report in part.

The report also established the existence of competing mining interests in Mashonaland Central as exemplified in Mukaradzi and Kitsiyatota mining claims, which led to the victimisation of some Zanu PF women’s league members.

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