President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has reportedly told five top Zanu-PF officials, who are investigating the party’s embattled political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, to call off a meeting in Bindura, after it emerged that rival party factions were planning on disrupting it.
Last month, News24 reported that close to 1 500 placard-carrying demonstrators had marched in Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province’s provincial capital, demanding that Mugabe wield the axe on Kasukuwere.
Some leaders of the protest accused Kasukuwere of harbouring presidential ambitions and plotting behind Mugabe’s back, with a view to take over power from him.
One of the provincial leaders, John Ngwenya, told the protesters who were carrying a coffin with Kasukuwere’s pictures stuck on it, that the local government minister had overstayed his welcome as a cabinet minister and senior party official.
Another provincial leader, Chantelle Mbereko, was quoted as saying that Kasukuwere had grabbed a number of unnamed mines and had parceled out residential stands to his relatives, despite the stands having been provided for Zanu-PF youths.
Reports have said that the Mashonaland central province was the first to pass a vote of no confidence in Kasukuwere, before it eventual spread to other provinces.
This reportedly triggered President Mugabe to deploy a high-powered Zanu-PF delegation last week to investigate circumstances that caused the province to pass a vote of no confidence in Kasukuwere.
The task team was made up of Zanu-PF secretary of administration Ignatius Chombo, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, Women’s League commissar Marble Chinomona, and Senate President Edna Madzongwe.
According to NewsDay, unnamed sources said that Grace had called Chombo over the weekend to call off a meeting scheduled for Sunday, after some politburo members and legislators from the province threatened to disrupt it.
This was after it emerged that the politburo members did not trust Chombo, as he was seen as being sympathetic to Kasukuwere.
“The province raised issues with the First Lady. (Kenneth) Musanhi has direct contact with Grace, so he advised her that the province does not trust Chombo. Grace had to instruct Chombo to call off the meeting,” the unnamed source was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister Martin Dinha had said that the directive came from Chombo, as some members of the task team were not available to attend.
The paper quoted Dinha as saying that they wanted the handling of the accusations against Kasukuwere to be dealt with expeditiously.
He added that the meeting had been rescheduled to Wednesday.
“We received advice from the secretary for administration [Chombo] that we will reconvene on Wednesday. Some of the politburo members who were supposed to attend were committed elsewhere. As the head of the province I want the issue to be dealt with expeditiously,” Dinha was quoted as saying.