Kasukuwere meeting hangs in balance

A Zanu PF chairpersons’ meeting called by the party’s embattled political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere hangs in the balance after some chairpersons yesterday threatened to boycott the indaba.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Kasukuwere on Monday summoned all Zanu PF provincial chairpersons for a meeting today to discuss the state of the party, in what his critics see as a move to “test the waters” following weeks of internal agitation against him.

However, the Local Government minister yesterday said the meeting would be held next week.

“Someone did not get the message correctly. It’s not Wednesday (today), but next Monday,” he said.

Matabeleland South (Rabelani Choeni), Daniel Mackenzie Ncube (Midlands) and Mashonaland West’s Ephraim Chengeta had already indicated their unwillingness to attend the meeting, claiming they had prior engagements.

Masvingo acting provincial chairperson Joram Gumbo reportedly told State media on Monday that he was yet to be invited. By late yesterday, Gumbo said he was still to receive the invitation.

“I am not sure if there is a meeting. I have not received any invitation. In fact, I was with the national political commissar at Cabinet just now and he never mentioned anything to that effect,” Gumbo told NewsDay.

Mashonaland East’s Bernard Makokove also said he was yet to be invited.

Quizzed on whether he would attend if he were to be invited, Makokove retorted: “I will deal with that when the message comes.”

But high-level sources said the resistance against Kasukuwere was national and there was suspicion that the meeting might be used to serve a personal agenda.

“The meeting is likely to be abandoned. Even though we would have wanted to attend, people are asking in what capacity he is calling such a gathering. He (Kasukuwere) must wait for his issues to be resolved first.

“The votes of no-confidence were passed by provincial executives headed by the same chairpersons he is now summoning. It seems he wants to use this meeting as a platform to send a message that he is still in charge. He wants to exonerate himself through the back door,” a Zanu PF insider said.

Kasukuwere’s half-brother and Mashonaland Central chairperson Dickson Mafios, who was also a recipient of no-confidence votes, refused to discuss the issue.

“Call the national political commissar. I did not call for such a meeting. Talk to him (Kasukuwere),” Mafios said.

Kazembe Kazembe, who was installed as acting chairperson in the chaos that followed the demonstrations against Kasukuwere, was also unwilling to talk about the contentious issue.

Kasukuwere stands accused of running parallel structures in a bid to topple President Robert Mugabe and using First Lady Grace as a ruse to run his political project.

Zanu PF is now investigating the issue after Mugabe despatched a team headed by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda on a fact-finding mission.

The team is reportedly still compiling a report on the matter.

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