Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Perceived allies of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa loose elections

HARARE - Perceived allies of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF’s new political commissar Savior Kasukuwere lost the party’s keenly-anticipated primary elections in Mt Darwin yesterday — as the seemingly omnipresent ghost of ousted VP Joice Mujuru continues to haunt the ruling party.
Perceived allies of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa loose elections
The Mt Darwin West seat fell vacant after Mujuru was appointed VP on September 11, 2013 — following that year’s disputed national elections.

Former Zanu PF spokesperson and one of the main players in the group of liberation war heroes and pioneers who want to take President Robert Mugabe head-on, Rugare Gumbo welcomed the result of the primary poll but said they were worried that the party could reverse the results.

“We are happy that at least a vote took place, that is what we strive for in democracy. The people were given the right to vote and they exercised their one-man one-vote policy which is why we went to war to remove the Rhodesian regime.

“It’s good that an election took place — our only worry is that the results will be changed to suit certain people’s agenda,” said Gumbo.

The country is now set to hold by-elections on March 27 not only for this constituency, but also for the Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe seat which fell vacant following the appointment of Mnangagwa as VP late last year after Mujuru was sacked from the position.

While it has been relatively smooth sailing for Mnangagwa in the Midlands, with his wife Auxilia set to contest for the seat — the VP is having a torrid time trying to exorcise the ghost of Mujuru across the rest of the country where she remains a force to reckon with.

Godfrey Tsenengamu, perceived to be a key ally of Mnangagwa, and one of the youth leaders who led the crusade against Mujuru, clinging on the petticoats of quarrelsome First Lady Grace Mugabe, surprisingly lost the Mt Darwin primary elections to businessman James Seremwe. Dickson Mafios, the Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central province, confirmed the results to the Daily News yesterday.

“The results have been sent to the party headquarters for official confirmation. Seremwe won the elections, but I am not allowed to give the breakdown of results. You can get them from the commissariat,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Kasukuwere said “mira ndikufonere manje manje (let me call you soon),” but never called back.

While the primary elections may appear insignificant, insiders said yesterday “it was the crucial stage for Mnangagwa and Kasukuwere to showcase their newfound powers”.

“The Mujuru factor is still very strong and that is why people voted for Seremwe.

“It is not that they liked him much but he is one of them and was not part of the crusade against Amai Mujuru. On the other hand, people are against the establishment of an empire by these people. Although Seremwe is not directly linked to Mujuru, the vote was a snub to the Kasukuwere and Mnangagwa camps which are seeking to remove the former VP from the political landscape and clear their path to power,” said the party official from the province.

To worsen matters, the coming by-elections are being snubbed by the main opposition MDC party led by Morgan Tsvangirai on the grounds that no voters’ roll was available.

Whereas Mnangagwa was said to be backing the outspoken Tsenengamu, Kasukuwere and his reported half brother, Mafios, were allegedly backing Caleb Karima, who came out third in the race.

The faction aligned to Mnangagwa is presently locked in a nasty and escalating fight for the spoils of their thuggish victory over Mujuru, with many hardliners in the camp apparently feeling that they have not been rewarded sufficiently for their role in annihilating the Mujuru camp.

So bad have relations become in the Mnangagwa camp that some of its members are even begrudging the fact that Mugabe rewarded Mnangagwa with the VP post despite the fact that he allegedly “played a lesser role in the ousting of Mai Mujuru”.

Kasukuwere is allegedly part of the so-called “Gang of Four” — said to also comprise Oppah Muchinguri, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao, the group that is said to be already looking at life not only after Mugabe but also Mnangagwa.
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