Kasukuwere may be in trouble, but its all part of Mugabe’s sinister game

Mugabe’s most corrupt cabinet Minister, and ruthless party cadre is facing his waterloo moment, but make no mistake, this is not an implosion, this is Robert Mugabe getting rid of rubbish he has no use for says Maynard Manyowa.

By Maynard Manyowa (Khuluma Afrika) 

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Local Government, and Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) Political Commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere is not a happy man right now. He has no reason to be. He is starring down the barrel of a loaded and potent gun. In some respects, it is his favourite gun, one he has fired at opponents a record several times.

Just last week, he was comfortable in his seat, and confident in his powers and the impunity they come with. So much so, he attacked journalists from state owned media houses, calling them ‘sons of b*tches’.

From his perspective, why not?

He was at the time the most feared Minister in the land. His combative approach to politics earned him the nickname ‘Mike Tyson’, because, like the boxer, he dispatched several and key opponents with ruthless bravado and decisive aggression in very little time. His battles never going past the second round.

He is a former intelligence cadre, accused of playing a part in the killing of Edward Chindori-Chininga, a lawmaker who had unearthed gross corruption and theft at Zimbabwe’s Diamond Fields and massive irregularities surrounding the licensed diamond operations. Operations which Mugabe concedes may have cost Zimbabwe over $15 Billion United States Dollars

When Mugabe’s wife first showed signs of wanting to join politics, and in someways take over from her husband, Tyson stood firm in her defense. Telling people at a rally that he would personally deal with people who were against her.

‘Not here, not in this province’ he said, sending a chilling warning to would be dissenters.

As Minister of Youth and Indigenization, several millions of dollars were plundered through dubiously awarded youth empowerment funds.

Companies were forced to cede with millions more in community ownership schemes, whose proceeds are yet to be accounted for.

Some even paid hefty protection fees, just to avoid Tyson forcing them to cede their ownership to black locals, but in reality black Zanu PF cronies.

As the local government minister, he sold residential land at a prime to a local prophet, in a corrupt deal that pissed off Mugabe.

But all that changed, in a few days, and with very little warning signs.

A few days after his much-publicized insult to members of a ‘biased’ fourth estate, his province, Mashonaland Central, was reported to have resolved to pass a vote of no confidence against him.

A massive demo is on the cards, planned by his juniors, against him. His peers, many of them handpicked and cherry picked by Tyson himself, in his own backyard, want him out of government, out of the party, and out of the province.

Very few could have seen this coming. It is that incredible.

Tyson is extremely wealthy. In Zimbabwe, as with most 3rd world countries, money often buys loyalty, and by a long way. When money ceases to be a factor, it often means a higher power is pulling the strings.

Another demo is planned for either Monday 3rd of April, or sometime during the week. Some reports say out of a possible top 18, 9 want him fired, while 9 want him to remain. He is hanging by a thread, barely.

He is not the first of Grace Mugabe’s allies to find themselves facing this fate. Sarah Mahoka, and Eunice Sandi Moyo, the torch bearers of the Grace Mugabe campaign, were recipients of unkind demonstrations against them just a few days ago.

Now they have been fired. Having spent the best part of 2 years insulting Vice President Emmerson, the man largely touted to take over from Mugabe.

They have been hung out to dry. After a night of passionate kissing, their lovers, Grace and Bob, has decided they are not useful any longer.

Kasukuwere is in a spot of bother. He is facing the same fate of his peers.

Perhaps what is curious is that Kasukuwere himself used the same ‘boots to asses’ tactic against several Zanu PF Youth Leaders who were known to be against Grace Mugabe, in support of constitutional democracy, or sympathetic to Emmerson ‘Croc’ Mnangagwa.

In his hands, he used the gun (vote of no confidence, suspensions and expulsions) in the manner of a 4-year-old holding an automatic weapon. He spared no one.

His reputation, his past, his character, and personality means that few Zimbabweans feel sorry for him. In fact, many are celebrating his demise, albeit prematurely. They are that desperate to see him suffer his favourite fate.

In some quarters, the move is being hailed as a turning point, that perhaps the corrupt cabal of ‘young turks’ may be on their way out, and Zimbabwe on its way up.

But evidence of this is scant. In reality, it appears another masterstroke by Mugabe. For all his evil, everything that Minister Kasukuwere did was with the blessing of his principal Mugabe, and the skirt behind his menace, Grace. At times, this was even on instruction of the terrible couple.

When Mugabe wants to protect a cadre, nonmatter how corrupt and evil, he will do so. Another member of the ‘young turks’, Professor Jonathan Moyo, the alleged brains behind the G40 faction, and Grace ascendency, face a daunting prospect of jail, after Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission investigated him for fraud, and found credible evidence of such.

He escaped by the whisker of Mugabe’s hand. His prosecution was blocked, and the anti-graft commission was moved from the Justice Ministry to The Office of The President.

What is instructive is that, Mugabe chose to save Moyo, but appears disinterested in saving Kasukuwere. On the balance of play, the latter is the more sinister of the pair, so it is clearly not a matter of competence of lack thereof. It is a case of Mugabe having no use for Kasukuwere anymore.

In the grand scheme of factional politics, Mugabe borrows himself another day. The Lacoste camp have seized on Tyson’s downfall. He has for long been the tormentor of their plight. With Mugabe out of their way, Kasukuwere presents an opportunity to settle score, and send a strong message, that the camp has the power and audacity to fall a big name.

But this all works in Mugabe’s favour. The person standing in front the desires of the war veterans to see Mnangagwa rise to Presidency is not Kasukuwere, it is not Moyo either, but its Robert Mugabe himself.

It means Kasukuwere is a bone thrown to keep the puppy busy while the master plots another slaughter. Mugabe is well aware he would lose in a battle against the croc, the security cluster, and the war veterans. But giving them a scapegoat keeps them busy, at least for one more day, as he prepares to elevate his wife to his seat.

For the millions of Zimbabweans baying for the blood of Kasukuwere, the scapegoat is yet another appeasement. A diversion that on the face of it appears noble, but is deeply rooted in factional power games.

It is all part of the sinister plot, that keeps the pack of wolves busy, and the spectators entertained. In the while, Mugabe does what he does best, rape the nation, rape his opponents, while they chew on the bones he has thrown off his table.

  • Maynard Manyowa is a contributing Editor of Khuluma Afrika: A non-partisan center for political analysis, investigative journalism, and social commentary.