Mutsvangwa on the brink as 'Stop it!' Grace returns, Zhuwao twists knife

Staff Reporter

Grace Mugabe

Patrick Zhuwao

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s influential wife Grace is reportedly back home after a trip abroad paving way for what could be a crucial Zanu PF politburo meeting on Wednesday.

The ruling party’s top decision making body outside congress was due to meet last week by the gathering was postponed.

Officials did not explain the postponement, but Zimbabwe News Now has reliably been informed that Grace, who chairs the party’s women’s league and also sits on the national disciplinary committee was out of the country.

Over the past week ministers Jonathan Moyo and Chris Mutsvangwa have rowed publicly, trading insults in the media, each accusing the other of being disloyal to Mugabe.

Mutsvangwa, who chairs the war veterans’ association and also represents the ex-fighters in cabinet, has demanded the expulsion of Moyo from Zanu PF, accusing him of being an enemy agent deployed to destroy the party from within.

The attack also followed another by President Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, who accused the so-called G40 group, reportedly led by Moyo, of trying to engineer the succession of the 92-year-old veteran leader.

Other claimed members of G40 include local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao who also happens to be Mugabe’s nephew.

The group is said to back Grace as successor, with Moyo publicly dismissing the chances of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa – the other alleged succession claimant.

On Monday Zhuwao rose to Moyo’s defence, accusing Mutsvangwa of being a traitor.

Not helping Mutsvangwa is the fact that he was hit with a no confidence vote for allegedly attacking Grace.

Addressing a press conference in Harare, Zhuwao said Mutsvangwa was a traitor because he was on good terms with European Union diplomats.

He rejected the war veterans minister’s claims that they had a good working relationship.

“I can never accept a situation in which any State entity or grouping disregards and tramples on the democratic expression of the sovereign people of Zimbabwe,” Zhuwao told reporters.

“The European Union has maintained sanctions on his Excellency, President Robert Mugabe, and the First Lady, Amai Dr Grace Mugabe, who are the embodiment of the sovereign state of Zimbabwe.

Many war veterans

“For the record the EU’s position of his excellence President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady Grace Mugabe makes it completely unacceptable for any serious leader within Zanu PF to contemplate, let alone announce that they have cordial relations with the EU which continues to place the First Family on sanctions.

“This is totally deplorable. I can never reach accommodation with those that hobnob with such retrogressive forces.”

Zhuwao said the party’s national displinary committee which includes Grace, Kasukuwere and G40 ally vice president Phelekezela Mphoko should endorse Mutsvangwa’s expulsion from Zanu PF.

“Chris Mutsvangwa was only recommended to be a member of the Zanu PF central committee after (the party’s) Mashonaland West province withdrew its recommendation for Webster Shamu,” said the youthful minister.

“In order to dispel any misinterpretation that may be propagated, I wish to emphasise that Chegutu district is home to several other war veterans who can quite easily replace Chris Mutsvangwa at the Zanu PF central committee.”

The empowerment minister continued: “Chris Mutsvangwa is not a sacred cow.

“I say this in order to forestall any mischievous narrative that may seek to portray my position as a blanket position against war veterans.”

The empowerment minister said although Mugabe urged party members to respect the leadership elected at Zanu Pf's 2014 congress, Mutsvangwa was an exception.

“That position (Mugabe’s) does not give cart blanche for all acts of treachery disloyalty,” he explained.

“His Excellency’s position can never, by any stretch of imagination, be misconstrued to condone the hobnobbing that Chris Mutsvangwa admitted to with the European Union which still maintains sanctions on the president and first secretary of Zanu PF who also the President and Head of State of Zimbabwe and the secretary for women’s affairs in Zanu PF and First Lady Amai venyika (Mother of the nation).”

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Denis Gwenzi
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