Govt turns heat on Kasukuwere. . . as it goes after his Mazowe farm
THE government has issued a notice to seize a farm owned by exiled former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere, pictured, in Mazowe — in Mashonaland Central — as authorities take yet another swipe at kingpins of Zanu PF’s vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the ruling party is escalating its campaign to flush
out G40 members from within the ranks of the former liberation movement — on claims that they are leaking sensitive government and Zanu PF information to outsiders.
The notice to seize Kasukuwere’s farm also comes as another exiled G40 kingpin, Jonathan Moyo, has also recently been served with papers to vacate his farm — also in the prime farming Mazowe area.
In the notice to Kasukuwere — which became public yesterday, but was issued in December last year — the government declared its intention to withdraw the offer letter which granted him permission to occupy the farm.
“Notice is hereby given that the ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement intends to withdraw the offer of land made to you in respect of subdivision whole measuring 556,617 hectares of … Concorpia Farm in the district of Mazowe in Mashonaland Central Province,” it said in a letter which was written by Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri.
On his part, Kasukuwere has accused the State of persecuting him for political reasons.
“Zimbabwe Land Reform: Political persecution continues, but we shall overcome. Land has now become a full-blown political weapon,” he said on social media.
Later, he told the Daily News that he would appeal the government’s decision.
“We are going to follow the law and appeal against this decision as we feel that this is political persecution and baseless,” he said.
Kasukuwere was among the G40 kingpins who were locked in a hammer and tongs tussle with Mnangagwa and his allies during the height of Zanu PF’s ugly tribal, factional and succession wars which subsided somewhat following the 2017 military coup.
Several Cabinet ministers linked to the G40 faction — which had coalesced around the late former president Robert Mugabe’s erratic wife Grace were targeted in the coup — which brought to an end nearly four decades of the nonagenarian’s ruinous rule.
Kasukuwere, Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao subsequently fled into exile after the military scattered their faction during Operation Restore Legacy.
However, Kasukuwere later made a surprise return to Zimbabwe in 2018 — amid unconfirmed claims that Mnangagwa had extended an olive branch to him, before any such suggestions were quashed when the former Zanu PF political commissar was slapped with charges of having allegedly abused his office during his time as a minister.
The former ruling party bigwig then approached the High Court seeking a review of the decision by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya who had declined his application to dismiss the abuse of office charges he was facing for lacking the essential elements of the offences alleged.
High Court Judge Tawanda Chitapi later quashed all four criminal abuse of office charges that he was facing.
Kasukuwere has not set foot in Zimbabwe again since he left the country in 2019, to seek medical attention in neighbouring South Africa.
He recently stunned Zanu PF when he was quoted by a South African newspaper expressing his willingness to contest the 2023 presidential election.
“People want me to be the leader in leadership renewal, particularly the young people.
“People know that I stood by Mugabe. As a former Zanu PF commissar, I’m deeply respected within and beyond Zimbabwe,” he was quoted saying by the Sunday Times.
In the run-up to its annual conference in Goromonzi last year, Zanu PF claimed that the G40 faction was a threat to national peace.
Mnangagwa himself even cautioned his party officials against hobnobbing with the G40 faction that almost succeeded in blocking his ascendancy to the presidency in 2017 — before the dramatic military coup which changed things overnight.
At the same time, the ruling party’s youth league has also repeatedly claimed that there are elements in Mnangagwa’s government who have links to the G40 faction, and who must be weeded out.
“President, you are hunting with dogs that don’t belong to you. They are pursuing an agenda that does not support your vision. They are using positions which you allocated them to further their own interests and build their own legacy.
“We want to warn them that we are watching,” the party’s youth secretary Pupurai Togarepi said.
At one time, Mnangagwa also disclosed that one of his deputies — Constantino Chiwenga — had told him to toughen up and urgently deal with the rampant factionalism that was once again tearing apart the ruling party.
He made this revelation as he was responding to Togarepi — who is also the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association (Ziliwaco) — who had raised concerns about the simmering divisions in Zanu PF at the Harare City Sports Centre.
The interesting tidbit also followed recent reports to the effect that many former Zanu PF stalwarts were preparing to take Mnangagwa head-on in 2023 with the support of members of the former liberation struggle movement.
Addressing the gathered war collaborators, Mnangagwa said it was now time to ‘‘smoke out’’ those ruling party supporters who were hobnobbing with his political rivals who were plotting his ouster.
“Chiwenga always tells me that I am too soft. But I always tell him that we can no longer use tactics that we used during the war.
“But the truth is the truth. You don’t hunt with other people’s dogs. We need to find other ways to flush out other people’s dogs.
“And you, as war collaborators, can be our eyes and ears just like you were during the liberation struggle,” Mnangagwa said.