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Opinion / Columnist

High noon for Kasukuwere?

14 May 2017 at 15:54hrs | Views
All eyes are on the brawling Zanu-PF's next politburo meeting, amid confirmation yesterday that the probe team appointed by President Robert Mugabe to investigate grave allegations against the party's under-fire national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, has completed its work.

This comes as Kasukuwere's Zanu-PF adversaries in his restive home province of Mashonaland Central are also insisting that the beleaguered Local Government minister is "a dead man walking" politically and that it is now "a matter of time" before he is relieved of his duties in the warring former liberation movement.

At the same time, and with his back to the wall, Kasukuwere has carried through his threat to slap Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister, Martin Dinha, with a second lawsuit inside two weeks.

But Dinha, a lawyer, told the Daily News yesterday that Kasukuwere was "fighting a losing battle" as his political fate had allegedly been "sealed" after the ruling party's 10 provinces passed a vote of no confidence against him.

"He is already in the sewage pond and he cannot claim any loss of dignity or honour, or self-esteem because he is already in the gutters. I cherish the day I will cross-examine him and expose to the whole world what I know about him.

"He is running scared which is why he has thrown the $500 000 lawsuit against me. I am aware that my brother-in-law (Kasukuwere) is a part-time second year law student at the University of Zimbabwe.

"I am also aware that he is excited to put (his legal) theory into practice, but my advice to him is to stop all these litigations until he has fully studied the law on defamation.

"He is a public official and active politician who is subject to public scrutiny and accountability. The game of politics is a rough game which involves kicking, biting and screaming. This latest lawsuit shows how desperate a man he is.

"He wants to gag the press and intimidate me into silence, but I will not be intimidated by him . . . I am a lawyer by profession and law is my food," Dinha told the Daily News.

Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past few weeks, with angry Zanu-PF supporters pushing for his ouster from both his party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting Zanu-PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central.

Amid the calls by Zanu-PF supporters for him to be stripped of the party's powerful post of national political commissar, the public spat between Kasukuwere and Dinha has escalated.

In his latest legal action, Kasukuwere is suing Dinha and State media on account of recent sensational claims that he was working with combative former African National Congress (ANC) youth leader and now South African opposition leader, Julius Malema, to remove Mugabe from power.

Both Kasukuwere and the erudite Malema have robustly pooh-poohed the claims.

In his latest defamation suit, Kasukuwere said Dinha's claims "are untrue, wrongful and defamatory" and "were intended and were understood . . . to mean (Kasukuwere) is dishonest, violent, power hungry, pretentious and unworthy of leadership.

"The defendant's said words were further understood to mean that the plaintiff is a criminal with intentions of toppling a constitutionally-elected president.

"As a result of the defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of $500 000," he charged.

Dinha and Kasukuwere have been throwing brickbats at each other ever since Kasukuwere was put on political notice by his home province.

Later, Kasukuwere accused Dinha of working with his enemies in the party to have him axed from the former liberation movement.

"Dinha is an instrument to aid the regime change agenda. His activities in Mashonaland Central are clearly aimed at advancing a factional position.

"He has made himself the point man to advance a so-called alternative narrative and at the same time lying that he is close to the first family and abusing this theory.

"I will soon expose his hidden agenda of fast-tracking regime change, and I will dispose of all his allegations one by one.

"Besides the hidden agenda he is pushing at the behest of the real people who no longer want the president, he has a personal agenda where he asked me to help him lobby to be the minister of Justice.

"If he wants that job, he has to approach the appointing authority who is . . . Mugabe," a fuming Kasukuwere told the Daily News then.

But Dinha, who claimed to have received death threats days after publicly backing the ouster of Kasukuwere, in turn parried the claims.

Zanu-PF insiders have claimed that Kasukuwere and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo are two of the kingpins of the Generation 40 (G40) faction which is fiercely opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

This faction has for some time now been described as being "at sixes and sevens", following the growing pressure that has been brought to bear on its leading figures.

Sources have also previously told the Daily News that Zanu-PF's ever-fluid factional and succession politics were changing gear again, as there was now an apparent realignment of alliances within the warring former liberation movement - as Mnangagwa's allies cranked up their assault on the G40.

Observers have also consistently said Mugabe's failure to resolve Zanu-PF's thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party's deadly infighting, which is worsening by the day.

The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that the party's congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own

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Source - dailynews
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