Is Mutsvangwa that powerful?


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Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko says those calling for the ouster of Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere are loyalists of war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa whose agenda is to replace Kasukuwere with someone of their choice.

Mutsvangwa was expelled from ZANU-PF last year but the party failed to dislodge him as leader of the war veterans association.

Mphoko was quoted by The Chornicle as telling war veterans in Bulawayo yesterday that: “The Kasukuwere war is not about ZANU-PF. The Kasukuwere issue is between him and Mutsvangwa not Kasukuwere and ZANU-PF. They want to infiltrate you because Mutsvangwa wants to put their person.

“How genuine are those people? They never speak when the President is being insulted. They just say Kasukuwere must be fired at the same time they are the people who allow others to insult the President. We’ve seen such things. Umlilo wamaphepha.  Lingethuselwa likhasi lenyoka. (This is a passing phase.  Don’t be frightened by a paper tiger).”

Mphoko’s statement was an admission that Mutsvangwa, though no longer officially a member of the party, still played a critical role in the sense that he could influence polticis within the party.

But this begs the question: How does Mutsvangwa do it when he is outside the party?

Could Mphoko be hiding behind Mutsvangwa when there is a much more powerful force within ZANU-PF?

One war veteran rightly asked: “When Jabulani Sibanda insulted the President he was fired from his position but these ones are not fired.  Why?”

Mphoko has for a long time been linked to the G40 faction of ZANU-PF which allegedly includes Kasukuwere and Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo.

The group has allegedly been fighting to thwart Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from ascending to power and were instead propping First Lady Grace Mugabe.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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