By Mark Mhukayesango
Gweru, March 30, 2016 – Zanu PF’S Generation 40 (G40) continues to dominate party politics in Midlands after it emerged party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and his acolytes have banned provincial meetings being organised by a rival camp.
All meetings, according to Zanu PF insiders, were now supposed to be sanctioned by acting provincial chairperson, Tapiwa Matangaidze.
The public service deputy Matangaidze was thrust onto the hotseat recently following the suspension of Kizito Chivamba, who is linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s so-called Team Lacoste.
G40 comprises a group of younger party politicians purportedly fighting to ward off plots against President Robert Mugabe’s faltering rule.
The group, which has in its ranks, Higher Education and Indigenisation Ministers Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao, is also rooting for the first lady to become next president as her 92 year-old husband nears the end of his lengthy political career.
Both camps have been at each other’s throats as the battle for Zanu PF control gets bitter by the day.
The fallout has also sucked in police who have been accused by the Mnangagwa camp of siding with their party rivals through banning their parallel meetings.
Frank Muzorera, a Zanu PF activist in the province told RadioVOP that the Mnangagwa group felt hard done by the police who were being used as pawns in the party’s bitter succession fights.
“Police were told by the officer in charge that they should not sanction any meeting without notification from Matangaidze,” said Muzorera.
He said one such meeting was called off in Gokwe after Mnangagwa’s rivals were accused of plotting against President Mugabe.
Zanu PF Midlands spokesperson, Cornelius Mpereri confirmed the suspension of all meetings by Kasukuwere who has vowed to make life difficult for his fellow comrades in a province in which Mnangagwa supposedly controls.
“I can confirm that we have received information that we should suspend our meetings, but we asked that we conduct our last meeting in Kwekwe. As part of the other meetings,” said Mpereri.
The party’s succession fights have in the past few months turned so hostile that war veterans who form part of Mnangagwa’s support base have vowed to make life tough for the Matangaidze led provincial executive.
Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has similarly been throwing punches from the G40’s corner.
President Mugabe has persistently frustrated loyalists through failing to stamp his authority in a situation in which his lieutenants are tearing each other apart.
The veteran leader has been accused of siding with G40 through failure to condemn the group’s divisive activities and in some instances coming too hard on G40 rivals.
The battle hardened political schemer is often seen as trying to suppress the influence of any stronger party faction in his feuding party in a bid to protect his own job.