Self-exiled former ZANU PF Politburo member Saviour Kasukuwere said that the late former president, Robert Mugabe, wanted to hand over power to his then deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the latter was pressured by power-hungry allies to stage a coup in November 2017.
Speaking at a discussion on the fifth anniversary of Mugabe’s ouster held under the topic, Back to the Future: A Review of the Post-November 2017 Coup in Zimbabwe which was hosted by Sapes Trust last Thursday, Kasukuwere also accused ZANU PF of failing to follow its own constitution. He said:
Those colleagues were looking at the watch and wanted to taste power. Their ages were advancing and some were turning 79, others 80. If we had discussed this at the party we would not have been where we are now.
The appointment of Mnangagwa as then Vice-President was an indication that Mugabe wanted him to come in.
This was a discussion he had with us to say: ‘Let Mnangagwa come in and we can move forward.’ But ZANU PF being ZANU PF there was a secretive way of doing things which created problems for us up to this day.
We should have stuck to the constitutional process to challenge the President. The big problem in Zanu PF now is that nobody can stand up and say ‘I want to be a ZANU PF president.’
You can say that in exile, not in Zimbabwe. We should have stuck to the constitutional process to challenge the President.
Kasukuwere also claimed that Mugabe wanted to resign after the 2002 elections “but factors took place that meant he remained in office until 2008.” He said:
After the 2002 elections and thereafter, Mugabe intended to step down, but factors took place that meant he remained in office until 2008 when we had that humiliation with the MDC and he stayed up until 2013 when he won.
We thought after winning the election in 2013 he would put in place processes for a much more stable succession programme.
In 2017, he told me as his political commissar that he was stepping down. We were in Mexico attending a conference and we talked for about seven hours.
Still, it was too late because of the dynamics of the politics at that time.
Kasukuwere was believed to be among members of a ZANU PF faction known as G40 which supported Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to take over power while Mnangagwa reportedly had the support of the military. | NewsDay