Exiled former Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, has been named in court papers as the person behind a recent push to dislodge President Emmerson Mnangagwa from power.
In an affidavit, ZANU PF’s Harare provincial chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa claimed that Sybeth Musengezi, who challenged Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power, was planted by Kasukuwere to cause chaos. Masimirembwa said:
lt is believed, on investigation by the district coordinating committee security that reports to me as chairman of DCC 4 Harare and also acting chairman of the Harare Province, that Applicant was “planted” into the relevant district, without the relevant credentials for political and other reasons by the former secretary for the commissariat Saviour Kasukuwere, with whom he is allegedly related.
Kasukuwere, who was forced into exile during the 2017 coup, is now being touted in some ZANU PF circles as Mnangagwa’s potential replacement in light of intensifying factional wars in the ruling party.
Mnangagwa wants the High Court to throw out Mausengezi’s application arguing that the challenge will reverse the gains he is making as Zimbabwe’s leader.
In an answering affidavit submitted on his behalf by ZANU PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, Mnangagwa also wants the court to throw out the application because a sitting president cannot be tried. Mpofu’s affidavit reads in part:
In this regard, it is common cause that the government led by His Excellency the President ED Mnangagwa has undertaken reforms to the economy through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020) and now the National Development Strategy, which have stabilised the economy, brought inflation down from 837% in June 2020 to 55% presently; it has brought economic growth estimated by the government to be approximately 7,80/0 for 2020-2021, the highest level of growth in Africa and supported by figures from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
It cannot be sensible or convenient for this Honourable court to be invited to upset these national programmes, at the whim of some unknown figure, whose background and credentials are suspect and boarder on factional political interests as alluded to in the supporting affidavits from (Masimirembwa).
Musengezi, who is represented by lawyer Nqobani Sithole, wants the High Court to declare the November 19, 2017, Zanu PF central committee meeting that confirmed Mnangagwa as acting party president “unlawful and null and void”.
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