Centre News Reporter
Zanu PF this week gathers in Harare for the party’s national elective congress, the first under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who has received unchallenged endorsements from the country’s 10 provinces as the sole 2023 presidential candidate.
The congress runs from October 26 to 29 at Robert Mugabe Square.
Sources say a dark cloud hoovers above the congress with the eleventh province, which comprises of the military, reportedly rallying behind President Mnangagwa’s deputy Constantino Chiwenga, whom sources claim has a soft spot for ousted Generation 40 (G40) kingpin Saviour Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere skipped the country when the eleventh province, more powerful than the other ten put together, stepped in to ‘restore sanity’ in Zanu PF and ousted the late former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
Impeccable sources say Kasukuwere still commands substantial respect and influence within the rank and files of Zanu PF structures and is said to be the blue eyed boy of Chiwenga who is Zanu PF second in command.
“VP Chiwenga does not wish to become president. What I know is that he felt betrayed by President Mnangagwa over an agreement they made when the military handed him the throne but on which he later on reneged.
“There is a good chance that Kasukuwere is coming back and is the one the eleventh province will rally behind,” said a source.
The sources said the powerful and much feared eleventh province is already looking into the future of the party and they do not see it in Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi recently came out challenging Kasukuwere to return and challenge President Mnangagwa in the 2023 water shed general elections, saying he faces an imminent embarrassing defeat.
“Kasukuwere claims that he can win an election in Zimbabwe. The borders are very open for him to come and campaign in Zimbabwe.
“Our airports have been modernized and he can get clearance just minutes after landing into the country. He should just come and contest rather than make noise on the fringes. The battle is about numbers.
“He should look himself in the mirror and introspect. It’s actually cold out there, he will be defeated,” said Mugwadi.
A week later, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa extended ‘an olive branch’ to Kasukuwere saying he should apologise and be readmitted into the party.
Kasukuwere was quick to reject the olive branch and hit back at Mutsvangwa saying he has nothing to apologise for.
He also added that he had not forgotten how he escaped death by a whisker during the so called bloodless military coup detat of November 2017.