FIRST LADY Grace Mugabe and Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere are reportedly not on talking terms as internal fissures rocking Zanu PF over President Robert Mugabe’s throne continue unabated.
Mugabe’s wife, who is also the ruling party’s Women’s League boss, reportedly snubbed local government minister Kasukuwere at this week’s politburo meeting in the capital.
“Kasukuwere extended his hand to greet the First Lady but she openly ignored him without explanation.
“Some people have tried to explain it by claiming that she ignored the Commissar because they had been together earlier in a disciplinary meeting that sealed former Harare acting chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa’s fate and replaced him with Charles Tawengwa,” an insider told NewZimbabwe.com.
He added: “However the situation was touchy as Grace walked in front of Kasukuwere smiling at all but the local government minister.”
Zanu PF has been rocked by serious internal wars since in the run up the party’s 6th national congress which was held last December.
The internal fights resulted in the expulsion of over 80 senior leaders, among the them deputy party leader and state vice president Joice Mujuru.
Also expelled were presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa who doubled up as party secretary for administration and then spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
The group was accused of plotting to remove Mugabe violently including working with Western governments hostile to Zanu PF to have the veteran ruler assassinated.
Mujuru and crew have denied the claims. Former information minister, Jonathan Moyo, at one time described the accusations as “political banter”.
However despite the brutal purges, Zanu PF has remained on edge with more fractures emerging.
Kasukuwere is reported to be part of a group of so-called Young Turks going by the moniker G40 that, at one time, included Oppah Muchinguri, Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwawo.
Reports have indicated the group is falling apart after Muchinguri crossed the floor to throw her lot with vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa with the First Family still sitting on the fence unsure of which group to support.
But Kasukuwere’s seemed to have gotten one over Mnangagwa’s group that also included new Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo following the furore surrounding the selection of a candidate to represent the party in Harare East before the June 10 by-elections.
The latest fall-out could signal Kasukuwere’s fall but the political dynamics in Zanu PF remain volatile with insiders claiming the minister wants to sell Mnangagwa a “ruse” and plans to have the vice president in a false sense of security before striking.
“But Mnangagwa is smarter than that and Tyson (Kasukuwere’s nickname) must watch his step. He is trying to hide in a football pitch,” said the source.