PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Monday effectively ordered an end to State media attacks against local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere but curiously failed to mention Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo.
Speaking at State House as received presents from his cabinet, Mugabe asked information minister Chris Mushohwe why the State-owned newspapers were attacking Kasukuwere.
Said eh Zanu PF leader; “I read in the papers, aah hanzi (they say Saviour) Kasukuwere is what and what.
“I don’t even know, there being articles Kasukuwere, Kasukuwere aah nhai VaMushohwe chii ichocho (Mr Mushehwe, what is that all about)?” he asked.
“This being a member of Cabinet. If there are wrongs he has done, we have a dignified way of looking at ills and wrongdoings of all of us.”
He continued: “We are a dignified party and if we are going to punish someone we will punish him even to the extent of dismissing him.
“Zvekungo zhambatata-zhambatata let’s not do it and if The Herald is to act like the opposition, richiri paper here?”
Kasukuwere, also the ruling Zanu PF party’s political commissar, has dominated the State media lately being accused of undermining First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rallies and also supposedly plotting to topple the president and take over power.
Demonstrations were staged in parts of the country Monday against the local government minister, with ruling party activists demanding his expulsion from Zanu PF.
However, Kasukuwere is not the only minister to have been the target of State media attacks and protests by Zanu PF activists.
Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Sandi Moyo was also accused of undermining Grace Mugabe with countrywide protests organised against her last week.
Mugabe did not comment about Moyo’s case but condemned the protests saying, “mademonstrations it’s not the Zanu way, it was never, ever, ever the way of our party which has created us. This is a primitive way of doing things actually”.
However, analysts were not convinced by the Zanu PF leader’s affecting to be above the factional divisions rocking his party.
Said UK-based Alex Magaisa on Twitter; “… here is Mugabe, the ultimate puppet-master steps in to calm things, balancing the factions as he always does.”
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) director Pedzisayi Ruhanya had this to say: “I think the President is not being honest enough because we know that the president is both in charge of the party and the state.
“And if those demonstrations are not in the interest of Mugabe and his family, they will be stopped in a minute.
“He can attempt to mislead people but, we all know his political behaviour. Mugabe turns right when he is going to the left and this is what he has done today.”
Ruhanya added that the Zanu PF did the same thing when former vice president Joice Mujuru was removed from office; “Mugabe actually went to a politburo meeting and told Oppah Muchinguri to end demonstrations that she had started.
“It is Mugabe who is responsible for all these demonstrations. No one can orchestrate all those demos without his approval. He wants to appear that he is not in charge of everything that is going on right now in order to mislead people.
“All the chaos that is taking place can be traced back to Mugabe’s bedroom. There is nothing new, even those in his party know that the problem lies in his bedroom.
“At 93, Mugabe can continue to mislead Zimbabweans but people are aware of his character. All the chaos in Zanu PF that is currently going on is the succession politics. Who will lead the party after he is gone?”