People know that I stood by Robert Mugabe right up to the bitter end. I am deeply respected within Zimbabwe and beyond," said Kasukuwere. "I interacted with former SA Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. They know me. I have links with business people in the region as well as former allies of Mugabe across the world."
FORMER Zanu-PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere has told South African media that he is going to challenge for the presidency in 2023 due to popular demand, support from disgruntled Zanu-PF and MDC supporters.
Kasukuwere, who for ten years was a Cabinet Minister before fleeing the country in November 2017 when the military took over, said he has also been receiving financial backing from allies of the late former President Robert Mugabe across the world.
Nicknamed Tyson, Kasukuwere told the Sunday Timesthat he was initially reluctant to challenge Zanu-PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but disgruntled MDC and Zanu-PF members have urged him to “take the bull by the horns.
“People know that I stood by Robert Mugabe right up to the bitter end. I am deeply respected within Zimbabwe and beyond,” said Kasukuwere. “I interacted with former SA Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. They know me. I have links with business people in the region as well as former allies of Mugabe across the world.”
Kasukuwere’spokesperson, Ntokozo Msipa, said Kasukuwere’s ten years as Cabinet Minister meant that “he now knows the mistakes that need to be corrected.”
Msipa added: “There’s need to find a solution to the political and economic problems in Zimbabwe. The youth comprise 60% of the total population, and we have been subjected to much suffering.”
Kasukuwere would not be drawn into declaring whether he will contest the 2023 elections as an independent or under a political party. His ally, Jonathan Moyo, also said he would not want to comment on Tyson’s political moves.
Speaking to the same South African publication, Zanu-PF political commissar Victor Matemadanda said Kasukuwere was “all foam and no beer.”
This is despite the fact that President Mnangagwa in Zanu-PF’s last politburo meeting said the G40 was a threat to national security and warned party members against liaising with the vanquished G40 functionaries.
Two months before the 2017 military coup, Mugabe himself challenged Kasukuwere to drop his ambitions
G40 was started by Kasukuwere after the election of Barack Obama as the American President in 2008. Obama was in his 40s and Kasukuwere said we also want a leader in his 40s, and they called themselves the G40,” Mugabe told a youth interface rally at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura, in September 2017.
“But now Obama is gone. That should end. We have a history and processes to follow.”
Kasukuwere’s ten years as government Minister were cut shot when the military toppled Mugabe with the help of MDC and Zanu-PF MPs who were moving to impeach the liberation icon. He, together with colleague and former Zanu-PF propagandist Professor Jonathan Moyo made good their escape via Mozambique and were reportedly assisted by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.
Recently, prominent Zanu-PF activist and social media influencer Acie Lumumba has been pitching a campaign trail on social media for Kasukuwere. This is despite the fact that previous election results have shown that social media has very little impact on Zimbabwe’s electoral outcome.
The World Bank said in 2017 that about 69% of registered Zimbabwean voters are in rural areas and farming compounds, where Zanu-PF consistently wins with crushing margins.
Apart from Kasukuwere, other former Ministers who fled the country after the military takeover include Jonathan Moyo, Mandiitawepi Chimene, Walter Mzembi and Patrick Zhuwao, a nephew of Mugabe’s