Embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s biggest sympathizer, War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa is facing the boot in today’s politburo meeting following a heavy beat-down by President Robert Mugabe.
The minister, a staunch supporter of Mnangagwa’s assumed presidential bid, was savaged by Mugabe a fortnight ago after he called an unsanctioned war veterans meeting he allegedly falsely claimed would be addressed by the nonagenarian.
The planned meeting, which was scheduled for the City Sports Centre in Harare, was thwarted by the police.
Following the incident, Mugabe had no kind words for Mutsvangwa in a televised speech, with the fuming 92-year-old saying he should explain his actions.
“For him (Mutsvangwa) to have called a meeting about which we knew nothing about, in circumstances in which he had not clearly sought permission from the authorities in violation therefore of the law, and he being a minister, he cannot at the end after the law and order officers have taken action against the meeting and the war veterans, complain that he was ill-treated.
“He must bear the responsibility,” Mugabe thundered, adding ominously that Mutsvangwa would pay for his misdemeanours.
“He has acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible and a manner that brings the name of the party and government into disrepute.
“We regret that they suffered this (police battering) but the man to blame is their minister and of course he has to answer why he did that without authority.”
At the heart of the pummelling, as well as Zanu PF’s worsening factional wars, is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession — where the major players are a faction loyal to Mnangagwa, known as Team Lacoste, and the party’s Young Turks, who go by the moniker Generation 40 (G40).
Mutsvangwa is in the same category with some of the alleged VP allies who are currently under the cosh in the ruling party.
These are the provincial leaders of Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East — namely Kizito Chivamba, Ezra Chadzamira and Biggie Matiza respectively — who are also facing the boot.
Among the litany of charges being flung against the trio are those related to their alleged ‘continuing undermining’ of Mugabe and his powerful wife Grace, as well as claims that they are fanning factionalism in the governing party.