Mutsvangwa Suspended from Zanu PF as Grace Mugabe Moves against Mnangagwa
War veterans minister Christopher Mtsvangwa and his wife Monica Mutsvangwa have been suspended from Zanu for “gross misconduct and disloyalty”, dealing a major blow to the Lacoste faction led by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a leading candidate to succeed ailing 92 year-old dictator Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa was out of Zimbabwe on government business when the announcement of Mutsvangwa’s three-year suspension was made by party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo following endorsement by the Zanu PF politburo Thursday.
“Christopher Mutsvangwa has been suspended for three years and must not hold any position in the party,” Khaya Moyo said.
Mutsvangwa was stripped of his posts as a cabinet minister, war veterans chairperson and politburo deputy secretary for the former Chimurenga fighters.
Monica Mutsvangwa, the women’s league spokesperson, and the league’s administrator Espinah Nhari were also suspended for three years and stripped of their party posts.
Seven Zanu PF provincial youth chairpersons have been expelled from the party for “gross indiscipline and misconduct” after they launched a pressure group known as ‘Save Zanu PF’ and issued a statement last week denigrating Grace Mugabe’s G40 faction. These are Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), Godwin Gomwe (Harare), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West), Washington Nkomo (Matabeleland South), Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo), Edmore Samambwa (Midlands) and Tamuka Nyoni (Matabeleland North).
Mutsvangwa infuriated Grace Mugabe after accusing her of confusing her ‘bedroom role’ as Mugabe’s wife and that of the wife of a state president. This was after Grace Mugabe stated during one of her rallies that she was superior to the vice presidents because she was “their leader’s wife”.
Mutsvangwa also embarrassed Mugabe by organising a demonstration by war veterans against Grace Mugabe in February. The protest ended in chaos after the war veterans were brutally attacked by the riot police on the streets of Harare, an event that was televised around the world, forcing Mugabe to apologize to the militant war vets who oppose Grace Mugabe’s stated ambition to succeed her husband as president.
Khaya Moyo said the cases of suspended Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East provincial chairpersons who are also Mnangagwa allies, Kizito Chivamba, Ezra Chadzamira and Joel Biggie Matiza were still to be finalized by the party’s disciplinary committee chaired by vice president Phelekezela Mphoko, a member of Grace Mugabe’s G40 faction. The faction is now known derisively as Grace 40 or Gay 40 because two of its leading members, Jonathan Moyo and Central Intelligence Organization operative Saviour ‘Tyson’ Kasukuwere are allegedly homosexuals.
Khaya Moyo said Mutsvangwa and his wife will not hold any positions in the party during their suspension period, but will remain Zanu-PF National Assembly members for Norton and Senator for Manicaland.
Commentators said the suspensions could have dealt a death blow to Mnangagwa, whose other backers are now fearful of the might of Grace Mugabe. Before his fall, Mutsvangwa had public rows with Mugabe’s nephew and G40 leading light Patrick Zhuwao and professor Moyo.
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