Saviour Kasukuwere is back but falls out with comrades

Saviour Kasukuwere offered Emmerson Mnangagwa a herd of cattle for safe return

27 May 2018 - 00:00 By ELIAS MAMBO

Saviour Kasukuwere, once a close ally of Robert and Grace Mugabe and a member of the G40 faction, returned to Zimbabwe this week, six months after he began negotiations to forgo exile in South Africa.
The negotiations for his return began days after the fall of Mugabe in November.
The Sunday Times has learnt that an agreement between Kasukuwere, a former cabinet minister, and the military ensures that he "stays out of politics".A source said: "As early as the end of November, Kasukuwere indicated he was not ready to permanently live in exile.
"He pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He sent emissaries and offered a herd of cattle, about 40 cows, which were rejected.
"[Kasukuwere] knew that negotiations were under way, so he decided to keep quiet and never issued statements that denigrated the new administration. If anything, on the day that Mugabe resigned, Kasukuwere welcomed the new order and wished [Mugabe] well."
Kasukuwere is the nephew of new Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, who is understood to have helped arrange his return.
"The two agreed that as long as he would keep out of politics he was guaranteed of a soft landing," the source said.
Kasukuwere last week denied that he had been in talks with authorities.However, military sources said he had been told that his return would be agreed to only if he did not take any leadership position in the National Patriotic Front, the new party that was formed by the G40 faction led by the Mugabes.
A few weeks ago some NPF supporters wanted Kasukuwere to take over the leadership, but any such move faded after reports that Mnangagwa would in that case order his arrest.
At a meeting in the northern town of Bindura this month, the NPF women's league leader, Sarah Mahoka, announced - amid chants of support for Kasukuwere - that the party leadership would leave for the airport to welcome back Kasukuwere.
However, when Kasukuwere arrived, two former cabinet colleagues from the Mugabe administration, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao, accused him of selling out to the military.
Upon arrival, Kasukuwere was questioned by police and released.
Kasukuwere this week refused to comment on either his future plans or the breakdown in his relationship with Moyo and Zhuwao.
"I have just arrived and it is in my best interest to remain quiet and avoid the press because this will not go down well with all parties involved," he said.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said Kasukuwere must have made a deal with the government before he returned, and that it was likely that the authorities found him useful. "It is very clear that Kasukuwere cut a deal with the current administration because he was not only an alleged 'criminal around Mugabe' but one of the key G40 strategists [and] central to the Zanu-PF internal strife," Masunungure said.
"There is no way a person who escaped the bullets could just return smoothly, as if he left the country peacefully. The deal must be of value to the new administration and it may be around providing critical strategic intelligence, relations and even resources that sustain the NPF."
NPF spokesman Jealousy Mawarire said Kasukuwere would not take over the party's leadership.
"Kasukuwere is not a member of the NPF," Mawarire said...

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