“The Centre Can No Longer Hold”: Tsenengamu
8 March 2020
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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF fear a popular uprising by ordinary Zimbabweans who are enduring the worst economic crisis in the country for a decade, expelled former Zanu-PF youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu has revealed.

This comes as the church, regional peers and Western powers are stepping up their pressure on Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to get to the negotiating table, in a bid to turn around the country’s sagging fortunes.

To make matters worse for the country, the ruling party is struggling to contain growing fissures within its ranks — which are approximating the ugly levels that led to the dramatic ouster from power of former president Robert Mugabe via a military coup in November 2017.

Speaking to the Daily News On Sunday yesterday in an exclusive interview, Tsenengamu – who says he now feels “free” to express his views openly, claimed that the centre no longer held in Zanu-PF which expelled him last Wednesday, for allegedly denigrating the party’s top leadership, including Mnangagwa.

“These people are very much aware that they are underperforming in government, but are putting on brave faces.

“They know that things are not well in the country. So, they will not allow anyone in the party to say the truth because that would cause trouble for them.

“They will chase away anyone who reasons. That is why you see them choosing words like anarchy, negative shows, sideshows. You can literally touch the desperation in them,” Tsenengamu let rip.

The fearless former youth leaguer, who has now been expelled from Zanu-PF for the second time, also confirmed that there was serious discord in the ruling party, which he claimed was affecting progress and delivery in government.

This comes as there has been widespread but unconfirmed talk that Mnangagwa is allegedly at odds with his deputy and former army general Constantino Chiwenga — the man who catapulted him into the presidency in 2017 through the coup that felled Mugabe.

“If you look at the party, it is not only the leadership, but also … the grassroots that is in flux. We have a problem within the top leadership because they are not sincere and true to their words.

“They are always playing games, playing hide and seek with each other. There is a lot of mistrust among the leadership. It is saddening that we might witness the same scenarios that we witnessed during the G40 (Generation 40) era.

“This is the beginning of chaos in the party that has so many lawyers who chose to ignore their own constitution and ignore corruption,” the unleashed Tsenengamu told the Daily News On Sunday.

“There is a lot that is happening in the party that shows clearly that the centre can longer hold,” he said further .

The former youth league national political commissar was cut loose last Wednesday by Zanu-PF’s politburo, days after he also let rip at Mnangagwa for allegedly “reneging on his earlier promises” made before he ascended to power.

Then, Tsenengamu had been on suspension, together with former youth league secretary Pupurai Togarepi and his deputy Lewis Matutu, after the trio accused some prominent businesspeople with links to the ruling party of corruption.

Although Togarepi did not take part in the infamous press conference that caused the ensuing ruckus, he also paid the price for allegedly failing to rein-in Tsenengamu and Matutu.

And while Matutu appeared to have heeded the party’s directive to go for ideological re-orientation, Tsenengamu remained defiant — raising temperatures last week when he accused Mnangagwa of mimicking Mugabe’s ways.

Speaking exclusively to our sister paper the Daily News then, Tsenengamu — who was already facing expulsion from Zanu-PF after his home province of Mashonaland East called for his ouster — threw barbs at Mnangagwa for having allegedly failed to “live up to his promises”.

“I was looking at what the president wrote in November 2017 after he had been expelled. He spoke against party capture, vindictiveness … about ideas of making Zimbabwe great again … and against corruption.

“Where has he gone wrong? Maybe it is premature to judge him because he has been in power for a short period of time.

“But I am worried because he has not delivered on his vision. I am hoping that he will deliver,” Tsenengamu said.

He also said that his suspension from Zanu-PF, as well as that of Matutu, was also contrary to the promises Mnangagwa had made in his 2017 speech while he was in short-lived exile in South Africa, after fleeing from Mugabe and his goons.

“In 2017, we said expulsions were wrong and this is exactly what they (Zanu-PF and the ‘new dispensation’) are doing.

“I have been suspended for a year without a hearing and now they are threatening to expel me, again with no reason.

“If you look at the letter that was written by the president when he was in exile, he spoke against corruption and blasted the former president for pursuing his family interests,” Tsenengamu added.

He told the Daily News On Sunday yesterday that things were “falling apart” in Zanu-PF, while claiming further that the leadership was “just putting a show of unity” in public — “masking deeper faulty lines” in the party.

“But they will always avoid discussing issues affecting the party or the country at large. They are in denial. They know we have a crisis in the country, but will always pretend that all is well.

“You see them taking pictures together and having programmes together, but deep down the mistrust runs deep because they are just trying to manage public perception.

“The leadership is not in agreement in terms of how to deal with issues like corruption. There is also no sincerity to unite the party and that is why there was never an attempt to unite the party following the demise of the G40,” Tsenegmau said.

“Those people were Zanu-PF, but only belonging to a different faction. It was a political contestation, but now you see them going after former G40 ministers, taking their farms.

“This raises questions about the quality of our leadership. As long as our leaders are vindictive and survive on toxic politics, we will never have genuine peace and unity in the country.

“I don’t know what they are afraid of. What I discovered while in Zanu-PF is that they are always afraid,” Tsenengamu bellowed further.

“If you look at what they said before they got in power and what they are doing now, it is worlds apart. The crackdown on the opposition and civil society exposes their fears.

“The leaders whom we thought we knew before the new dispensation and those that are leading now are different.
“Because they know that people are disgruntled they are always finding ways of silencing dissenting voices,” Tsenengamu said further.

“If you could have them expel me for speaking against corruption, what about those who threaten their power? They will unite on the surface … but remain divided inside,” he added.

Daily News