Self-exiled former local government minister and kingpin in the renegade Generation-40 (G40) faction Saviour Kasukuwere recently made moves that showed intention to resurrect his frozen political career and run for the number one job in the country in the upcoming presidential elections in 2023.
Kasukuwere recently emerged from the political wilderness after he went public with his plans to challenge the ZANU-PF leadership in the 2023 elections.
He launched a campaign code named Tyson Wabantu, which is a movement pushing for the election of Kasukuwere, popularly known as ‘Tyson’ to replace Emerson Mnangagwa as the country’s leader in the 2023 presidential election.
Now based in South Africa, Kasukuwere was axed from ZANU-PF at the height of the November 2017 military operation that deposed former Robert Mugabe and replaced him with President Emerson Mnangagwa.
The G40 which was led by the former higher and tertiary education minister Jonathan Moyo, was a conglomerate of young Zanu PF cadres that had plans to usher in a younger regime but was outlawed in the so called “soft coup” of November 2017.
However, Kasukuwere’s presidential ambitions have been described by ZANU-PF’s secretary of information Christopher Mutsvangwa as ‘moonlighting’ from a failed politician who is seeking relevance.
Therefore, pertinent questions have arisen. Is the G40 attempting a Houdini act? How relevant is the G40 in the current discourse of national politics and more importantly, can the ghost of G40 come to life again?
In addressing these questions, Rejoice Ngwenya a political analyst said Kasukuwere’s promise of return to politics is hollow and his historical background discredits him.
“Kasukuwere is totally irrelevant to today’s political order. He may intimidate a few ZANU-PF people, appease those with a Mugabe hangover but he can only divide opposition votes. His violent past, corruptive behaviour and Mugabe connection has already discredited him. There are only two credible presidential candidates in 2023-Nelson Chamisa and Emerson Mnangagwa,” said Ngwenya.
Ngwenya further went on to say that Kasukuwere’s ties with ZANU-PF are very good reasons for any citizen to not even consider him as an option to vote for come 2023.
“Saviour Kasukuwere is damaged goods. Only those with utmost hatred for Mnangagwa will vote for him. That electoral ‘hate bloc’ is not enough even to win him the Mt Darwin constituency.”
Ngwenya urged Kasukuwere to try and venture into another career and forget about politics since his umbilical code is still attached to ZANU-PF which make him any less different from a party that has failed the country.
G40 and current mainstream politics
Another political analyst Pride Mkono also read the last rites for Kasukuwere’s attempted comeback.
“The so-called Tyson Wabantu movement is just a social media hype by a few individuals who probably want to have him back in ZANU-PF but as it stands, he has no political backing whatsoever as it relates to political structures and social groupings. ZANU-PF is predominantly rural, most of those people are not on social media so they wouldn’t even know what is being discussed on these platforms which are dominated by powerful opposition voices such as Chamisa’s party,” he said.
Mkono believes that the G40 has little impact to make on the political landscape in Zimbabwe unless something major happens.
“The G40 has since ceased to exist as a faction within ZANU-PF because it has no leader to coalesce around and it has no structures of its own that can drive particular agenda. So, as it stands, it is just a figment of political imagination, that cannot pose any serious impact on the political landscape as we see it now unless something major happens. For example, the events that happened in 2017 when there was a military coup, when soldiers tried to rope in the likes of Kasukuwere to come and try to revive and get political legitimacy.”
“However, outside something as massive as that, there is absolutely no political life for them within the short and long term,” he said.
“It cannot be disputed that the G40 and its ambition to unsit Mnangagwa in the 2023 elections is a tall task. For Kasukuwere himself, it is evident that his political career died with his expulsion from ZANU-PF and outside the ruling party, he does not have any tangible social support to push the agenda of their movement.
“As it stands, there is no doubt that Chamisa has emerged as the eye of the storm of the opposition in Zimbabwe and he is the only credible opposition to Emerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the coming 2023 elections.” said Mkono
One staunch supporter and the brains behind the G40 faction during its days in ZANU-PF Jonathan Moyo was quoted in the media positing that the G40 exists only as a powerful idea which has no other life beyond that.
He said, “G40 exists only as a powerful idea about generational renewal, but not as a group. It is absurd that Zimbabwe’s youth population is being held hostage by a clueless old guard whose politics are based on an entitlement revolution that is the enemy of human rights, diversity, inclusivity and democracy.”
With the odds stacked against him, it remains to be seen if what remains of the G40 and the Tyson Wabantu social movement can return to national politics. As for Kasukuwere, did his political career die with his expulsion from ZANU-PF ?
Only time will tell.