HARARE – Former Zimbabwean cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has returned to Zimbabwe to run as an independent presidential candidate in general elections set for August 23.
In a statement, the 52-year-old former cabinet minister said he “accepted the call to run for office ”.
He said Zimbabwe cannot afford another five years of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s misrule.
“Mnangagwa has on all counts failed on his promises.”
“The question for the party is whether Cde Mnangagwa must be allowed to fail for another five years at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe. The country cannot afford another five years of toxic political differences, a failed economy, and social strife.
“It is time to settle this by throwing this matter back to the people through this election for them to make a choice between fear and hope,” said Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa since 2017 when former president Robert Mugabe was toppled in a military coup.
The former minister is a loyalist of Mugabe and was linked to the so-called Generation 40 (G40) faction of the ruling party, which wanted Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband. He fled Zimbabwe alongside other G40 members, who include former ministers Jonathan Moyo, Walter Mzembi and Patrick Zhuwao.
In the statement, the former minister said it was unacceptable that he “exiled myself and many other comrades over one key disagreement about how the internal succession process ought to have been handled”.
Kasukuwere briefly returned to Zimbabwe in 2018 and was arrested on corruption charges. These were later dismissed by the Harare magistrate’s court, but not before he left the country again.
In October 2020, the government sought Kasukuwere’s extradition from South Africa to face criminal charges after issuing a warrant for his arrest.
Kasukuwere said he will file his candidature in the nomination court in Harare on June 21. The former minister will be challenging incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, from the Citizen’s Coalition for Change (CCC).
Zimbabwe nomination courts will sit on June 21 to officially register candidates for general elections set for August 23.