President Robert Mugabe will make several appointments to the Zanu PF politburo at the party’s annual conference that starts in Bulawayo on Thursday, secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa confirmed yesterday.
There are fears that President Mugabe might use the conference to deal with some politburo members who were quoted in US diplomatic cables released by whistle blower website WikiLeaks criticising his leadership.
Mutasa said the fresh appointments would be necessitated by the death of some politburo members.
Ephraim Masawi (deputy national commissar), David Karimanzira (secretary for finance), General Solomon Mujuru (committee member) and Khantibai Patel (committee member) will be replaced.
Mutasa told NewsDay he did not believe President Mugabe would drop some members from the soviet-style politburo because of WikiLeaks.
“I do not think that it is so, but members of the politburo who have passed on will be replaced,” he said.
“We have people like (Ephraim) Masawi and others who have passed on.”
Some of the officials implicated by WikiLeaks included Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Youth Development, Indeginisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere and politburo committee members Jonathan Moyo and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.
A number of senior Zanu PF officials, including Mutasa, had indicated the party would deal with those who were quoted criticising Mugabe as some of them went as far as calling for the 87 year-old leader’s ouster.
But Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa told NewsDay in a separate interview that there was no place for a discussion on WikiLeaks on the agenda.
“I don’t know, which party will find time to deal with Wikileaks. We have more pressing issues to deal with,” Mnangagwa said.
“I have prepared the agenda for the conference and I can tell you it does not exist on our agenda.
“We have no time to deal with WikiLeaks.”
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has cancelled a meeting of former liberation movements from Southern Africa that was supposed to run on the sidelines of the December 6-10 conference after a poor response.
The targeted parties included Frelimo from Mozambique, MPLA (Angola), Swapo (Namibia), Unip (Zambia), Chama Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Tanzania) and ANC (South Africa).
“The liberation movements communicated with us that they were busy in their respective countries and requested that we move the meeting to next year,” Mutasa said.
About 6 000 delegates are expected to attend the conference.