ZANU PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu has offered an olive branch to people who had turned their backs on the party in frustration, as he hopes to revive the party’s waning electoral fortunes in the province.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Among the members Ndlovu is courting were former provincial women’s league chairperson Evah Bitu and Elifasi Mashaba, who ran Zanu PF’s fundraising activities in Bulawayo.
In a wide-ranging interview yesterday, Ndlovu, whose appointment to lead Bulawayo province was greeted by murmurs of disapproval, said his task was to reorganise the party and he would start engaging with those who had quit.
“The task I was given was very simple: It is to organise the party so that all members can fully participate and that all marginalised groups must be allowed to participate in the transformation of the party,” he said.
“The first thing I did was to lift suspensions that were imposed on individuals that were not carried out in accordance with the constitutional guidelines of the party, which clearly states that any person who deserves suspension should be subjected to disciplinary processes, which includes a hearing .”
For years now squabbling has characterised Zanu PF in Bulawayo, with several chairpersons having been suspended under a cloud in a short period.
Zanu PF was divided into several distinct factions and Ndlovu hoped that he could bring everyone together.
Despite engaging with the frustrated members, Ndlovu would not say whether Bitu would retain her post as the women’s league chairperson.
“We are not going to say she becomes chairperson, but for her to participate in the party,” he said. “She can be chairperson if the people want to elect her, it is the prerogative of the women’s league.
“All those people are back, what we are saying is we do not support arbitrary suspensions because one person does not like the other.”
Bitu was suspended from her position in May 2010 on allegations of failing to organise regular party meetings, but insiders said at the time of her sacking she had been a victim of infighting within President Robert Mugabe’s faction-riddled party.
Besides Bitu and Mashaba, Ndlovu invited back former provincial chairperson Isaac Dakamela who had sunk into oblivion following his sacking last year.