NEWLY-ELECTED Zanu PF provincial executives are reportedly on a witch-hunt targeting party employees aligned to their rivals and dismissing them on spurious allegations of incompetence and insubordination, NewsDay has learnt.
JAMES MUONWA/FELUNA NLEYA
The issue has become more pronounced in Mashonaland West province where provincial chairman Temba Mliswa has sought permission from the party’s secretariat department to wield the axe on 20 party employees on charges ranging from incompetence, insubordination to stifling party programmes.
Party insiders said they feared the purge was likely to spread to other provinces where provincial elections were marred by faction fights. These include Masvingo, Midlands, Manicaland, Matabeleland North and South provinces and Bulawayo.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa yesterday confirmed receipt of Mliswa’s letter, but said he was not in a hurry to respond to the request.
“Yes, I received the letter where they (Mashonaland West) were requesting to have some people fired or transferred,” Mutasa said.
“It will not be proper for us to just fire or transfer people so we will take the issue to the workers’ committee so that they can guide us as to what we should do,” he added.
Mliswa, in a letter dated February 7, 2014, wrote to Mutasa, “ . . . This decision, although unfortunate, was brought about by the following points that have grossly affected our efforts to make meaningful progress in the province: The provincial administrator (Fanuel Chikomba) seems to be overwhelmed by his mandate, he has failed to rein in the chaos prevailing within the staff which is clearly incompetent and have failed to carry out their basic duties.” Mliswa accused the workers of failing to keep proper and accurate records, falsifying records, alarming levels of insubordination among the rank and file, theft of party regalia and “a lackadaisical attitude” towards work, among other allegations.
He said a new staff complement to replace the current crop would be recruited and the sacked employees should be paid their severance packages following a negotiated payment plan.
But, Chikomba said no official communication had been dispatched to the affected employees.
“Yes, I have heard this (dismissal) through the rumour mill, but nothing official has been communicated to us,” Chikomba said.
Mliswa was diplomatic when contacted for comment yesterday, saying: “I would like to clarify certain critical points and anomalies that are raised in your so-called letter. The first of which is the use of the word ‘dismissal’. In my letter and as part of our resolutions as a province, we have requested first and foremost a reassignment with regards the current staff in the province.”
This development comes amid emerging reports that morale is low at most Zanu PF provincial offices as workers have not been paid for some months. Mutasa, however, denied reports that the party was failing to pay employees at its headquarters and provincial offices.
“Which provinces are you referring to? I am not aware of that, as the administrator of the party I am not aware of that. Those people are lying, they should tell you which provinces.”
However, Mutasa’s denials are in contrast to the financial reports tabled at the Zanu PF conference held in Chinhoyi in December which showed Zanu PF was broke.