ZANU PF Mashonaland Central province yesterday stuck to its guns that the party’s two deputy presidents must be elected, a resolution that is seen as targeting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, although it said this should be implemented at the 2019 congress rather than at next month’s conference.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/OBEY MANAYITI
There had been hullabaloo over the resolution, with a section of the party up in arms, as they said this whittled down President Robert Mugabe’s powers — as the one centre of power — but Mashonaland Central stood by its position.
Provincial chairperson, Dickson Mafios claimed the province had not sought to have the contentious resolution implemented at the conference, but rather at the party’s next congress in 2019.
“People thought we were targeting their factional godfathers, but our resolution is targeting the next party congress, not the sitting Vice-Presidents,” he said.
“That madness is gone now; the people are behind their chairperson. The province is clear that the one centre of power principle must give way to democratic processes that should see the Vice-Presidents elected at congress.”
Mafios’ brother and Zanu PF national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, who attended yesterday’s provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Bindura, confirmed the resolution was not aimed at turning the forthcoming conference into an elective indaba.
“The Mashonaland Central resolution was never meant for this year’s conference. It was twisted along the way to suit some agenda that we do not know. The resolution is meant to be implemented at the 2019 congress,” Kasukuwere said.
The resolution is viewed as a concerted effort by a faction of Zanu PF known as G40 to get rid of Mnangagwa.
“We allowed the districts to look at the resolution and all of them supported the chairperson and the resolution except for Bindura. But our position has not changed. It was just a bit of confusion,” Mafios said.
Sources, who attended the meeting, said all the districts showed support of the resolution, except Tinashe Matangira, the provincial youth secretary, who professed ignorance of it, and when quizzed why he was making an about turn on a resolution, he was party to, he claimed he was possibly asleep when it was passed.
Mnangagwa’s backers, mostly war veterans, have been calling for action against Mafios.
Mugabe has managed to tip-toe around the issue of changes to the party constitution repeatedly, which are reportedly meant to pave way for a female Vice-President, ostensibly his wife, Grace.
The provincial war veterans’ branch in Mashonaland Central yesterday weighed in arguing Mafios was only a proxy in the messy succession fight.
“It must be clear that Mafios is merely a megaphone; the architects are his brother and boss, the failed political commissar, Kasukuwere, and the professor (Jonathan Moyo). Kasukuwere’s denial can only fool the dead. His hand in this mess is not so hidden,” Mashonaland Central provincial war veterans’ chairperson, Sam Parirenyatwa said in a statement.
He said Moyo immediately supported Mafios, showing that the whole resolution was a G40 plot against Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, several provincial youth chairpersons yesterday threw their weight behind the resolution, as long as it was supported by the party.
Bulawayo chairperson, Anna Mokgohloa said the resolution was welcome, saying VPs should be voted for.
Masvingo provincial youth chairperson, Nobert Ndaarombe said the resolution was welcome because sometimes those appointed end up abusing their privileges for other sinister motives.
“It is better to have the VP going through an election. They should be voted for,” he said, adding those appointed by Mugabe end up abusing their new-found powers.
Isaiah Mandaza of Mashonaland Central described as unfortunate the stance by other provincial leaders, who are reneging on the resolution that was made by all the wings in the province.
Manicaland provincial youth chairperson, Mubuso Chinguno said the resolution was in order, saying those who criticised it were afraid of losing in an election. He also said youths supported the position that one of the VPs should be a woman.