Re­con­sider res­o­lu­tion on elec­tion of VPs

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

RE­PORTS that Zanu-PF Mashona­land Cen­tral Province has chal­lenged the rul­ing party’s one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple and gone off tan­gent by break­ing ranks and ag­i­tat­ing for the elec­tion of Vice Pres­i­dents dur­ing the forth­com­ing An­nual Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­fer­ence made sad read­ing.

In its res­o­lu­tions ahead of the con­fer­ence in Masvingo next month, the province said the one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple ush­ered in by an amend­ment to the party con­sti­tu­tion in 2014 should be ad­justed to al­low mem­bers to elect VPs. Zanu-PF has one cen­tre of power the Pres­i­dent who ap­points his deputies and Polit­buro mem­bers.

Most prov­inces have al­ready made for­ward look­ing res­o­lu­tions, among them the en­dorse­ment of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe as the party’s can­di­date in the 2018 elec­tions. They have also ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the sta­tus quo as re­gards the party’s con­sti­tu­tion but in a sur­prise de­vel­op­ment reek­ing of fac­tional un­der­tones, Mashona­land Cen­tral has cho­sen to go against the party con­sti­tu­tion, ar­gu­ing that the one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple was not demo­cratic and not “ben­e­fit­ing” any­one. “There is a need for flex­i­bil­ity in a demo­cratic sys­tem,” Provin­cial Chair­man, Cde Dick­son Mafios, said.

“There is need for flex­i­bil­ity to ad­vise the Pres­i­dent that we ad­just that con­cept of one cen­tre of power, be flex­i­ble such that the Vice Pres­i­dents be elected.”

He claimed that se­nior of­fi­cials ap­pointed by the Pres­i­dent were “not pro­tect­ing his in­tegrity.” “It does not make sense. The one cen­tre of power, what is it ben­e­fit­ing?” Cde Mafios said.

“The Pres­i­dent is un­der at­tack and no one is pro­tect­ing him. We want peo­ple to iden­tify those who are able to pro­tect the Pres­i­dent. Of course, one cen­tre of power is there but prac­ti­cally peo­ple are de­fy­ing. We are aware that even the Pres­i­dent is elected and if the Pres­i­dent is elected why not also the Vice Pres­i­dents? We are wor­ried.

“At the mo­ment we want to see the Pres­i­dent’s in­tegrity be­ing pro­tected by se­nior mem­bers within the hi­er­ar­chy of the party. But when we see that there is no pro­tec­tion and peo­ple are talk­ing a lot of rub­bish, we won­der why those peo­ple who have been ap­pointed by the one cen­tre of power keep quiet when the Pres­i­dent is be­ing lam­basted.”

Fur­ther, Mashona­land Cen­tral also pro­posed that one of the VPs should be a woman.

Fol­low­ing the amend­ment to the Zanu-PF con­sti­tu­tion in 2014, Sec­tion 32(1) (b) now stip­u­lates that there should be “Two Vice Pres­i­dents and Se­cond Sec­re­taries ap­pointed in ac­cor­dance with the Unity Ac­cord by the Pres­i­dent for their skill, ex­pe­ri­ence, pro­bity, in­tegrity and com­mit­ment to the party ide­ol­ogy, val­ues, prin­ci­ples and poli­cies.” Af­ter he was em­pow­ered by the party as one cen­tre of power to make key ap­point­ments, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe ap­pointed Cdes Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his deputies.

This was af­ter a re­al­i­sa­tion that the prac­tice of elect­ing VPs and other of­fi­cials had be­come a breed­ing ground for fac­tion­al­ism, in­di­vid­u­al­ism and mul­ti­ple cen­tres of power that af­flicted Zanu-PF in the run up to the 2014 Con­gress.

Quizzed on why the province was ze­ro­ing in on VPs and not in­clud­ing Polit­buro mem­bers, Cde Mafios re­torted: “We have put for­ward a res­o­lu­tion that VPs should be elected and why all this in­ter­ro­ga­tion?”

We find the res­o­lu­tion by Mashona­land Cen­tral to be ill-ad­vised and go­ing against the let­ter and spirit of the Zanu-PF con­sti­tu­tion. We also feel the province is chal­leng­ing the au­thor­ity of the Pres­i­dent by openly seek­ing to usurp his pow­ers which were be­stowed on him by the party. By at­tempt­ing to sneak in a self­serv­ing amend­ment into the party con­sti­tu­tion to ad­vance fac­tional in­ter­ests, the province risks split­ting the party and putting the name of the Pres­i­dent into dis­re­pute.

Clearly, the cadres in Mashona­land Cen­tral are tak­ing fac­tion­al­ism and re­gion­al­ism to a new high through their con­tro­ver­sial res­o­lu­tion which is tan­ta­mount to re­belling against the Pres­i­dent. They are bet­ter ad­vised to re­scind their ill-thought res­o­lu­tion and re­place it with one that will pro­mote unity and co­he­sion in the party. Zanu-PF is at a cross­roads and needs to close ranks if it is to mount a suc­cess­ful elec­tion cam­paign for 2018.

As the party of the rev­o­lu­tion, it should be cog­nisant of the cru­cial role it plays in safe­guard­ing the found val­ues and ethos of the na­tion. The party has a man­date to gov­ern handed to it by the peo­ple of Zim­babwe and it should be seized with de­liv­er­ing the prom­ises it made to them and not con­cen­trate on di­vi­sive and nar­row self­ish in­ter­ests.

The con­fer­ence is an op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­spect and find last­ing so­lu­tions to prob­lems af­fect­ing the peo­ple of Zim­babwe not a theatre to grand­stand along fac­tional lines. The prac­tice of elect­ing VPs and other of­fi­cials of the party is dan­ger­ous as it pro­motes fac­tion­al­ism and cre­ates many cen­tres of power. It should never be coun­te­nanced. We there­fore im­plore Mashona­land Cen­tral to re­con­sider their res­o­lu­tion.

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