Reconsider resolution on election of VPs
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.