Mash Cen­tral chal­lenges Pres­i­dent on VP ap­point­ments

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/national News - Felex Share Harare Bu­reau

ZANU-PF Mashona­land Cen­tral Province has chal­lenged the rul­ing party’s one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple, which em­pow­ers Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to ap­point his deputies and Polit­buro mem­bers.

In its res­o­lu­tions ahead of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s 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 Vice Pres­i­dents.

The pro­posal is likely to find no tak­ers since all other prov­inces have al­ready ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the sta­tus quo.

Asked why the province was go­ing against the party’s con­sti­tu­tion, Mashona­land Cen­tral provin­cial chair­man Cde Dick­son Mafios yes­ter­day said the one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple was not demo­cratic.

In any case, Cde Mafios said, the one cen­tre of power prin­ci­ple was not “ben­e­fit­ting” any­one.

“There is need for flex­i­bil­ity in a demo­cratic sys­tem,” he 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 ben­e­fit­ting?” 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 quite 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 a n d 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?” On how in­de­pen­dent the res­o­lu­tion to abol­ish the one cen­tre of power pol­icy was, Cde Mafios said as a province they did not sub­scribe to fac­tions. “We do not sub­scribe to G40 or La­coste, but to one party led by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. The is­sue of fac­tions are po­lit­i­cal gim­micks,” said Cde Mafios, re­spond­ing to al­le­ga­tions that his po­si­tion was based on his re­la­tion­ship (half-brother) with the na­tional po­lit­i­cal com­mis­sar Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere, who is also be­lieved to be one of the main fig­ures in the so-called G40 fac­tion.

Other prov­inces had al­ready held their provin­cial in­ter-dis­trict con­fer­ences and en­dorsed Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe as the party’s sole can­di­date for the 2018 har­monised elec­tions.

They also came up with res­o­lu­tions that will form the agenda of the con­fer­ence in Masvingo among them a strong con­dem­na­tion of cor­rup­tion by se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

Zanu-PF sec­re­tary for administration Cde Ig­natius Chombo re­cently said the provin­cial res­o­lu­tions would be sent to his of­fice for fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion.

“The res­o­lu­tions are then sent to my of­fice to­gether with the provin­cial re­port and that will now en­rich the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee re­port,” he said.

“I will pass on the res­o­lu­tions to the re­spec­tive sec­re­taries in the Polit­buro. The var­i­ous sec­re­taries will come up with their own re­ports which feed into the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee re­port. The Cen­tral Com­mit­tee re­port is then printed with a fore­word from the Pres­i­dent and this will then cre­ate the con­tents of our dis­cus­sions at the con­fer­ence.”

The con­fer­ence will run from De­cem­ber 13 to 17. See Com­ment on Page 4

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