Mash Central challenges President on VP appointments
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