Chombo on ‘spe­cial’ Polit­buro for VP

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Lin­coln Towindo and Zva­maida Mur­wira

ZANU-PF will not con­vene a “spe­cial” Polit­buro meet­ing on Vice-Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’s al­leged in­volve­ment in suc­ces­sion pol­i­tics with no such in­ten­tion be­ing ex­pressed at last week’s ex­tra­or­di­nary ind­aba of the rul­ing party’s or­gan, it has emerged.

Party Na­tional Sec­re­tary for Ad­min­is­tra­tion Dr Ig­natius Chombo yes­ter­day dis­missed pri­vate me­dia claims made last week - at­trib­uted to un­named sources, one of whom is be­lieved to be Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo - pur­port­ing that the rev­o­lu­tion­ary party would hold an ex­tra­or­di­nary Polit­buro meet­ing to put VP Mnan­gagwa in the dock.

Fur­ther, the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda yes­ter­day rapped the Zim­babwe In­de­pen­dent, a pri­vate news­pa­per, for its “brown en­ve­lope” re­port­ing on the mat­ter.

Last week’s Polit­buro meet­ing de­lib­er­ated on a re­port com­piled by an Adv Mu­denda-led probe into al­le­ga­tions that Zanu-PF Na­tional Po­lit­i­cal Com­mis­sar Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere was, among other things, an­gling to top­ple Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

The Polit­buro re­solved that Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and his two deputies, VPs Mnan­gagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, would de­cide Cde Ka­sukuwere’s fate.

Af­ter that meet­ing, the Zim­babwe In­de­pen­dent and other pri­vate news­pa­pers known to lean to­wards Cde Ka­sukuwere and Prof Moyo, claimed the Polit­buro would soon meet to lay counter-al­le­ga­tions against VP Mnan­gagwa to the ef­fect that he was seek­ing to re­move Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

Yes­ter­day, Dr Chombo told The Sun­day Mail that: “I am un­aware of it (‘spe­cial’ Polit­buro meet­ing); when there is a Polit-

◆ buro meet­ing I al­ways come to the Press to in­form you. There is no such meet­ing.”

He also warned that party mem­bers who abused so­cial me­dia would be dis­ci­plined.

And in Bu­l­awayo, in his key­note ad­dress at an in­ter­face be­tween the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs and civic so­ci­ety, Adv Mu­denda said: “I have read the In­de­pen­dent pa­per, which has been so bi­ased. The me­dia should re­port ob­jec­tively and not fol­low the brown en­ve­lope.

“They only high­lighted what Prof Moyo had said and ig­nored the blow-by-blow ac­count that I gave to­gether with other Polit­buro mem­bers. That was very un­pro­fes­sional be­cause you need to give a fair and bal­anced ac­count and not a bi­ased and one-sided ac­count as they did.”

Mean­while, Dr Chombo said Zanu-PF would clear all pend­ing dis­ci­plinary cases within two months in or­der to ap­proach the 2018 elec­tions with “no un­nec­es­sary bag­gage”.

He added, “Zanu-PF is busy at the mo­ment mak­ing sure that the cells and the branches have been re­struc­tured.

‘‘This is crit­i­cal in that we will be able to get the ex­act num­ber of party mem­bers that we have be­cause every mem­ber of the party is reg­is­tered in a given cell; so we will then know how many we are.

“That in­for­ma­tion is use­ful in that it gives us a pic­ture of how many votes we are likely to get in 2018 from our known reg­is­tered party mem­bers. So, the re­struc­tur­ing be­ing done by the Com­mis­sariat is im­por­tant in that re­gard.”

Dr Chombo said while the on­go­ing Pres­i­den­tial Youth In­ter­face meet­ings were not part of the party’s elec­tion cam­paign proper, they were be­ing used to gauge or­gan­i­sa­tional and mo­bil­i­sa­tion ca­pac­ity; and feed­back from the en­gage­ments would be used to draw up a peo­ple-ori­ented man­i­festo.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe has ad­dressed two such in­ter­faces in Mashona­land East and Man­i­ca­land prov­inces, with the next one slated for Masvingo on Fri­day.

“The Pres­i­dent is meet­ing the youths. You can see peo­ple are com­ing in thou­sands upon thou­sands to meet the Pres­i­dent, to see the Pres­i­dent and to hear the Pres­i­dent.

“We have, how­ever, not yet started cam­paign­ing full throt­tle, but the Pres­i­dent wants to meet his peo­ple to hear their view their con­cerns and as­pi­ra­tions; so that when we go to the (An­nual Na­tional Peo­ple’s) Con­fer­ence, when we come up with the man­i­festo, it is based on peo­ple’s wishes and as­pi­ra­tions and not based on what the fun­ders of the po­lit­i­cal party want, like the Mu­ju­rus or Ts­van­gi­rais and so on.”

Dr Chombo, who is also Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter, said the Reg­is­trar-Gen­eral’s Of­fice would soon open mo­bile units for na­tional iden­ti­fi­ca­tion reg­is­tra­tion to en­cour­age el­i­gi­ble vot­ers with­out ID cards to get the doc­u­men­ta­tion.

VP Mphoko will launch the pro­gramme in Mata­bele­land South and North prov­inces.

Dr Chombo said, “The party is quite busy now en­cour­ag­ing mem­bers iden­ti­fied in cells to go out and reg­is­ter as vot­ers. We are all aware that you can­not be al­lowed to vote un­less you are reg­is­tered as a voter.

“But at the same time you can­not be reg­is­tered as a voter if you don’t have a na­tional iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card; those two go handin-hand.

“So, as the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs we are work­ing with Reg­is­trar-Gen­eral’s Of­fice to launch a pro­gramme to have mo­bile reg­is­tra­tion units through­out the prov­inces. We are go­ing to start with Mata­bele­land South and Mata­bele­land North. The launch in those two prov­inces will be launched by Vice-Pres­i­dent Mphoko. We are just wait­ing for con­fir­ma­tion of the dates.”

Dr Chombo said Zanu-PF would soon start rais­ing funds in prepa­ra­tion for Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­fer­ence in Mata­bele­land South prov­ince.

He wel­comed the new polling sta­tion-based vot­ing sys­tem say­ing this would leave op­po­si­tion par­ties with no room to al­lege elec­toral fraud.

“You are aware now that start­ing this com­ing year the vot­ing sys­tem will be polling sta­tion-based (rather than ward­based).

‘‘This sys­tem in my view is ex­tremely im­por­tant in that it gives the voter an op­por­tu­nity to vote at a polling sta­tion near where you re­side. The polling sta­tion is a place near­est you as a voter.

“This does away with the prob­lem of those who claim that they failed vote be­cause the polling sta­tion is a long dis­tance away.

‘‘We are mak­ing sure that every cit­i­zen has ac­cess to a vot­ing place near­est them. We are giv­ing them an op­por­tu­nity to chose who rep­re­sents them.

“But more im­por­tantly, with this polling sta­tion-based sys­tem you won’t have that many peo­ple vot­ing per polling sta­tion.

‘‘An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple vot­ing at the polling sta­tion will know each other so the pos­si­bil­ity of peo­ple cheat­ing does not arise.

“This will shame the op­po­si­tion which is al­ways com­plain­ing that elec­tions are rigged. The elec­tion sys­tem in Zim­babwe is as good as it gets.”

The Sun­day Mail As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor Wendy Nyakur­erwa tied the knot with Marvelous Matinde at Tif­fany’s Gar­dens in Harare yes­ter­day. Pic­ture by Tariro Ka­man­gira

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