Zanu-PF Spe­cial Congress: The facts

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Kuda Bwititi and Har­mony Agere

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe has ac­ceded to con­ven­ing a spe­cial Zanu-PF Congress this De­cem­ber and the gath­er­ing will not be used to fire his lieu­tenants, a se­nior party of­fi­cial has said.

The Congress will, in­stead, rally all party struc­tures around the im­per­a­tive of win­ning the 2018 har­monised elec­tions and cham­pi­oning na­tional pri­or­i­ties.

A lo­gis­tics com­mit­tee of the rul­ing party will meet in Harare to­mor­row to take stock of prepa­ra­tions af­ter which the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee will hold a spe­cial ses­sion to dis­cuss the Congress agenda.

Zanu-PF Na­tional Sec­re­tary for Ad­min­is­tra­tion Dr Ig­natius Chombo told The Sun­day Mail yes­ter­day that con­trary to claims pub­lished by the pri­vate me­dia that the Congress would be used to dis­miss Vice-Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe had made it clear that focus should be on the polls.

An Ex­tra­or­di­nary Congress, ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 30 of Zanu-PF’s con­sti­tu­tion, can only de­lib­er­ate on the is­sues for which it has been specif­i­cally con­vened and other mat­ters can­not be smug­gled onto the agenda.

Only a ma­jor­ity of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, a min­i­mum of five of the party’s 10 pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tees, or the Pres­i­dent in con­cur­rence with at least a third of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, can call for an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Congress and ini­ti­ate its agenda, and not any other struc­tures of in­di­vid­u­als.

Fur­ther, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe — who is Zanu-PF’s First Sec­re­tary — does not need a Congress to re­con­fig­ure the make-up of his Pre­sid­ium or the Polit­buro.

Said Dr Chombo: “The Pres­i­dent has agreed with what the prov­inces have said (re­gard­ing the con­ven­ing of an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Congress). He has given us the go-ahead to start the of­fi­cial pro­cesses that are pro­ce­dural and nec­es­sary to have the Congress.

“As of now, the most im­por­tant mat­ters that have come out from the prov­inces are that the Congress is be­ing held with a view to pre­par­ing the party for next year’s har­monised elec­tions.

“So, all the res­o­lu­tions passed by the prov­inces will be pre­sented as they are, and from there, the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee will de­cide what mat­ters should be put on the agenda.

“Only those res­o­lu­tions which the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee adopts will be­come the agenda of the Congress, while those is­sues that are not deemed im­por­tant will be left out.”

Dr Chombo said Congress will re­view bio­met­ric voter reg­is­tra­tion, the 10-Point Plan for Eco­nomic Growth, the State Con­sti­tu­tion and na­tional poli­cies.

“So, we are go­ing to Congress to put into per­spec­tive all those mat­ters. This is not a new thing; we had elec­tions in 2002 af­ter com- ing from an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Congress be­cause it was a year be­fore elec­tions.

“Our party cal­en­dar and Gov­ern­ment cal­en­dar do not tally, so in the year that they do not sy­chro­nise, we may de­cide to have an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Congress to make sure that we are pre­pared.

“This is not new. It will not look at in­di­vid­ual is­sues; we focus on na­tional party is­sues. The re­moval

◆ of peo­ple from cer­tain po­si­tions, just like the Cab­i­net reshuf­fle, the Pres­i­dent can do it any­time. So, let’s not be ar­ro­gant and sug­gest for him.

“The con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides for the Pres­i­dent as the one cen­tre of power. He can use his dis­cre­tion and does not need Congress. I can­not run the party based on wishes of in­di­vid­u­als. I run the party on the dic­tates of the party con­sti­tu­tion.”

Dr Chombo said the party sub-com­mit­tee tasked with or­gan­is­ing the 2017 An­nual Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­fer­ence would now focus on Congress prepa­ra­tions.

The sub-com­mit­tee will work with Polit­buro mem­bers Cdes Pa­trick Chi­na­masa (Doc­u­men­ta­tion), Obert Mpofu (Fi­nance), Saviour Ka­sukuwere (Or­gan­i­sa­tion), Kembo Mo­hadi (Se­cu­rity and Ac­cred­i­ta­tion), Si­mon Khaya Moyo (In­for­ma­tion and Pub­lic­ity), Op­pah Muchin­guri (Trans­port), Clev­e­ria Chizema (Health), Jo­ram Gumbo (En­ter­tain­ment) and Priscah Mup­fu­mira (En­vi­ron­ment).

“We are not go­ing to al­ter the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee which had been put in place for the con­fer­ence. In that re­gard, we are meet­ing on Mon­day with the sub-com­mit­tees so that we start the plan­ning process.

“The pur­pose of the meet­ing on Mon­day will be for the var­i­ous sub-com­mit­tees to give an up­date on their prepa­ra­tions, given that the pro­gramme has been up­graded from a con­fer­ence to a Congress.

So, all the 10 sub-com­mit­tees will give an up­date to me, in my ca­pac­ity as chair of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee.”

Dr Chombo said the Congress will host 10 000 del­e­gates on a US$6 mil­lion bud­get.

— Pic­ture: Pres­i­den­tial Pho­tog­ra­pher Joseph Nyadzayo

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe con­verses with his Uruguayan coun­ter­part Pres­i­dent Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas in Mon­te­v­ideo, Uruguay last week. ( See story on Page 2).

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