Tichaona Zindoga, Harare Bureau
ZANU-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere says elections to choose the party’s provincial chairmen are not necessary as leaders can be co-opted following the removal of incumbents.
In an interview yesterday, he said Zanu-PF’s constitution provided for co-options, batting away allegations that he had imposed party chairmen across the country, most of whom are not substantive.
Cde Kasukuwere last week held a meeting with provincial chairmen which has drawn a lot controversy amid allegations that he was pursuing a factional agenda through “handpicked” henchmen.
The chairmen came up with a communique that has been derisively dubbed the “Tyson Communique”.
Cde Kasukuwere, however, defended the status of the chairmen and the meeting with the provincial leaders. “You guys are creating a furore over nothing,” he said.
“You know what the constitution of the Party says. If there is a vacancy in the Party, the executive shall co-opt right? So do you hold a conference, do you hold an election every time there is a vacancy in a province?
“If in any organ of the Party or any structure of the Party there is a vacancy, it’s spelt out in the constitution that they shall co-opt. So, when we dismissed the chairmen at the time of Gamatox, what did we do? All of the provinces co-opted. Did we have to go for new elections?”
Cde Kasukuwere said holding elections would entail “throwing away the entire province” and explained that his meeting with chairmen was “normal”.
“The meeting was held as a normal meeting that we hold, myself as a political commissar and the chairpersons where we coordinate the work of the Party,” he said.
Cde Kasukuwere said the chairmen had to respond to pronouncements that had been made by controversial businessman Energy Mutodi attacking President Mugabe and calling him to step down.
“This call by Mutodi is not just one, but there have been similar renegade voices that came or were making such noises. People who were either suspended or expelled from the Party, who were saying to the Party the President must go and the Party chairpersons reaffirmed their commitment and that they stand 100 percent behind President Mugabe.
“That is our Party line and that is what was agreed at the Conference in Masvingo. That is what was agreed in 2014 at the National Congress, that our candidate come 2018 will be President Mugabe. In other words, the call by Mutodi was out of place and mischievous, unheard of and unbecoming and they did the right thing to defend the Party position – what was agreed to by the Party membership.”
Asked why the party would concern itself with the assertions of a rank outsider, Cde Kasukuwere, who is also the Local Government Minister, said it was significant because of the people the controversial businessman associated with. “You saw the company he hangs with; how big it is! You might say to me why should we be concerned? I think you understand why we are concerned,” he said, declining to specify who he was referring to.
On his part, Cde Kasukuwere has been pictured with controversial former Zanu-PF member and independent Norton constituency legislator, Mr Temba Mliswa.
“Temba Mliswa is a Member of Parliament and I am a Minister of Government,” he said in defence.
“If Temba Mliswa comes, he does not come to my house, he comes to the office. He came to my office. When I met him, I made a full disclosure to the nation. I initiated the process of capturing him in the office and saying, he has come to meet me. It was not some midnight call that one cannot explain,” he said.
Article Source: The Chronicle