Tendai Mugabe, Harare Bureau
Nine Zanu-PF provincial chairs who were co-opted by the national executive are occupying office illegally, contrary to claims by the party’s national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere that they are now substantive.
The legitimacy of the chairpersons came under scrutiny after they said they wanted to meet President Mugabe following a controversial communiqué they issued last week after meeting Cde Kasukuwere.
The communiqué largely focused on trivial issues such as who party members should associate with.
Zanu-PF deputy secretary for legal affairs in the Politburo Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana yesterday shot down claims by Cde Kasukuwere on the co-option of the nine provincial chairs saying the party constitution does not allow the national executive to co-opt people to fill vacant provincial positions.
He said the party constitution was clear that a co-option should be done by the particular executive of the organ in which that vacancy had arisen.
Cde Mangwana said the nine chairpersons were only imposed to act in interim capacity pending elections and should the party have decided to take the co-option route, that was supposed to be done by the respective provinces.
“Anyone who is occupying a provincial office without being elected is an illegitimate leader,” said Cde Mangwana.
“They can only do so temporarily pending democratic election of substantive leaders. Those positions must be elected and I stand firm on that one. Anyone who holds a different position on that aspect is not reading the party constitution.
“Any co-option must be done by the organ in which that vacancy has arisen and as it stands all the co-options in this case were done by the national executive — in fact they were imposed by the national commissar.”
Cde Mangwana continued: “Provincial chairs are critical positions because they are the party’s point people. They act as the provinces’ spokespersons and as such if you are not given a mandate by the people who you lead then you lack legitimacy and end up expressing personal views instead of expressing views of the people you represent.
“Remember provincial chairs derive their mandate from the people they are leading. This effectively means that the so-called co-options are not in compliance with the party constitution.”
A member of the Zanu-PF Politburo who refused to be named said the party had since directed the provinces to elect new leaders if they so wish or confirm the interim ones.
He said the issue was dealt with towards the end of last year when the suspensions of Cdes Biggie Matiza (Mashonaland East), Kizito Chivamba (Midlands) and Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo) were lifted.
Chairs in acting capacities are Cde Bernard Makokove, who was hand-picked following the suspension of Cde Matiza in Mashonaland East while in Masvingo Cde Amasa Nenjana came in following the suspension of Cde Chadzamira.
In the Midlands, Cde Joram Gumbo is standing in for Cde Chivamba, who was also suspended, while in Mashonaland West Cde Ephraim Chengeta took over the position previously held by Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi, who again was suspended.
Cde Dickson Mafios was co-opted in Mashonaland Central following the expulsion of Mr Luke Mushore.
Initially, Cde Wonder Mashange was co-opted as the acting chair in Mashonaland Central, but was removed under unclear circumstances and replaced by Cde Mafios, half brother to Cde Kasukuwere.
In Manicaland, Cde Undenge was co-opted in the position that was left by Mr John Mvundura, who was accused of hobnobbing with Dr Joice Mujuru after her expulsion from Zanu-PF for attempting to unseat President Mugabe illegally.
Cde Charles Tawengwa took over in Harare province following the death of Cde Amos Midzi and in Matabeleland South Cde Rabelani Choeni was co-opted in the position that was left by the suspended chair Cde Andrew Langa.
In Bulawayo, Cde Dennis Ndlovu was handpicked after Cde Callistus Ndlovu was suspended.
Another Zanu-PF Politburo member told our Harare Bureau last Monday that due process was not followed to suspend most of the provincial chairpersons.
“If you want to suspend a provincial chair, the provincial coordinating committee has to sit and set up a disciplinary committee.
“The disciplinary committee will invite the chairman to answer charges levelled against him or her after which it will write a report that will be submitted back to the provincial coordinating committee.
“If satisfied by the report, the PCC will submit it to the national disciplinary committee for further actioning. All this was not followed in the case of these comrades.”
Article Source: The Chronicle