Midlands leadership disputes allegations
War vets stand with Mutsvangwa
Zanu-PF Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kusukuwere yesterday announced the suspension of three provincial chairpersons for alleged disobedience and inciting insolence.
Cdes Kizito Chivamba (Midlands), Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo) and Joel Biggie Matiza (Mashonaland East) were suspended and are under investigation.
In the interim, Cde Kasukuwere said, Cde Tapuwa Matangaidze (provincial secretary for administration) takes charge of Midlands, while Mashonaland East deputy chair Cde Bernard Makokove replaces Cde Matiza.
However, the Midlands leadership has disputed the major allegations leading to Cde Chivamba’s suspension.
And Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association executive members who received no-confidence votes along with their leader Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa on Friday also maintained their ouster was “null and void”.
At a Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Lupane, Cde Kasukuwere said errant party members would be dismissed.
Among those present were Zanu-PF politburo members Professor Jonathan Moyo, Dr Obert Mpofu, Cde Cain Mathema and Cde Patrick Zhuwawo; and Matabeleland North provincial chair Cde Richard Moyo and Central Committee member Cde Clifford Sibanda.
Cde Kasukuwere said, “We have suspended Chivamba because he was no longer coming for meetings. Secondly, he blocked members of the Women’s League from coming to Harare to welcome the President. He also went to the Press, making statements that undermine (the party) leadership.
“The same with Matiza in Mashonaland East … He was harassing women there and we have said to him ‘enough’. He came for the meeting, but made sure there was pressure on women not to attend that meeting.
“In Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira had the same problems, and we have told him to step aside. We can’t have insolence in the party; such arrogance and disrespect for leadership.”
He said Zanu-PF was well-prepared to thwart elements fanning instability and attempting insurgency against President Mugabe.
“We know there are people who wear clothes with President Mugabe’s picture and sing his praises in the afternoon, but turn against him at night. They caucus at night, telling each other that the President must leave office. You think we don’t see you?
“You make our President your legitimate target and think that we will just stand there and watch? That won’t happen … If you want to destroy yourself in Zanu-PF, go against a man called RGM. If you want to be finished, plot against him.
“We know some people go to a house in Kwekwe where they are told all sorts of things and think that we don’t know. You must know that whatever you say in the cover of darkness, we will always know about it. If you are called for a private (meeting), refuse. Hold formal meetings such as this one where there are minutes which can be referred to in future.”
He added that the party would not rescind no-confidence votes.
“Some are now saying let’s sit down and review the votes of no confidence; let’s go for a hearing. We have some who are lawyers who say, ‘No, let’s have a meeting and have natural justice’.
“Natural justice has already taken place. Vote of no confidence means that the appropriate organ has made a decision and the party cannot revoke that.”
Dr Mpofu said: “In Matabeleland North, we are very united and will remain united. Factionalism has no place in the province and as the leadership, we might have a misunderstanding, but we are all united and rally behind the President.
“People from this region have no ambition to be President. No one has the qualities to be President in this region and we are shocked that some people are saying so and so should replace the President because he is from this tribe. We are not involved in all that because none of us has ambition to rule.”
However, Politburo member Dr Joram Gumbo disputed the allegations against Cde Chivamba in Midlands.
He said this in an interview after the Zanu-PF Midlands provincial co-ordinating committee met in Gweru yesterday.
“Midlands is very united, united under the leadership. For a very long time, we have been united behind the President. We will not be worried by statements that were made without any background information. We are solidly behind President Mugabe.
“We only wear party regalia in the province with the President’s image and the party logo. There is nothing like Team Lacoste; maybe elsewhere, but not in this province … Investigations are on going and reports I received today show that there was no such thing (intimidation). What has emerged is that one bus that went to Mberengwa had a breakdown.
“Another report is that the chairwoman was informed on Saturday that they would get one bus to ferry members of the Women’s League to Harare.
“However, on Tuesday evening, at around 5.30pm, (there was) another message which is purported to have been relayed by Cde Thokhozile Mathuthu telling the chairwoman that they would be provided with five buses. It was too late to organise the women. Three buses went to Harare. I am happy because all women have said nothing of that sort happened.”
Women’s League provincial chairperson Cde Elena Shirichena concurred that no one was intimidated or assaulted, while Cde Chivamba confirmed his suspension.
“I have received the suspension letter through e-mail. This follows my interview with The Herald where I was asked whether I was aware of the rally at party headquarters. I told them that I had not attended the meeting, but instead sent my deputy who was still to advise me of the development. Also the issue of people being harassed in the Midlands was never reported to me; I was not aware.”
War Veterans secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda told The Sunday Mail that Ambassador Mutsvangwa would soon convene a conference to map the way forward.
Yesterday, ZNLWVA Bulawayo dismissed the votes of no confidence as efforts to “derail measures to improve the lives of the former freedom fighter”.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa, his wife Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, and Cdes Matemadanda and Headman Moyo were purportedly booted out at a meeting chaired by the association’s secretary for information Cde Mandi Chimene in Harare on Friday.
“What Chimene and her group have done is to form a splinter organisation. They had no mandate to carry out such a meeting from the start because she was no longer part of the executive. She failed to attend three consecutive meetings, automatically relinquishing her post,” said Cde Matemadanda.
“What we have now done is get input from other executive members and they have requested that we call a conference so that we set the record straight.”
He added: “Our mandate is clear; we have been doing everything procedurally. When we fired (former ZNLWVA chair Jabulani) Sibanda, the President asked us to organise ourselves. We did that by convening our congress in Masvingo where we elected Cde Mutsvangwa as our chairman.
“So, since then, proper structures have been in place and we have been carrying out our programmes despite lack of resources. The shortage of resources has been our major concern because our ministry is yet to receive any funding from Treasury.”
Cde Chimene stuck to her guns.
“Mutsvangwa is history and we are now looking ahead to the future. We are not in a rush but we will consult with the comrades on the way forward.”
Speaking to journalists at ZNWVA Bulawayo offices, provincial chair Cde Cephas Ncube said the “dismissals” were comical.
“First and foremost, we want to make it clear that Mandi Chimene is not the national executive. What she did is a sign of ignorance of the provisions of the association’s constitution.
“If she knew its provisions, she would have followed them with a national executive being called to a meeting where the accused persons would be present and then pass the votes of no confidence at that forum.”
He also said: “We are saddened by Mandi Chimene’s statement, coming after we elected the President. President Mugabe was given the power to choose people he would work with, and Mutsvangwa was elected to chair the war veterans’ association at a meeting in Masvingo.
“President Mugabe endorsed the election of Mutsvangwa as chairman of war veterans, and he appointed him as Minister of War Veterans … Bulawayo province says ‘no, this is unconstitutional’. They should go and sleep and not confuse comrades who want to improve the lives of war veterans.” – Harare/Bulawayo/Midlands Bureaux
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