The Sunday Mail
Imposition of individuals in Zanu-PF leadership positions and alleged disregard of the ruling party’s constitution by senior politicians who are reportedly pushing a factional agenda have seen 12 Bulawayo Youth League Provincial Executive members resign.
The youths said this paved way for dissolution of the executive and holding of elections as imposition of leaders was hurting Zanu-PF.
The resignations leave the Bulawayo youth executive with about 11 members following suspensions and no-confidence votes against 15 other leaders.
According to Zanu-PF’s constitution, provincial executive committees of the Youth League should have 40 members each, with two-thirds forming a quorum.
Sections 200 and 251 further state that: “Any office which falls vacant in any organ of the party, other than the Central Committee, shall be filled by co-option by the executive council/committee of the appropriate organ until the next elections but where the vacant offices are one-third of the total membership that organ shall automatically dissolve itself and new elections shall be held.
“A motion of no confidence shall be by a simple majority of all members of the appropriate organ. Provided that where a vote of no confidence is passed against one-third of the total membership of any organ, that organ shall automatically dissolve itself and new elections shall be held.”
The Sunday Mail understands that the youths who resigned accused Zanu-PF Politburo member and Women’s Affairs Deputy National Secretary Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Sandi of “systematic provincial capture”.
In their resignation letter, they expressed concern over the suspension of Bulawayo youth executive members Cdes Davis Muhambi and Munashe Mtutsa last month for allegedly refusing to fundraise for the 2017 21st February Movement celebrations, a claim the pair denied.
“By operation of law, the provincial executive as elected in November 2013 stands dissolved, following the illegal and unconstitutional ‘suspension’ of two members, Cde Davis Muhambi, secretary for finance, and Cde Munashe Mtutsa, deputy Secretary for education,” reads part of the letter.
“Their arbitrary suspensions puts the total list of suspended, or expelled members to 15. There has been a systematic provincial ‘party capture’ by the person of Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo. In the case of our executive, she is working in cahoots and is led in it by the following individuals: the acting youth league chairperson Cde Anna Mokgohloa, the acting secretary for administration Cde Leo Nyoni, secretary for commissariat Cde Boniface Mutsure, the secretary for transport and welfare Cde Maqhawe Sibanda and secretary for production and labour Cde Dean Hlomai.”
One of the youth leaders who resigned, Cde Pellagia Hove, confirmed the development saying “it was meant to pave way for democratic elective party processes”.
Another added that they would “rather resign and stand with the people instead of fighting factional battles and subverting the constitution”.
“We now wait to see if our seniors will stand by the party constitution and call for elections or if they will continue to impose unelected leaders who only do their bidding and not the bidding of the masses,” he said.
However, Bulawayo youth acting chairperson Cde Anna Mokgohloa insisted there would be no elections.
Cde Makgohloa said National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and Youth Affairs National Secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga directed her to call a meeting with the remaining members and co-opt new office bearers.
“I have already informed Cde Chipanga and the National Political Commissar, Cde Kasukuwere, over the development and they have directed us to co-opt other members. We will be meeting soon to co-opt the new members. Those 12 that have decided to resign have showed us that they were never interested in Zanu-PF.
“It is unheard of in Zanu-PF to hear people saying they are resigning, worse in such numbers, 12 at the same time.
“It goes to show they have been scheming the move for a long time. Imagine President Mugabe just announcing he has resigned?
“There are procedures to follow in Zanu-PF and if you have been given a mandate by the people, it is a betrayal of those people to just wake up and say I have resigned,” she said.
Asked on the legality of co-opting members to the provincial youth executive, Zanu-PF National Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chomba said: “Refer your query to Cde Kasukuwere, the National PC, who is in Bulawayo now (yesterday) attending to the matter.”
Cde Kasukuwere’s mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.
Cde Chipanga said members of the national Youth League executive would be in Bulawayo today (Sunday) to address the issue, and co-opting new leaders to replace those who resigned was an option.
“Co-option is prescribed in the party’s constitution so we can take that route if there is need. I am going to lead a delegation of national Youth League executive members to Bulawayo to get the real situation on the ground.
“We will meet the members and come up with a position on the next course of action. Zanu-PF is a voluntary organisation and people are free to leave the party if they so wish,” he said.
Cde Eunice Sandi, presented with the allegations against her by the Bulawayo youths, responded: “I really cannot comment because I do not even understand how that allegation arises. I am not a member of the Youth League so how can I be involved?” The ruling party has witnessed imposition of members in many structures with senior politicians accused of pushing factional agendas.
Imposition of a candidate was cited as a major reason for Zanu-PF losing last year’s Norton National Assembly by-election to independent contestant Mr Temba Mliswa.
This has resulted in a growing chorus for the party to hold elections so that its structures are led by people chosen by the membership.