Zanu-PF Mash East executive dissolved

Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday dissolved the party’s Mashonaland East provincial executive for “drifting away from the ideology of the party”, and immediately assembled an interim team led by former Cabinet minister Cde Aeneas Chigwedere.

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This executive will run the province’s affairs until April when a new leadership will be elected.

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It was mandated to restructure provincial structures, starting from cell level.

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The previous executive — which had barely served two months following the ouster of then provincial chair Ray Kaukonde — comprised prominent figures such as Cdes Phineas Chihota (chair), Petronella Kagonye, Beatrice Nyamupinga, Ladislus Ndoro, Newton Kachepa and Everisto Pfumvuti.

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The new line-up consists of Cdes Chigwedere, Joel Biggie Matiza (deputy chair), University of Zimbabwe political studies department head Dr Charity Manyeruke and Patrick Makombe.

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Others include Cdes Madzonga, Museka, Muzerengi, Gororo, Cecilia Hove, Mangwiro, Makokove, Chifamba, Jonasi and Farai Maimba.

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Cde Kasukuwere announced the major shake-up in Marondera as he kicked off his countrywide assessment of Zanu-PF structures.

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Addressing hundreds of party supporters at Zanu-PF’s provincial offices, he said the move would clear the way for the restructuring of provincial structures.

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“We have put the entire provincial executive aside and put a 15-person interim team in place to run the province. The duty of the interim executive is to organise the party structures so that by April a new executive will be in place.

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“The mission of this interim executive is to ensure all structures are reorganised, from the cell, branch, district up to the provinces.”

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Cde Kasukuwere said the dissolved executive had failed to rid Mashonaland East of ills borne by its predecessors, led by Kaukonde.

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He said senior officials in the province were advancing personal interest ahead of the party – the same misdeeds that led to Kaukonde’s ouster.

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“Individuals in Mashonaland East were now losing direction and selling off the revolutionary party. They were drifting away from the ideology of the party.

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“We had reached a stage where some members had no respect for the party’s principles because they put their individual interests first. Some of you were pointing fingers at others and pursuing selfish interests to say so and so is gamatox.

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“But we say to you, the net is closing in. We know all of you and very soon we will fish you out. Do not attempt to make yourself the fishermen because you will be the one to be fished out.”

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He added: “Never put your own interests ahead of the party. This is the same mindset that led some to believe that they owned a certain number of provinces but look where they are now.

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“If you are a party cadre and you hear someone speaking this sort of language just say, ‘I’m not part of that nonsense’.

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The party was under attack from within; we cannot rattle our structures to that extent of believing that our leader will not be in power when he still has a mandate to fulfill.”

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The political commissar said Zanu-PF was aware of clandestine meetings some provincial members were holding and their questionable links to white farmers.

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Mashonaland East – which has in the past delivered massive votes for the party – should remain loyal to President Mugabe, he added.

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“Mashonaland East is an important province to us because it delivers massive votes for us but at the same time, this same province had allowed high levels of infiltration.

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“Be guided by the principles of the party and do not accept to be directed off course. Be clear of the fact that Zanu-PF has one leader who is President Mugabe and we have chosen him at all Congresses held by the party.

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“However, some amongst us have a problem of walking around thinking that they have their own leaders in their pockets. We chose President Mugabe to be our leader so it is treacherous for anyone to think they can replace him or canvass for support to topple him.

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“That nonsense should come to an end. Do not think that you can fit into the President’s portrait. We don’t vote for a person because of his age but because of what that person stands for.”

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On suspending party members with perceived links to ex-Vice President Joice Mujuru, he said: “Please don’t run ahead of us. We are going to run this process accordingly and follow due procedures until the destiny is fulfilled. Do not confuse the party in pursuance of your selfish agendas.”

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Mashonaland East became a “problem child” in the run-up to Zanu-PF’s Sixth National People’s Congress following revelations that Kaukonde was one of the chief sponsors of a plot to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe and replace him with Mujuru.

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There was also growing anger against Kaukonde in the province over allegations of candidate imposition, among others.

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First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe exposed him during her “Meet the People Tour”, publicly revealing that he was part of the plot to topple the President.

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On November 16, Mashonaland East provincial executive members passed a vote of no confidence on him, leading to the takeover by Cde Chihota’s executive.

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However, this executive has been linked to Kaukonde.

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At Congress, it emerged that some members who had made it into the Zanu-PF Central Committee were aligned to the former provincial chair.

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A fresh selection process was later conducted after Congress.