ZANU PF has re-admitted into its structures former chairpersons suspended in 2004 for attending a meeting in Tsholotsho allegedly convened to re-configure the partyâ€™s presidium.
Sources in the party said the membersâ€™ suspensions were lifted prior to the March 29 harmonised elections.
Among those suspended were provincial chairpersons Mike Madiro (Manicaland), Daniel Shumba (Masvingo), Themba Ncube (Bulawayo), Jacob Mudenda (Matabeleland North), July Moyo (Midlands), and Lloyd Siyoka (Matabeleland South). Shumba formed his own political party, the United Peopleâ€™s Party.
The six were suspended after they took part in a meeting held at Dinyane primary school in Tsholotsho allegedly to discuss changes to the partyâ€™s leadership that could have seen Zanu PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa becoming the partyâ€™s vice-president, a post that went to Joice Mujuru.
President Robert Mugabe at the time said the meeting was called to discuss a coup plot against the Zanu PF leadership.
The meeting had allegedly been convened by the then Information minister Jonathan Moyo, now independent MP-elect for Tsholotsho North.
Zanu PF sources this week said the party realised that it needed the suspended members to be part of its campaign and also to patch up divisions in Zanu PF that resulted from those suspensions.
“Those people who were on suspension are back in the Zanu PF fold,” one of the sources said.
“Most of them engineered Mugabeâ€™s victory in the election and there is now unanimity that they should be re-admitted into the party structures formally.”
Zanu PF deputy secretary for information Ephraim Masawi while refusing to fully acknowledge the return of the suspended members, said it was likely that their suspensions were lifted.
Said Masawi: “I am yet to hear of a formal re-admission of the suspended persons being referred to. What I can clearly say is that provinces were requested to look at the behaviour of the suspended persons and make recommendations on the way forward.”
He added that their re-admission could mean the suspended members had behaved well.
“If they did behave themselves well and in line with the provisions of the party constitution, there will be nothing wrong in the provinces cutting their suspensions and then re-admitting them into the party structures,” Masawi said.
Asked whether there were provisions that enabled them to reclaim the positions they held prior to their suspensions, Masawi said at present there were people holding onto posts after they were elected.
“If they want their positions back, they can then contest in the elections which are supposed to be held anytime soon,” he said.
By Nkululeko Sibanda