ZANU PF is moving towards conflating the state and party in 2016 through the introduction of party-based training and induction programmes for officials appointed to senior government positions as the party seeks to tighten its grip on the state.
Party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo told the Zimbabwe Independent that the proposal which has been on the cards for a long time could finally see the light of day if given the go ahead by the politburo which will meet when its members including President Robert Mugabe return from their annual vacations.
“This matter has been on the table for a long time and it is still being continually talked about. The year has already started but a lot of people are still away on holiday at the moment. As soon as they come back and when the politburo meets then there could be some indication about when it will start,” Moyo said in an interview.
The issue of party-based training and induction of government officials was also raised in the latest report of the Zanu PF’s central committee which was presented ahead of the December National People’s Conference held in Victoria Falls.
According to the report, the training and induction will be conducted by the proposed Chitepo Ideological College.
The proposal followed trips made by two party delegations which visited China and South Africa last year where they participated in seminars and workshops conducted by the Communist Party of China, the African National Congress and Frelimo of Mozambique to train them on the “role of the ruling party in state governance and the economy.”
“The Communist Party of China invited technical teams from former liberation movements to prepare for the establishment of the Joint Party School in Tanzania. This helped members appreciate the critical role of ideological education for party leadership,” reads part of the central committe report.
“Based on this experience, it is recommended that the party introduces an induction programme for new members when assuming party and government positions.”
The report further states that the programme is expected to start next month and will initially target senior party leadership and then spread to senior government officials.
The latest moves are all in line with previous resolutions to strengthen the party’s grip on state institutions.
Back in 2013 at the party’s 14th National People’s Conference held in Chinhoyi, Zanu PF proposed to restructure the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB), saying it should be staffed with “people with the relevant political will” in sync with wholesale resolutions at the conference that stated all key posts in government and state institutions posts should be held by party loyalists.
Specifically, resolution six of the 2013 Zanu PF conference, stated an aim “to revive and strengthen its cadreship development policy, including structured and compulsory ideological programmes, for nurturing a broad human resources-base for deployment by the party into critical, strategic positions in both the party and government.”