It is very simple to appoint a chairperson, but very difficult to make him or her function outside the wishes of the people. The imposed chairpersons will find the going tough.
VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s backers in Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East are reportedly defying the acting chairpersons who were imposed on the provinces following the suspension of substantive chairs by Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
By Elias Mambo
Kasukuwere last month suspended Joel Biggie Matiza (Mashonaland East), Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo) and Kizito Chivamba (Midlands) for alleged disobedience and insolence.
The provincial chairpersons were suspended after allegedly throwing spanners ahead of a Zanu PF Women’s League rally held at the party headquarters before a crucial politburo meeting last month. The women said the rally was meant to thank President Robert Mugabe for advancing the women’s cause during his tenure as African Union chairperson, but Mnangagwa’s supporters felt it was meant to denigrate the vice-president.
The suspended chairpersons are all Mnangagwa’s allies and have made a stand against First Lady Grace Mugabe, who is part of the Generation 40 (G40) faction trying to shipwreck his bid for the presidency.
Officials backing the provincial chairpersons are, however, pointing out that Kasukuwere did not follow the party’s constitution before suspending the officials.
Zanu PF officials in Midlands say most members of the Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) were taking instructions from deputy chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube ahead of Tapiwa Matangaidze who was appointed acting chairperson. The Midlands leadership is arguing it passed a vote-of-no-confidence on Matangaidze, and two other ministers, Makhosini Hlongwane and Anastacia Ndlovu, and therefore the deputy public service minister cannot chair meetings in the province.
“As Midlands we agreed that Mackenzie will call for meetings instead of Mashingaidze,” a senior provincial official said.
“The PCC passed a vote of no confidence on him which the national disciplinary committee is yet to give its verdict on.”
Zanu PF Midlands spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri told Zimbabwe Independent the province was justified in side-lining Matangaidze.
“Midlands passed a vote-of-no-confidence on three officials who include Matangaidze. As a result of that, he cannot call for any meetings,” Mupereri said.
In Masvingo, the factional fires continue to burning as the PCC members are defying the acting Zanu PF chairperson Amasa Nenjana, who was appointed after Chadzamira’s suspension.
“We will not attend any of his meetings. We do not recognise him,” said a senior Zanu PF central committee member from Masvingo.
Zanu PF sources said Kasukuwere is likely to dissolve Masvingo PCC on Sunday after it failed to meet following Chadzamira’s suspension.
During President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations at Great Zimbabwe, Nenjana distanced the province from the attacks that the First Lady Grace Mugabe received from some members of the party and declared unconditional support for her.
In Mashonaland East province, tensions are still simmering as rivals have clashed in several meetings since Matiza’s suspensions. Sources said the majority of members in Mashonaland East’s PCC belong to Mnangagwa faction.
“It is very simple to appoint a chairperson, but very difficult to make him or her function outside the wishes of the people. The imposed chairpersons will find the going tough,” another Zanu PF official said.