UPDATED: ‘STEP DOWN’- Provinces want President Mugabe to go
EIGHT of Zanu-PF’s 10 provinces yesterday called on President Mugabe to step down from the party and Government over allegations of, among others, failing to uphold the constitution, fanning factionalism and allowing arbitrary expulsion of members.
Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central provinces held respective provincial coordinating committee meetings calling for his exit.
Matabeleland North and South provinces are expected to hold meetings today.
The provinces who hailed the move by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces on Wednesday to weed out criminal elements around President Mugabe whom they accused of destabilising the Government, also called for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa as the party’s second secretary and Vice President.
President Mugabe was also accused of getting counsel from counter revolutionaries and agents of neo-imperialism, condoning and tacitly participating in the denigration of Cde Mnangagwa, the defence forces, senior party leadership and war veterans.
The provinces also denounced and rejected the “G40 cabal of criminals and counter revolutionaries” made up of Professor Jonathan Moyo, Dr Ignatius Chombo, Cdes Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao and their acolytes.
They called for the reinstatement of all party members who were suspended or expelled without due process, if possible, to the positions they previously held in the party.
The Zanu-PF Central Committee was also ordered to sit within the next 48 hours to handle the prevailing political situation and also realign all party activities to the constitution and return the party to the “strict adherence” to the principles of the revolutionary struggle and the service of the people of Zimbabwe.
In Bulawayo, the province issued a statement saying the army had timeously intervened in defence of the country from internal and external threats.
“The chairman, provincial coordinating committee, all structures and general membership of the revolutionary party in Bulawayo province, wish to congratulate the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, the service chiefs and men and women that make up our gallant defence forces, for the timely decision to rescue the country from the counter revolutionaries that had irretrievably set themselves on the path to appropriating the gains of our Independence to themselves,” reads the statement.
“Most of us had watched with pain as the party and Government were being reduced to the personal property of a few infiltrators with traitorous histories and questionable commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.
“It must always be remembered that Zanu-PF, as the liberation movement, has a pact with the people of Zimbabwe. This pact dates back to the dark days of the colonial era and the protracted struggle that eventually brought about our Independence.”
The province said the country was going on a wrong path as those who executed the liberation struggle were being relegated by people who selfishly benefited from their sacrifice.
It said after the 2013 elections, a clique within the party used all sorts of illegal means to elbow out liberation elements from the party, replacing them with blue eyed boys of counter revolutionaries with ministers from that grouping expending their energies on targeting people instead of serving them.
“The voices of reason in the party were being treated as enemies. This is not surprising because clearly those calling the shots had absolutely no idea what the revolutionary party stands for. The men and women in uniform were clearly left with no option but to step in. After all, if there is anyone who understands the revolutionary duty of Zanu-PF to the people of Zimbabwe, it is these men and women. They joined the struggle by choice and it is that choice which drives their conscience,” said Bulawayo province.
Meanwhile, the province has organised 15 buses to ferry party supporters and war veterans to a ZDF solidarity rally to be held in Harare today.
Masvingo Province also met yesterday and recommended that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and First Lady Grace Mugabe be removed from their respective positions in the party.
Party deputy provincial chairperson, Cde Ailes Baloyi said President Mugabe had been surrounded by corrupt and power-hungry individuals, who were disregarding the party’s constitution, rules and regulations for personal benefit.
He said President Mugabe had completely lost control of the revolutionary party and Government and ceded in his status as the sole centre of power to the First Lady who went further to abuse it.
Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Lovemore Matuke who is also party chief whip said the party had been captured by newcomers who did not respect its ethos.
“The party had been hijacked by the ‘Johnny-come-latelies’ of this world. They were firing almost anyone willy nilly. I was singled out by the President as the culprit but when I heard my name being mentioned I knew I was standing for the people of Masvingo.
“President Mugabe should step down for a smooth transition of power. He has done a lot for this country and we will cherish his legacy. Let us remain united because, the members who are here are the original Zanu-PF. The G40 cabal wanted to destroy our party from within,” he said.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial leadership yesterday unanimously recommended the recalling of President Mugabe with immediate effect saying he has failed to rein in the factional fights that have seen members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) stepping in to calm a potentially volatile situation.
“The reasons for realigning the party constitution stems from the realisation that the President is now incapacitated.
“Also there is a huge vacuum in the party structures given the fact that one of the Vice Presidents, Cde (Phelekezela) Mphoko is AWOL. The other Vice President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was unprocedurally fired, the party Secretary for Administration (Cde Ignatius Chombo) is in cells, the party Political Commissar (Cde Saviour) Kasukuwere is also in cells.
“So as a province we have said there is real need for an urgent Central Committee meeting,” said the party’s provincial spokesperson, Cde Cornelius Muperer,i in an interview soon after the meeting.
He said the province also recommended the readmission of all party officials who were either expelled or suspended from the party unprocedurally.
“Members that have been recommended for readmission into the party include national secretary for War Veterans, Cde Victor Matemadanda (Central Committee member), Cde Edmore Samambwa (Provincial Youth Chair and Central Committee member), Cde Lewis Mathuthu (Youth national secretary for administration).
“The province also recommended the reinstatement, posthumously of the late Cde Espina Nhari (national Secretary for administration, Women’s League),” said Cde Mupereri.
He said the province together with war veterans were also mobilising resources to travel to Harare for a peaceful march in solidarity with the ZDF for rescuing the revolutionary party and the country from the brink of collapse.
“As the province, we also unanimously agreed to join all revolutionary forces in a peaceful march in solidarity with the ZDF. We are organising buses so that we will be represented well as a province,” he said.