New look Zanu-PF refocused, stronger

24 Jan, 2018 - 00:01 0 Views
New look Zanu-PF refocused, stronger President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Chronicle

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
Zanu-PF is reconfiguring itself, detoxifying itself from the destructive politics of the G40 cabal and restoring its revolutionary legacy through a number of initiatives that will make it the strongest local political party in many more years to come.

Following the ushering in of a new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party has made serious strides towards going back to the principles of democracy and constitutionalism that had been breached by the G40 cabal in their successionist project.

At the Special Congress in Harare in December, President Mnangagwa appointed members into the Politburo, to replace members of the G40 cabal, expelled over allegations of destabilising both party and country.

The notable appointment was that of Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje, a war veteran, as the party’s national commissar, in line with calls from war veterans.

The new commissar has toured provinces telling members that the party is moving back to its original form moving away from the divisive politics that rocked the party leading to the launch of Operation Restore Legacy.

The entry of Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje has seen a shift in conduct from his predecessor Saviour Kasukuwere, a key member of the G40 cabal, who presided over the breach of the party’s constitution through illegal suspensions and expulsions of party members in all structures.

The party had resolved in the meeting of the Central Committee last November to reintroduce District Coordinating Committees so that the party connects with its grassroots structures in a better way.

It will be argued one day that the DCCs were actually abolished as a response to President Mnangagwa’s rising popularity within the party structures.

The party provincial structures had become the theatre of dirty politics by the G40 cabal with purging and arbitrary suspensions being the order of the day.

The targets were those members accused of being aligned to President Mnangagwa and replaced by G40 functionaries.

In the Bulawayo provincial youth executive, the bloodletting went unabated resulting in a constitutional crisis as the number of suspended members warranted fresh elections in the wing.

However, the then youth affairs secretary Kudzanai Chipanga blocked fresh elections in defence of the G40 loyalists who had occupied positions on an illegal gap filling process.

The same illegalities were used in the sacking of President Mnangagwa as Vice President of the party at the time and a subsequent list that included senior party members with impeccable liberation records which was reversed by the Central Committee meeting of November last year.

Addressing a Zanu-PF Bulawayo inter-district meeting last Friday Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje said the party would hold provincial elections that would pave the way for primary elections to select Zanu-PF candidates taking part in this year’s national polls.

“I’m happy that the party’s cell elections are going on very well. From cell elections we move to branch and then district elections. I expect by February, 28 you would have completed the district elections. I will release a circular for provincial elections in mid March. There are those who thought we are not going to hold provincial elections. No. We are going to hold them,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.

“After the provincial elections, in the same month, if all goes well, we are going to hold primary elections. That’s our internal democracy. The commissariat department is going to come up with guidelines on who qualifies to stand for council, parliamentary and senate elections. Those guidelines will be forwarded to the Politburo for approval on January 31,” he said.

Most importantly, Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje said those seeking to hold political office in Zanu-PF should attend courses at the Herbert Chitepo Ideological School.

The school is important as it will inculcate into the aspiring Zanu-PF candidates, the party’s liberation ethos that would guide them in representing Zimbabweans and as ambassadors of the party.

In his commitment to bringing life into the ideological school, President Mnangagwa, at the special congress, appointed Cde Munyaradzi Machacha as its principal, a position that would also see him sit in the Zanu-PF Politburo.

Most importantly, the ideological college serves to flush out from the party the poison that had been spread by political neophytes who had rallied behind former First Lady Grace Mugabe in an attempt to hijack the party and steer it away from its revolutionary make-up.

The reorientation of the party has seen many people including former senior members trekking back to Zanu-PF expressing wishes to be readmitted.

Addressing a Zanu-PF rally in Ntabazinduna, party secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu said the revolutionary party was stronger than ever following the execution of Operation Restore Legacy.

He said he was, on a daily basis, receiving many people who were either expelled or suspended from the party expressing their wishes to be accepted back into Zanu-PF.

“They are coming back and they have written letters including those of the Mujuru factor, they are coming back not as individuals but as big numbers, very senior people. They want to come home.

“We have at the same time the disciplinary committee dealing with those issues but I can assure you, it’s not easy to be out of Zanu-PF and even the opposition knows that Zanu-PF is stronger than ever before, following the developments that took place,” said Dr Mpofu. He said the party would also decide on the regalia to be used by party members especially ahead of the elections.

“We have set up a committee chaired by Cde Simon Khaya Moyo to deal with the issues to do with regalia. They have come up with various designs and these are the designs that we will meet to see tomorrow and then what ever is recommended will be taken to the Politburo,” said Dr Mpofu.

“The previous regalia had the inscription of the former president who is no longer our president and we feel if that is allowed to continue it might confuse members during the elections,” said Dr Mpofu.

“We want them to be familiar with the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa. It is his picture that will appear in most of the documents leading to the elections.”

The reconfiguration of Zanu-PF strengthens the party ahead of the national elections where it is expected to record a crushing victory and beyond the polls to remain the people’s choice in many years to come.

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