Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF members from Harare Province yesterday blocked ousted provincial chairman Cde Amos Midzi from addressing a Press conference at the provincial headquarters where he intended to defy the vote of no confidence passed on him on Thursday.
The party members were singing, ululating and denouncing Cde Midzi, ousted war veterans leader Cde Jabulani Sibanda and provincial political commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe.
Cde Midzi was forced to abandon his planned Press conference and only issued a written statement to media houses later in the day in which he questioned his suspension and asserted that he was still in charge.
This was despite the fact that the vote of no confidence was passed by a quorum of provincial committee members who numbered 26.
The protesters, comprising youths, members of the Women’s League and those from the main wing from different districts in Harare said Cde Midzi had no right to hold any party meetings since a vote of no confidence had been passed on him.
Provincial secretary for legal affairs Cde Danny Musukuma could not be reached for comment.
But Harare provincial secretary for finance Cde Dumisani Chipango dismissed allegations by Cde Midzi as “cheap politicking.”
Cde Chipango denied that people were intimidated to sign the petition as alleged by Cde Midzi, saying if that was the case they should have made a report to the police.
In contrast to Cde Midzi’s allegations that signatures from members who signed for the vote of no confidence were fraudulent, Cde Chipango the signatures were authentic.
He said the matter now lies with the Politburo.
Provincial secretary for indigenisation Cde Norest Makururu, who was part of the demonstrators, said the decision passed by the Harare provincial executive against Cde Midzi was binding and should be respected.
Cde Makururu said the press conference which Cde Midzi intended to hold was unnecessary.
“The petition signed against him meant that he is barred from holding any meeting on behalf of the province hence the press conference was unnecessary,” he said.
Youths interviewed said they were demonstrating in solidarity with their chairman Cde Godwin Gomwe who was not invited to a meeting by the Harare youth executive that was reported to have booted him out.
“We have come here to support our chairman who is said to have been booted out,” said Cde Vivian Banera from Chitungwiza district.
He said they were also in support of Cde Midzi’s ouster which they hoped would end harassment of youths.
Harare youth chairperson Cde Gomwe said Cde Midzi was fanning factionalism in Harare as evidenced by several secret meetings he held with selected party officials.
“(Cde) Midzi was voted in by the youths, but he has not done anything for us,” he said while addressing the protesters.
Representatives from the Women’s League at the protests also spoke against Cde Midzi, saying he was not fit to run the province.
In his statement after the demonstrations, Cde Midzi described the vote of no confidence passed on him as a ‘non-event.’
“Due process and normal procedures were not followed, thus making that decision null and void,” he said. “We also want to say that it has come to our notice that some of the members who are said to have signed the vote of no confidence did so out of fear.
“We want to make a point that some of the signatures are fraudulent and we are demanding that we be supplied with the original list of names and signatures.”
Cde Midzi further alleged that some members of the provincial executive were intimidated to sign the vote of no confidence petition.
He denied allegations that he was fanning factionalism in the province, saying the province was always guided by the principles of the party and exemplary leadership of President Mugabe.
“We want to encourage our members to uphold the principles of the party, cognisant of the fact that the people and the party come first before personal ambitions. I remain chairman of Zanu-PF Harare Province,” he declared.
The provincial executive members who passed the vote of no confidence alleged that Cde Midzi held several secret meetings with selected and non-elected members from the party.
In relation to Cde Gomwe’s alleged dismissal, Zanu-PF national youth chairman Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga said no communication had come from the Harare province on the matter.
“We have not received any communication from Harare province in connection with the removal of Cde Gomwe, so as far as we are concerned, he is still the chairman of youths in Harare province,” he said.
The private media reported yesterday that Cde Gomwe was dismissed on Tuesday by a youth executive at a meeting held in Harare.