Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo and national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday lashed out at senior party officials whom they accused of usurping responsibilities not under their purview.
This appeared to be directed at Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, who clarified the Politburo position on former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono’s flopped senatorial bid after he (Cde Gumbo) had given a contrived version of the same meeting.
Cde Gumbo reportedly misrepresented the party position to the media saying Dr Gono’s bid could still be salvaged through “other avenues.”
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He also pointed out that the party’s legal department had been directed to find ways of accommodating Dr Gono.
It later emerged that the Politburo had in fact upheld the position of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and that Dr Gono was not qualified for the Manicaland senatorial post because he was not a registered voter in the province.
Cde Mnangangwa, who heads the party’s legal department, confirmed that the issue was a closed chapter and the party was not contesting ZEC’s decision.
Yesterday, Cde Gumbo insisted that Dr Gono was still in the race adding that Cde Mnangagwa was “offside.”
“I am not a chameleon I don’t change. Ndikakutaurirai kuti ndizvozvo, I try to do it as accurately as I can,” he said.
“It is not finished. There are all these kind of processes, which have to be done and the legal team was directed to do just that. It is not complete. It is not final. The chairperson of the legal committee is offside.”
Asked to comment on The Herald editorial comment that exposed his misrepresenting of facts, Cde Gumbo said the paper had a hidden agenda.
“Aiwa ndezvavowoka, ifeeling yavowo kana vanhu vane agenda yavo vane agenda yavo havozve, but as far as I am concerned I stand by what I said yesterday (Wednesday),” he said.
“Have you ever seen me misrepresenting the President? I always say what was said and that is it.”
Cde Mnangagwa could not be reached for comment yesterday as his phone went unanswered.
Earlier on while briefing the media on his trip to Cuba, Cde Khaya Moyo said no one had the right to speak to the media except the party spokesperson.
He said some journalists had stopped conveying messages and were siding with certain politicians.
“If you are not a spokesman don’t speak,” he said. “You know very well that journalism is a noble profession based on ethics and you often hear at various fora that the pen is mightier than the sword but the pen should never be used as a sword.
“By being mightier than a sword they only mean that you convey messages. Swords don’t convey messages but some have stopped conveying messages.”
Cde Khaya Moyo, said no disciplined party official would speak at “cross purposes” as is happening now.
He said party cadres should stick to the party constitution and protocols.
“Do not be influenced by anybody outside your system . . . unity is the key,” he said.
“You do not speak at cross purposes if you are disciplined and united. In the liberation war there was unity. We were focused but now it appears people have forgotten that history and we must return to that in the sense that as a party we have a constitution, we have protocols and all you need to do is to stick to the constitution, stick to those protocols because that will be a major sign of discipline.”
He said instead of attacking each other party officials should focus on implementing Government programmes.
“We have got Zim-Asset in front of us,” he said. “That is where we should spend our time on. Talk about Zim-Asset not Kumbirai (Kangai) so that we see the improvement of the lives of our people.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said it was better for party cadres to heed President Mugabe’s calls for discipline now before it was too late.
“Most of our members are disciplined and we are a mammoth party,” he said.
“The President is just warning the few that action shall be taken and that is what he said yesterday (Wednesday).
“ Those who continue being indisciplined, there are measures which will be taken naturally but the point is that the majority of our membership and leadership is disciplined, but those few who the President was referring to must take heed of what he was saying.”