Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
BATTLE lines have been drawn between Zanu-PF Harare Province and National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere after the province yesterday fired its chairman Cde Charles Tawengwa allegedly because of his close relationship with Cde Kasukuwere, which they said was affecting party business.
Cde Tawengwa is also accused of trying to impose a candidate for the Ward 46 council by-election. The province nominated Central Committee member Cde Justin Zvandasara to be the acting chairman, deputised by war veteran Cde Andy Mhlanga.
Cde Kasukuwere, however, hit back in a statement dismissing the removal of Cde Tawengwa as “null and void”. “The party would like to place sit on record that Senator Charles Tawengwa remains the official chairperson of Zanu-PF Harare Province.
“The party therefore completely rejects the statement made by a group of political leaders, who have no mandate nor authority in terms of the party constitution to remove a sitting chairperson. The purported removal is null and void.
“Investigations will be conducted in view of the need to restore discipline in the party,” Cde Kasukuwere said.
Speaking after a meeting at the Harare Provincial Zanu-PF offices, deputy political commissar Cde Omega Hungwe said the chairman had called for a Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting over candidates for Ward 46 council by-elections meeting but did not attend.
“We are supposed to meet as the PCC and the Provincial Election Directorate. People are supposed to vet the CVs of people to contest for the elections. This should have been done but was not done. We were supposed to do this today but to our surprise, the chairman did not turn up.
“The meeting we had was fully constituted and only the chairman was absent. We do not know what this means. The chairman is a member of the Politburo, a member of the Central Committee and was put by Cde Kasukuwere to chair Harare Province which is good. But a chairman has a certain period to chair and leave.
“In Harare we want people to vote for the chairman and the person should come from the people. So members of the Central Committee, provincial consultative assembly and associations have agreed that Cde Zvandasara be the acting chairman and deputised by Cde Mhlanga.
“This is not permanent, we want to forward it to the Politburo. The Politburo should give us dates that Harare Province can elect its chairman,” she said.
“We are not fighting but we just want to put our house in order. It is a taboo for elections to be held without vetting the names of the candidates. What if we are given someone from the MDC?”
Cde Zvandasara said there was nothing bad about Cde Tawengwa associating with Cde Kasukuwere but the problem was that it was now affecting the party.
“We do not mind the friendship of Cdes Kasukuwere and Tawengwa but their personal relationship is now affecting the party. Now they are holding meetings anywhere to the extent that the chairman came up with a candidate on his own and decided on elections which should have been held on Saturday.
“They (Cdes Kasukuwere and Tawengwa) should maintain their relationship but it should not affect the party.
“We have a master strategy plan for Zanu-PF for 2018 elections. Come 2018, President Mugabe should win. It is serious business and it is possible to come up with 29 constituencies. We are going to go to all districts were tribalism and nepotism were rife and come up with clear structures,” he said.
Cde Mhlanga said the province had relieved Cde Tawengwa of his duties so that he could concentrate on the Politburo.
“We shall have a PCC on Wednesday (tomorrow) that will give a full endorsement on what has been agreed today and we will wait for the leadership to advise on the dates to conduct the elections for the substantive chairman of the province.
“We do not want a chairman who is someone‘s friend or who is controlled by another person. We do not want a chairman who calls for a meeting and runs away.
“We want a chairman who respects central committee and national consultative assembly members, war veterans, Politburo members and war veterans and his people,” he said.