Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
THE ZANU-PF Midlands provincial leadership yesterday convened a highly charged Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting, which saw some rowdy party youths being arrested for trying to disrupt proceedings. However, the province unanimously endorsed the dismissal from Government of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Midlands, the province where Cde Mnangagwa hails from, was still to endorse President Mugabe’s decision to relieve his former deputy for being disloyal. The province – which also supports the amendment of the party’s constitution to accommodate a woman within the Presidium – endorsed First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe for the post. Two youths from Kwekwe were arrested for trying to disrupt the PCC meeting.
The meeting, which was chaired by the provincial secretary for finance, Cde John Holder, also recommended the expulsion from the party of Cde Mnangagwa’s allies, who include his wife, Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa; Cde July Moyo (Politburo member); Cde Owen Ncube (secretary for security); Cde Cornelius Mpereri (secretary for information); his brother, Cde Usheunesu Mpereri (Member of Parliament for Mbizo); Cde Justice Wadyajena (Youth League provincial admin sec); and Cde Goodwill Shiri (deputy provincial chair- man).
Members recommended for suspension were Professor Paul Mavima (Gokwe), Cde Elina Shirichena (Provincial Women’s League), Cde Melania Mahiya (Gokwe North), Cde Tinashe Shumba (Mberengwa) and Cde Larry Mavima (Zvishavane), among others. Hordes of party supporters waving placards carrying solidarity messages with President Mugabe and the First Lady congregated outside the conference venue at the state-of-the-art conference centre along the Gweru-Mvuma highway. Riot police had to be called to rein in some supporters who threatened to beat up perceived allies of the former VP.
“The Midlands has been liberated! We want to deal with Garwe and its followers. Thank you President (Mugabe) for liberating Midlands,” some were heard chanting from the crowd.
However, the unrelenting crowd managed to push their way into the venue, where they were eventually addressed by Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Cde Makhosini Hlongwane. Cde Hlongwane, who is the provincial commissar, said the party needed to be united ahead of the Extraordinary Congress and elections. He said those who were lost should toe the party line and support President Mugabe and the party.
“We need to calm down, we know there have been tensions but we thank President Mugabe for bringing back unity. We should support President Mugabe, the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, and the party, nothing else. Those who were lost should know this. We thank the President for liberating the province, especially Kwekwe,” he said amid ap- plause.
Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya, who also addressed the gathering, said people should desist from supporting people with factional agendas.