Mutsvangwa on the ropes • Gross misconduct, treachery cited • Mash West recommends expulsion
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF Mashonaland West’s provincial executive has passed a vote of no confidence in provincial coordinating committee member Cde Chris Mutsvangwa and recommended his expulsion from the revolutionary party. However, one prominent provincial member said to have signed the petition distanced himself from the action.
Mashonaland West deputy provincial chair Cde Keith Guzah yesterday told journalists in Harare that Cde Mutsvangwa was found guilty of gross misconduct, disloyalty and treachery following his utterances in the media where he was quoted as saying: “We will always respect the institution of marriage and he (Cde Saviour Kasukuwere) is confused and conflating the institution of marriage and that of the State.”
Cde Guzah said Cde Mutsvangwa’s utterances were mischievous and deliberately intended to insult the First Family with the consequence of undermining the authority of the President and bringing the party into disrepute.
Cde Mutsvangwa — who is also Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees — is not a member of the Mashonaland West provincial executive and it could not be established from the Zanu-PF legal department if the provincial leadership has locus standi to pass a vote of no confidence in a Politburo member or whether they could exercise their power only to the extent of recommending his recall from Parliament, which if effected, would in turn affect his ministerial portfolio.
Cde Mutsvangwa is the National Assembly member for Norton.
Asked to comment on the vote of no confidence, Cde Mutsvangwa said: “The President spoke about the issue of votes of no confidence at the party’s Central Committee meeting and when he was opening the conference in Victoria Falls.
“As an appointee of the President I will neither qualify nor subtract what my President has said. You better ask those who have issues with what the President has said.”
Said Cde Guzah: “The Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial co-ordinating committee chaired by Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Ephraim Chengeta, passed a vote of no confidence in Cde Chris Mutsvangwa and recommended that he be forthwith expelled from the party and recalled from Parliament.
“We find Cde Chris Mutsvangwa’s utterances about ‘conflating the institution of marriage and that of the State to be exactly the same in meaning and import as the outrageous ‘bedroom coup’ remarks that got Jabulani Sibanda expelled from the party.”
Cde Guzah refused to divulge the names and number of party members who signed the petition to pass the vote of no confidence, but referred questions to Cde Chengeta whose phone was not reachable.
However, one of the people said to have signed the petition, Cde Peter Chanetsa, distanced himself from it.
He said he was made to believe that the paper he signed for was for senior provincial members who were going to attend the party’s recent conference in Victoria Falls.
Cde Chanetsa said Cde Mutsvangwa was a Presidential appointee and as such could not be suspended by lower structures.
“I did not sign any petition,” Cde Chanetsa said.
“(Cde) Mutsvangwa is not a member of the Mashonaland West provincial executive. He is a Politburo member and a Minister appointed by the President.
“If you say you are passing a vote of no confidence in such a person you are literally passing a vote of no confidence in the President who appointed him.
“The problem that we are facing now, is that the party is riddled with crooks. They want to eliminate senior members from the party for self enrichment,” said Cde Chanetsa.
Cde Guzah said Cde Mutsvangwa’s remarks on the party’s commissariat department also displayed gross indiscipline.
“Cde Chris Mutsvangwa’s shocking and widely publicised utterances should, therefore, attract the same judicial review in terms of the party’s constitution and must suffer the same consequences as did Jabulani Sibanda’s insolent remarks.”
In the Standard newspaper of December 6 2015, Cde Mutsvangwa was quoted as saying: “There is a crying poverty of institutional memory in the commissariat department. That is why the party is resorting to arbitrary votes of no confidence. I am proud of them (war veterans) for reminding the party leadership that decisions made at Congress should be implemented. The war veterans are right. We fought for democracy and people should be seen exercising it.”
For these remarks, Cde Guzah said, Cde Mutsvangwa was offside as his comments were in contrast with the Politburo decision of November 25.
“This is gross indiscipline for a member of our provincial coordinating committee to stand in defiant opposition of a Politburo decision taken in its meeting of 25 November 2015,” he said.
“Its tantamount to challenging the authority of the President and First Secretary of the party, His Excellency Cde R.G Mugabe, who alone is the appointing authority of members of the Politburo in terms of Section 39 of the party’s constitution.”