Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Zanu-PF has dissolved its Masvingo provincial executive and called for fresh elections after a third of its members left their positions for various reasons. This comes in the wake of a growing call for fresh polls in other provinces where either provincial chairpersons were unilaterally imposed by the national leadership or co-opted without input from the leadership of the respective provinces.
The party’s constitution provides for co-option of leaders in any position, but that should be done by the executive of that particular organ. Addressing journalists after the party’s first Politburo meeting for 2017 which becomes its 306th ordinary session, Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said fresh polls were due in Masvingo.
This followed confusion that marred the province where Cde Ezra Chadzamira was co-opted recently as the substantive chairman taking over from Cde Amasa Nhenjana who was acting.
Cde Chombo said the Politburo resolution sets aside the decision that was taken by the provincial leadership. “The Masvingo provincial executive is also going to hold elections for the provincial executive because more than one third of the members have left the executive,” he said.
“The constitution requires that if more than one third of the members have left, you need to hold fresh elections.”
Cde Chombo said various reports were tabled touching on a number of issues.
First was a report he presented in his capacity as secretary for administration focusing on the post-mortem for the party’s 16th National People’s Conference held in Masvingo last year.
Cde Chombo said he reported that the conference was a resounding success and was attended by 5 017 delegates and a further 4 510 invited guests, journalists and service staff. He said the party’s Masvingo leadership expressed their gratitude for the facelift given to Masvingo town in general and Masvingo showgrounds in particular by Zanu-PF.
The second report, Cde Chombo said, came from Dr Joseph Made focusing on the state of agriculture in the country. “The Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Cde Joseph Made updated the Politburo on the state of agriculture,” he said.
“He reported that generally that this was a good season with most crops doing well including cotton which has been resuscitated under the Presidential Inputs Scheme. He explained that this was one of the best seasons in recent times and all indications were that there will be a bumper harvest.
“The winter crops were also expected to do even better as most dams had now overflown.”
Cde Chombo said his commissariat counterpart Cde Saviour Kasukuwere reported on the recent victory by Zanu-PF in the Bikita West by-election and that preparations were already in full swing for the Mwenezi East by-election where the revolutionary party will be represented by Cde Joosbi Omar.
Cde Chombo said Cde Kasukuwere also presented a roadmap for the 2018 harmonised elections. “Furthermore, the secretary for commissariat presented to the Politburo a roadmap for the 2018 general elections,” he said.
“The roadmap gives the party guidance on the programmes and activities that Zanu-PF should follow to guarantee us victory come 2018.”
Cde Chombo continued: “The secretary for youth, Cde Kudzanai Chipanga reported to the Politburo that preparations for the 21st February Movement celebrations, which are going to be held on the 25th of February 2017 at Matopos in Matabeleland South, are now at an advanced stage and will be ready to host His Excellency the President and First Secretary Cde R.G Mugabe.
“As you are aware, the 21st February Movement celebrations are held to honour the President as he celebrates his 93rd birthday and a record 200 000 people are expected to attend.”
In his opening remarks, Cde Chombo said, President Mugabe urged party members to start to work towards the 2018 harmonised elections. He said the President highlighted that the farming season was promising a bumper harvest adding that would contribute significantly to the national economy.
“The President welcomed members to the first Politburo of the year. He stated that the 2017/2018 agricultural season had started off with good rains and that the country anticipated a good harvest,” he said.
“Furthermore, since our economy is agro-based, a good agricultural season will impact positively on the economy. Commenting on the 2018 harmonised elections, the President advised members to attune their minds, attitudes and emotions to focus on unity so as to win the 2018 harmonised elections.
“His Excellency, the President informed members that the late Vice President Simon Vengesai Muzenda left a legacy of success and victory in all elections thus it’s our duty to maintain that success story to honour his legacy.”
He said Zanu-PF had nothing to do with the challenges facing opposition parties adding that they were relegated to the margins of national politics by Zimbabweans.