Friday, 8 July 2016

MUGABE TO SPEAK ON PROTESTS

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is set to address a Zanu PF rally at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura today in what party insiders said will be more of a national address following violent protests against his rule, NewsDay has learnt.

Mugabe will meet legislators as well as provincial executive members from Mashonaland Central in a closed-door meeting before addressing supporters as discontent over economic decline continue to grow.

Addressing journalists after Wednesday’s politburo meeting, Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere said Mugabe would address the people on various issues affecting the country.

“His Excellency will find time to be in Mashonaland Central on Friday. He will have other prior engagements in terms of the provincial party parliamentary caucuses. After that, he will meet the generality of the party membership and apprise them on key issues around the country,” Kasukuwere said.

He said Mugabe would visit other provinces in due course. Mugabe first visited Masvingo for a meeting with MPs in the province, but could not address a rally because of time constraints and “other peculiarities”, Kasukuwere said.

Mugabe’s visit to Masvingo and Bindura came after the despatch of politburo members to various provinces to apprise party structures on various issues including service delivery.
NewsDay understands that the Bindura rally was planned at the last minute.

“Making a State of the Nation Address would give an impression that he had been forced by the situation, so addressing the nation at a rally would be more respectable,” the top party official said.

Both Kasukuwere and party secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo were not picking calls yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday politburo meeting exonerated Midlands Provincial Affairs minister and suspended party provincial chairman Jason Machaya, who had been slapped with a five-year suspension for allegedly working with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp in an alleged plot to oust Mugabe.

Another party member, Industry and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Iris Mabuwa, who was also facing a three-year-suspension, was also acquitted, while former Information deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa had her suspension reduced from three years to two as the party, plagued with infighting, attempted to reduce the widening cracks.

It is also understood that the politburo decided to haul Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya and secretary-general Victor Matemadanda before a disciplinary committee. The politburo, however, fired ZNLWVA chairman and former minister Christopher Mutsvangwa together with 13 party youths.
Chombo said: “The politburo also took time to discuss the disciplinary appeals and review committee. The appeals committee reviewed cases of 13 youth leaders who were expelled from the party and those who were suspended for three and five years.

“All the appeals against the expulsion from the party by the 13 youths were unsuccessful. This means the politburo has fully endorsed the decision of the appeals committees to remain expelled. This was due to the severity of their cases.” newsday

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