Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central provincial and district executive members have distanced themselves from a resolution read out by acting provincial chairperson Cde Dickson Mafios challenging President Mugabe’s status as the only centre of power in the party with the mandate to appoint his deputies. The resolution, they said, was apparently “a family affair’’ and the brainchild of Cde Mafios, who is brother to national political commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.
Cde Kasukuwere is reported to be a key figure in the so-called G40-faction along with Professor Jonathan Moyo, who hails from Matabeleland North but has been at the forefront of defending what has been dubbed “the Mafioso resolution’’ on social media.
Several district and provincial executive members yesterday held meetings and distanced themselves from the controversial resolution. The party members said they had “hunted” for Cde Mafios, but he avoided them and reportedly told them over the phone that: “I will stand for (the resolution) myself.”
Members from the main wing, Youths and Women’s leagues said no single district passed a resolution seeking to strip President Mugabe of his powers when it comes to appointing his deputies.
They said the purported resolution only popped up when final resolutions were being read out, a clear indication that it was smuggled in by senior members. The members said Central Committee member Cde Martin Mavhangira was in-fact, rebuked when he inquired about the resolution during the provincial inter-district meeting in Bindura last weekend.
Cde Mafios, who himself was not elected, yesterday told The Herald that there was no going back on the resolution that President Mugabe should not appoint his deputies but have them elected by party members.
“Hazvina nebasa rese izvo,” he thundered! “Isu takatotaura, and that’s our position. It will not change.” Zanu-PF amended its Constitution at the 2014 congress and gave President Mugabe powers to appoint his deputies and Politburo members.
The one centre of power principle was a way of stemming factionalism which sought to manifest in alternative centres of power, which had afflicted the revolutionary party ahead of the congress.
Mashonaland Central secretary for Education in the Women’s League Cde Shantel Mbereko said, Cde Mafios should be taken to task over the “treasonous” resolution. She said they had to convene a meeting yesterday as they were under fire from party members who sought to know where the resolution emanated from.
“We didn’t agree on that, and we tried calling him and he is avoiding us,” she said.
“Ati anogona kuzvimirira ega, hanzi ndopedza nyaya yangu ndega. Chatiri kunyatsoona inyaya inenge ine kamhuri mukati, yavakatoronga vega. Vari kuita zvechimhuri-mhuri (He said he will personally defend the resolution. He said it was his baby and it is clear that this is a family thing),” Cde Mbereko said.
Cde Mafios was imposed as acting chairperson last year when Cde Luke Mushore was booted out in the run-up to the 2014 December congress. Cde Mbereko added: “As we speak, party members are firing questions at us leaders from all angles, as they want answers to that. Our resolutions as women didn’t have that nonsense, but it came from the main wing members.
“Our Central Committee member Cde Mavhangira immediately stood up and asked where that resolution had come from, but he was told to sit down by the chairperson (Cde Mafios). It is that greedy family alliance which has seen women being elbowed out of mining activities taking place at Kitsiyatota,” she said.
Said Cde Mavhangira: “We are working on something and after that, we will come to you with all the information.” Cde Mafios is on record saying the one centre of power principle should be abolished as it was not benefiting anyone. Cde Tinashe Matangira, provincial youth secretary for lands said the youths had not passed such a resolution.
“We sat as provincial members in Bindura and we denounce the announcement made that Vice Presidents should be elected and the one centre of power principle should cease to exist,” he said.
“That is a move meant to strip the President of his powers. Vanoda President vasare vari President wezita chete? We exonerate ourselves from such a resolution. We phoned Cde Mafios and he said the resolution is from the youths, but we the youths are saying there is nothing like that. The owners of the resolutions in various districts are surprised and breathing fire.”
Cde Pozaiti Sireu, deputy secretary for business liaison added: “We don’t even know where it came from and we are all surprised. We disown that resolution.” A senator, who preferred anonymity, said efforts to get hold of Cde Mafios had been fruitless.
“Starting from the districts, it was agreed that we remain with one centre of power. We are not part of that idea of electing deputies. We wanted to get hold of Cde Mafios to speak with one voice, but he is playing hide-and-seek, and a vote of no confidence is on its way,” he said.
Another district chairperson from Bindura Cde John Risinamhodzi said: “It’s an individual decision which did not come from the people. The province never made a decision. There are a few individuals pushing their agendas. We are for the one of centre of power, and that centre of power will choose its lieutenants. If allowed to pass through, those people will end
up saying let’s vote for Politburo members.”
The Zanu-PF Women’s League and Zanu-PF affiliates like Zeppedra, Ziliwaco and ZNLWVA have since trashed “the Mafioso resolution’’ as an attempt to undermine the President and First Secretary, Cde Mugabe.
All other Zanu-PF provinces have reaffirmed their support for President Mugabe as the one centre of power ahead of the 16th National People’s Conference to be held in Masvingo next month. The conference will run from December 13 to 17. herald