Zanu-PF secretary for science and technology, Professor Jonathan Moyo, yesterday described vesting power to appoint vice-presidents in the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President as “a mistake” as he sprung to the defence of a Mashonaland Central province’s conference resolution that wants President Mugabe’s constitutional authority to appoint his deputies revoked.
In a series of posts on his Twitter handle @profjnmoyo, Prof Moyo described the 2014 constitutional amendment that positioned President Mugabe as the one centre of power in Zanu-PF as a gaffe.
President Mugabe, Prof Moyo said, should not appoint his deputies, but have them elected by party members. In blunt attack on the one centre of power principle, Prof Moyo also said “a ruler that’s not flexible to bend will break.”
Prof Moyo’s support for the Mashonaland Central provincial resolution, comes at a time other Zanu-PF provinces yesterday reaffirmed their support for President Mugabe and the one centre of power principle. Interviewed Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons, yesterday said the one centre of power principle was not negotiable and those calling for its abolishment were free to leave the party.
In any case, the provinces said, the revolutionary party would not change its constitution to suit narrow sectoral and factional agenda pushed by a few individuals.
Continuing with his prolific tweets on party issues despite the President’s counsel on social media, Prof Moyo said amendments to Section 32 (1) b of the Zanu-PF constitution at the 2014 Congress, which gave President Mugabe sweeping powers to appoint his deputies and Politburo members, was a mistake.
“Amending Constitution in 2014 because of (former Vice President Dr Joice) Mujuru cabal was a mistake,” Prof Moyo said.
“Case for Female VP & elected VPs is strong! The case for electing VPs is compelling given that successionists have taken a VP appointment as an anointment!”
This latest development exposed Prof Moyo’s flip-flopping character as on November 27 last year, he tweeted supporting the one centre of principle. He said: “When we say one centre of power under President Mugabe as the one leader in Zanu-PF, it’s because we know too many cooks spoil the broth!”
Asked by one of his followers using the twitter handle @MafuriranwaL on why he was shifting goal posts, Prof Moyo responded: “A ruler that’s not flexible enough to bend will break!”
Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Cde Dickson Mafios, this week said the one centre of power principle was useless as it was not serving any purpose and was not in sync with democratic tenets.
He said the norm was not “benefiting” anyone.
Other provincial executive members have distanced themselves from the resolution saying it was “a decision by Cde Mafios and his handlers.”
Cde Mafios is brother to Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Savious Kasukuwere, who is reported to be a key figure in the so called G40- faction.
After he was empowered by the party as one centre of power to make key appointments, President Mugabe appointed Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his deputies.
This was after a realisation that the practice of electing VPs and other officials had become a breeding ground for factionalism and individualism that afflicted Zanu-PF in the run up to the 2014 Congress.
Zanu-PF provinces yesterday confirmed their unconditional support to the 2014 constitutional amendments adding that President Mugabe had done nothing wrong that warranted stripping him off his appointing powers.
“As far as we are concerned, we still support the one centre of power,” said Harare acting chairperson Cde Charles Tawengwa. “According to our resolutions, we support the one centre of power principle.”
Mashonaland West chairperson Cde Ephraim Chengeta said: “We took a resolution in 2014 and we will never change come what may. We agreed that this is a position and we never divert from that or support anyone who wants to divert that. The President is the sole centre of power and in 2018 he will be our candidate. Let’s go by what we have agreed on.”
Midlands acting chairperson Cde Joram Gumbo, said his province was “solidly behind the one centre of power and his appointed and elected leadership.”
Bulawayo provincial chairperson Cde Dennis Ndlovu weighed in: “As a province, we abide by whatever the party decides. We agreed on one of centre of power and as a province, we support that. We agree with the 2014 declaration unless the party as a whole sits down and rescind that decision.”
Matabeleland North chair Cde Richard Moyo said: “People agreed at Congress and we will never change or back that idea (to abolish one centre of power principle). We are content with the status quo. If we try to change that, people will beat us. We gave President Mugabe all the powers and if there is need for change we will take it from there but for now it’s not negotiable.”
Mashonaland East’s Cde Bernard Makokove, said their conference resolutions did not contain such wayward agreements. Matabeleland South chairperson Cde Rabelani Choeni said the province was behind the one centre of power concept.
Mashonaland Central province was the first to raise the issue of centre of power, but is now amazingly trashing it.
The 16th Zanu-PF National People’s Conference will run from December 13 to 17 in Masvingo. Zanu-PF organs and affiliate organisations have accused Mashonaland Central province of trying to usurp President Mugabe’s powers for factional ends. herald