The Zanu-PF Politburo will summon all provincial chairpersons who were elected during the just-ended elections to a meeting where these leaders will be given proper orientation on the party’s ideology and be told that they were chosen to represent the party and not any faction, it has emerged.
This comes amid revelations that President Mugabe told the same Politburo meeting last week that the party’s Members of the National Assembly should keep the campaign vehicles they were given ahead of the July 31 harmonised elections.
It is understood that the Politburo adopted the President’s call for the MPs to keep the vehicles, bringing to an end a potentially embarassing stand-off between Zanu-PF and its mps over the campaign vehicles as the party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, had ordered the legislators to return the vehicles.
Although both Mutasa and the Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity, Rugare Gumbo, were not answering their mobile phones last night, highly-placed sources privy to the goings-on in the Politburo confirmed yesterday that indeed the party’s decision-making body resolved to summon the provincial chairpersons to a meeting that is set to take place before the 14th Annual People’s Conference set for Chinhoyi later this week.
“Indeed, it’s true that the Politburo resolved to summon the provincial chairpersons to a meeting. As you know, before conference, the Politburo meets to deliberate on several issues. It was resolved that the chairpersons should be given proper orientation on the party’s ideology after the disturbances that characterised the provincial elections.
“It was also felt that there was need kudzidzisa these chairpersons gwara chairo remusangano and to inform them that whatever they do, they should be guided by the party’s ideology, the party’s constitution and the party’s programmes. The Politburo wants these chairpersons to know that because they were chosen by the people, they represent the party and not any individual or faction,” said a source.
The Politburo had already confirmed these chairpersons as leaders in their provinces and this was no longer reversible but added that this does not take away the fact that there were irregularities in the holding of the provincial elections.
“It was agreed that what happened during the provincial elections should never be repeated in future with others mooting the idea that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should run the next such elections,” said a source.
It has emerged that many Politburo members were relieved when Mugabe said the party’s MPs should keep the campaign vehicles they were given before the July 31 elections.
“This masterstroke of a decision by the President was welcomed by many members in the Politburo,” said the sources.
These moves by the Politburo come as Zanu-PF is gearing for the Chinhoyi conference where issues to do with the economy and the recently crafted Zim Asset are set to take centre stage.
Early yesterday, Mutasa highlighted that there would be no room for succession talk at the conference.
“That talk will be misplaced. In shona they say ‘zuva haribude rimwe risati ravira’ and that is what will guide Zanu-PF . . .you can’t be seen talking of replacing a king when he is still on the throne,” he said.
“President Mugabe is in office and we cannot be seen talking about who will replace him.
“Our focus at the conference will be on delivering on the promises we made to the electorate when we successfully sought their vote in the run up to the July 31 elections.
“The focus is on economic revival, food security and housing provision among other key deliverables.”
Speaking in a separate interview early yesterday, Gumbo reiterated that at the top of the conference agenda was economic development anchored on the new economic blueprint - the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset.)
Tellingly, the conference will run between Tuesday and Saturday under the theme: “Zim Asset, Growing the Economy for Empowerment and Employment”.
“Preparations for the conference are going on well, we haven’t encountered any hitches.
“The conference co-ordinating committee led by party chairman (Simon) Khaya Moyo will visit the conference venue tomorrow (today) to assess progress,” said Gumbo.
He disclosed that the Politburo will meet in Harare on Tuesday followed by a Central Committee meeting the following day before deliberations move to Chinhoyi on Thursday.
Zanu-PF secretary for economic affairs Obert Mpofu concurred that the conference “is all about discussing the economy”.
“Economic revival is key hence most of our time will be consumed by discussing measures that need to be implemented to achieve that goal,” he said.
Zanu-PF secretary for women’s affairs Oppah Muchinguri spoke strongly against those discussing the succession race, saying President Mugabe was still in office, hence there was no justification for such debates.
“Let everyone in Zanu-PF focus on Zim Asset. We need to create jobs for the people who voted us into power then when we have a stable economy we can talk about elections for leaders at a congress in December next year,” she said.