EMBATTLED Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere could have fuelled further divisions within the ruling party’s provincial structures yesterday when he reportedly met with five chairpersons after the other five snubbed him, arguing they would only recognise him after he was cleared by the politburo.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Yesterday’s meeting at the party’s headquarters in Harare was Kasukuwere’s first following weeks of nationwide protests and petitions aimed at jettisoning him from his post as political commissar.
Under-fire Mashonaland Central chairperson Dickson Mafios, who is Kasukuwere’s half-brother, confirmed the meeting took place.
“Yes, I have just been to the meeting. We discussed the ongoing restructuring exercise in the party,” he said.
“The restructuring will go ahead because we have to complete it and be ready for elections next year.
“President (Robert) Mugabe is our candidate and is still very popular, but we need to make sure we have active structures on the ground.”
Mafios said the meeting was attended by Harare provincial chairperson Charles Tawengwa, Mashonaland Central (Mafios himself), Mashonaland East’s Bernard Makokove, Bulawayo’s Dennis Ndlovu, Matabeleland North’s Richard Moyo and Midlands was reportedly “represented by their political commissar (Makhosini Hlongwane)”.
Makokove confirmed attending the gathering.
“The meeting is over. I have just come from attending,” he said before hanging up the phone.
But Midlands provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said he was in the dark.
“I was not invited and actually I am in Chirumanzu now. I am not aware of the meeting,” he said despite claims Hlongwane represented the province.
Transport minister Joram Gumbo, who has been acting Masvingo provincial chairperson, also professed ignorance of the meeting.
“I am no longer acting chairperson. We elected a chairman in Masvingo and I would not know if he (Ezra Chadzamira) attended,” Gumbo said.
While party sources claimed Manicaland’s suspended chairperson Samuel Undenge had attended the meeting, the Energy minister requested questions in writing, but had not responded at the time of going to print last night.
However, Manicaland province’s Joseph Mujati, Undenge’s deputy, who claims to have taken over in an acting capacity, said he was not aware of the indaba.
“I was not invited and, yes, I am the acting chairperson. I would also not know if they invited him (Undenge) and whether he attended,” Mujati said.
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Ndlovu said he had been gagged.
“We have been ordered not to comment about these things in the media. I cannot comment,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Kasukuwere said the meeting was well attended, with Mashonaland West the only province that was not represented.
“All provinces came except Mashonaland West. Manicaland was not represented, but they sent excuses because they were on their way, but felt they could not meet the time. Matabeleland South and North provinces came late when the meeting was already over. It was brief,” he said.
Under-fire Masvingo provincial commissar Jeppy Jaboon said he attended the meeting, but without Chadzamira, whose election is yet to be ratified by the politburo.
A Zanu PF source, however, claimed Kasukuwere had “gate-crashed” a meeting of the party’s administration department called by secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo.
“It was a meeting called by the secretary for administration (Chombo). That is the meeting that Kasukuwere also attended as far as we know,” the source claimed.