Tendai Mugabe and Takunda Maodza, Harare Bureau
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo has been dropped from a high level team visiting Mashonaland Central today to resolve differences stemming from a petition signed by the province against national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and his brother Cde Dickson Mafios.
Cde Mafios is the acting Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairman, but was recently suspended after the provincial executive issued him with a prohibition order.
Reasons for Cde Chombo’s sudden exclusion were not clear by yesterday.
The four member team is now being led by Cde Jacob Mudenda, who is also a Politburo member and Speaker of the National Assembly.
Other members of the team are Cdes Simon Khaya Moyo (secretary for information and publicity), Tsitsi Muzenda (Committee member in the Politburo) and an official identified as Cde Kazizi.
Zanu-PF director of administration Cde Dickson Dzora will be the minute taker at the meeting that is strictly going to be attended by provincial members and those who constitute the Provincial Coordinating Committee.
Initially, Cde Chombo was leading the team that was supposed to meet last Sunday before the meeting was postponed to today.
Cde Chombo confirmed last night that he was no longer part of the team visiting Mashonaland Central.
“Senior members from the Politburo are going there and I can confirm that the meeting will be taking place in Bindura at 10AM,” said Cde Chombo. “The team is going to hear issues and grievances that were raised by the province. The meeting is to be chaired by a person who has been sent there.”
Asked if he was going to Bindura as well, Cde Chombo said: “No, I will be in Gweru tomorrow (today).”
He said the meeting was postponed after noting that most of the people who were supposed to be part of the delegation could not make it on time due to distance.
Our Harare Bureau is reliably informed that yesterday Cde Kasukuwere spent the whole day mobilising against efforts to remove him as the head of the party’s commissariat department.
“Today (yesterday) we witnessed in the province massive mobilisation by the G40 cabal,” said a source in Mashonaland Central. “We had vehicles criss-crossing the width and breadth of the province.
“It is alleged provincial members and those who constitute the PCC were being given money and other incentives to support the embattled national political commissar. We are also advised that hooligans who comprise mainly former members of Border Gezi Youth Training Centre and some rogue elements have been hired to show support for (Cde) Kasukuwere in a last minute bid, and a desperate one, after all provinces disowned the national political commissar.”
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said violence would not be tolerated at the meeting.
“I must warn, as the head of the province and Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs, that security will be tight,” he said. “Only known PCC members will be allowed to participate in the proceedings.
“We will not allow any violence, intimidation or harassment of party members from both sides. Party members must be allowed to air their grievances to the high level party leadership team as delegated by the party leadership.”
The meeting will be held at Bindura Country Club and is expected to end by lunch time.
Adv Dinha thanked the party leadership for sending a fact finding mission to Mashonaland Central.
“It shows that the party leadership took seriously the concerns of Zanu-PF members in Mash Central,” he said. “We hope they will gather sufficient facts and evidence for presentation to the President and the Politburo.
“I must emphasise that the President is the sole appointing authority for Politburo members and Government ministers. He is the sole centre of power.”
Cde Kasukuwere is facing numerous charges that include plotting to topple President Mugabe through setting up parallel structures. His home province held a highly subscribed demonstration demanding his expulsion together with Cde Mafios early this month.
Other provinces and all party organs in turn supported the resolution, while others called for his expulsion from both the party and Government.