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Mnangagwa recycles deadwood

by Staff rporter
30 Oct 2022 at 02:57hrs | Views
Some forgotten Zanu-PF stalwarts had their political careers resurrected at the ruling party's just ended congress after spending years in the cold following the creation of a council of elders and appointments into the central committee by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Zanu-PF congress ended in Harare yesterday after 80-year-old Mnangagwa was endorsed as the ruling party's candidate for next year's presidential elections.

His wife Auxillia Mnangagwa also officially became a member of the central committee following in the footsteps of former first lady Grace Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe rose to become a politburo member and tried to influence the succession of her late husband Robert Mugabe, which many analysts believe precipitated the 2017 coup that toppled the octogenarian.

Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe with promises to modernise both the ruling party and the country, but he is increasingly being compared to his authoritarian predecessor.

As expected, he did not make any changes to the party's presidium as he re-appointed his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, while chairperson Oppah Muchinguri retained her post.

Mohadi resigned from government in 2020 after he was caught up in a messy sex scandal involving married women.

Mnangagwa has stuck to one VP and in the process doing away with a Mugabe tradition to appoint a former Zapu member and someone from Matabeleland as one of his deputies in government.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, commissar Mike Bimha,  women's league  boss Mabel Chinomona, secretary for security Lovemore Matuke and secretary for war veterans Douglas Mahiya and finance secretary Patrick Chinamasa also retained their posts in the politburo.

The congress also approved the constitution of a council of elders with former cabinet ministers Josaya Hungwe, Tshinga Dube and Angeline Masuku emerging as some of the inaugural members.

Hungwe, who was a senator at independence in 1980, served as a minister for many years.

Former ministers Francis Nhema and Nicholas Goche also made a comeback after some years on the sidelines.

The former ministers found themselves in political wilderness following the removal of Mugabe from office in November 2017.

Goche was fired for hobnobbing with former vice-president Joice Mujuru in 2013 and has not held a senior position since then.

Former Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora and ex-Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe also made a comeback into the central committee.

Dokora was booted out in 2018.

Other members who made it into the central committee include party secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana, Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abednico Ncube and former Harare Provincial Affairs minister Miriam Chikukwa, who were appointed into the central committee by Mnangagwa.

Businessman James Makamba, Edgar Mbwembwe and lawyer Jonathan Samkange also made the list.

Mnangagwa also extended an olive branch to other former senior Zanu-PF members to re-join the former liberation movement.

"Party structures must never block people from joining and re-joining the party for personal interests," he said in his closing remarks yesterday.

"Party structures and leadership at every level must resist the temptation to close any individuals or group of persons from coming into Zanu-PF on the basis of preferences or even preservation of a few, or that if he enters he will take my position.

"Rejecting others is not the Zanu-PF way. Instead our structures must make our membership base stronger and broader by accepting more and more people into the party."

He added: "Zanu-PF is for the founders, dead and alive, the current generation and the coming generation.

"It was handed to us alive and we must also hand it over alive.

"The Chitepo School of Ideology must continue imparting ideology to all party members.

"You are more important in the party if you have ideology than if you have money."

Mnangagwa also appointed the leader of Zanu (Ndonga) Wilson Khumbula into the all-powerful Zanu-PF central committee as he eyes the Chipinge vote in the 2023 elections.

Zanu (Ndonga), formed by the late Ndabaningi Sithole after he was forced out of Zanu-PF, draws its support from largely the Ndau populated district of Chipinge where Zanu-PF has struggled to make inroads for years.

Sithole was the founding president of Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) in 1963.

He was later deposed in a palace coup engineered by Mugabe who accused him of denouncing the liberation struggle during a court trial in 1975.

In August, Mnangagwa posthumously conferred national hero status on Sithole to pacify the Chipinge electorate and win votes.

A gala to celebrate Sithole is also on the cards.

The wife of the late Zanla guerrilla army commander Josiah Tongogara, Angeline is also now a member of the central committee.

Zanla was the military wing of Zanu during the armed struggle.

Source - The Standard Zimbabwe