The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo says President Robert Mugabe will not use the special congress to be held in December to fire his lieutenants.
It will, instead, be used to rally all party structures around winning next year’s elections.
Chombo told the Sunday Mail that Mugabe does not need a special congress to change the presidium or the politburo.
“The President has agreed with what the provinces have said. He has given us the go-ahead to start the official processes that are procedural and necessary to have the congress.
“As of now, the most important matters that have come out from the provinces are that the congress is being held with a view to preparing the party for next year’s harmonised elections.
“So, all the resolutions passed by the provinces will be presented as they are, and from there, the central committee will decide what matters should be put on the agenda.
“Only those resolutions which the central committee adopts will become the agenda of the congress, while those issues that are not deemed important will be left out.”
Chombo added: “So, we are going to congress to put into perspective all those matters. This is not a new thing; we had elections in 2002 after coming from an Extraordinary Congress because it was a year before elections…..
“This is not new. It will not look at individual issues; we focus on national party issues. The removal of people from certain positions, just like the cabinet reshuffle, the President can do it anytime. So, let’s not be arrogant and suggest for him.
“The constitution provides for the President as the one centre of power. He can use his discretion and does not need congress. I cannot run the party based on wishes of individuals. I run the party on the dictates of the party constitution.”
Chombo’s comments seem to be an about turn on the part of G40 which called for the congress because G40 wanted a change of leadership to “smoothen” the succession process.
Its main target is Emmerson Mnangagwa whom it wants fired to be replaced by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Legal experts have argued that ZANU-PF does not need a special congress to endorse Mugabe as its presidential candidate, or to rally people behind the party structures in preparing for 2018. This can be done at regular annual people’s conference.
G40 was calling for an “elective congress” and wanted a woman vice-president and to have one, one of the male vice-presidents has to go as appointing three vice-presidents will need the party constitution to be amended.
Zimbabwe’s powerful war veterans are opposed to the G40 proposals and have threatened to field a candidate to challenge Mugabe.
The Lacoste faction said to be behind Mnangagwa has largely been silent leaving G40 in a quandary.
In 2015 G40 tried to push for the nomination of a woman vice-president and those from Lacoste who had been silent as the debate raged said the female candidate does not have to com from the former ZANU-PF.
She could also come from the former Zimbabwe African People’s Union which meant vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko could go instead of Mnangagwa.
The plan was abandoned. – Insider