DRAMA IN VOLATILE ZANU PF MASVINGO PROVINCE | Zanu PF Masvingo province has held its shortest ever Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) meetings both of which lasted less than 10 minutes with the province endorsing a resolution for President Robert Mugabe to call for an extra-ordinary congress in December this year.
Led by Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Ezra Chadzamira, the PEC only endorsed the mooted extra ordinary congress resolution but the meeting ended abruptly to give time to the PCC which also resolved that President Mugabe should call for extraordinary congress.
“As the PEC we have resolved that we should support the call to have an extra ordinary congress in December to endorse President Mugabe as our candidate for 2018 elections,” said Chadzamira amid ululations of agreement from the floor.
The PCC meeting then ended abruptly without any further deliberations.
Both meetings were led mainly by the Team Lacoste faction which is known for supporting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from President Mugabe.
The faction members who led the proceedings did not give any chance to their rivals in the Generation 40 (G40) faction who had planned to smuggle in other resolutions like constitutional amendments to allow the inclusion of a woman in the presidium.
Members of the G40 faction, which is said to be pushing for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband President Mugabe, were caught unawares by their rivals as both the PEC and PCC meetings ended before they entered the venue.
It emerged that G40 members wanted to copy and paste the Mashonaland West resolutions that included constitutional amendments and the reservation of space for a female figure in the presidium as part of the resolutions. On the other hand, Team Lacoste, which is fighting for Mnangagwa’s survival, insisted that Masvingo should only endorse Mugabe to call for an
extra ordinary congress and nothing more.
Coming to the PCC, G40 wanted to deliver a punch to Team Lacoste faction by axing its members from the provincial executive on anticipation that they would refuse to endorse the congress.
To back up their move, G40 bused in youths who would support the move but the plan failed to come into fruition after Team Lacoste agreed to endorse the December congress.
Outside the venue, Zanu PF youths could be heard singing songs of praise to alleged G40 kingpins in the province among them newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Engineer Walter Mzembi, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Dr Paul Chimedza and provincial political commissar Jeppy Jaboon.
Zanu PF chief whip and alleged Team Lacoste follower Lovemore Matuke could be heard arguing with Dr Chimedza whom he was accusing of bussing the youths. Matuke told Dr Chimedza that he was too young to stand against him.
The visibly drunk Zanu PF youths sang songs saying Chimedza, Jaboon and Mzembi could walk on top of water without sinking.
They even carried the trio aloft and threw them into the sky as a sign of support.
The PCC meeting which normally stretch for hours only took about ten minutes before members caucused outside the venue.
Mzembi, who arrived at the venue in time for the PCC but never disembarked from his car choosing to simply wait until the meeting was over, later joined the caucus meetings that pushed to edit the resolutions.
When the PCC meeting was over, Jaboon read a WhatsApp message from Mashonaland West province which outlined how they had presented their resolutions regarding the extraordinary congress but Team Lacoste members shot it down saying they write their own resolutions.
“We follow instructions from the top and not from other provinces. That is what they (Mash West) agreed on and not what we agreed on here today. What you are reading is not a benchmark which we should all follow so we will write what we ourselves agree on,” said Chadzamira.
A visibly infuriated and sweating Jaboon responded saying he did not care what people who push other agendas say but will use the Mashonaland West resolution as a template to pen down Masvingo own resolutions.
“We need a template to see how other provinces presented their resolutions so I do not see why you are not happy about it,” said Jaboon to which Chadzamira responded saying he would not sign the resolutions if Jaboon did not take the views of Masvingo as agreed in the shortest ever PCC.
Another member queried why people kept on saying they wanted to endorse Mugabe at the December congress when they had already done so in 2014.
“We have other issues which are more important than to just say we want to endorse the President. How many times should we endorse him? Didn’t we endorse him in 2014? There are other more important issues that should top the agenda,” said the irritated party member.
Button-stick armed police had to be called in to maintain order as there were fears that the situation could implode.
Team Lacoste fears that if the congress is allowed to realign the party structures and amend the constitution, Mnangagwa would be booted out and replaced by Grace.