TEAM LACOSTE CRIES FOUL, VOWS TO FIGHT BACK | Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste camp has vowed to fight back the recent suspension of its four allies in Masvingo and Midlands provincial executive, claiming the suspensions were unconstitutional, as none of the affected provinces had raised any charges against the quartet.
The VP’s allies claimed the suspensions, which could demobilise the camp ahead of the party’s December extraordinary congress, were allegedly engineered by their G40 rivals to derail Mnangagwa’s bid to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s candidature.
Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere last week suspended Masvingo provincial chairman, Ezra Chadzamira, provincial youth league political commissar Brian Munyoro, Midlands acting vice-chairman Godwin Shiri and provincial youth secretary for administration Justice Mayor Wadyajena, accusing them of fanning factionalism, disrespecting the party leadership and abusing social media.
The four were believed to be staunch supporters of the under-fire Vice-President, who faces allegations of State capture and plotting to unseat Mugabe ahead of next year’s general elections.
“A lawsuit or legal recourse against constitutional abusers is allowed in the Zanu PF constitution. Therefore, from hence forth, it’s game on. The purported suspension of the four cadres is unconstitutional, null and void. Section 70 of the Zanu PF constitution says the Zanu PF national disciplinary committee (NDC) can direct disciplinary
proceedings to be transferred to the NDC before they are completed or commenced,” a highly-placed source privy to the goings-on said.
“Transferring disciplinary proceedings means there has to be a lower disciplinary committee transferring disciplinary proceedings to the NDC. In this case, it’s the provincial disciplinary committee that is supposed to transfer disciplinary proceedings to the NDC upon request by the NDC.”
The source added: “They (suspensions) are a ploy to weaken VP Mnangagwa ahead of the extra-ordinary congress. They do not only violate the Zanu PF constitution, but go against the grain and spirit of two things President Mugabe has said. He said suspensions must stop and that party processes must be followed when a matter arises — none of the two has been adhered to.”
The sources said a resistance plan was being hatched to counter the move.Midlands provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri yesterday said a plan would only be unveiled after today’s executive meeting.
“We will release a statement after a meeting tomorrow (today) . . . we are still not aware where the charges are emanating from because as a province, we have no complaints against Shiri and Wadyajena. Our constitution is clear on how disciplinary issues are carried out, but I cannot say much because we have not been favoured with the letters of suspension,” he said.
Another source close to Mnangagwa accused Kasukuwere of applying double standards, whereby he “rushed” to suspend the quartet after allowing Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandiitawepi Chimene to go scot-free after publicly dressing down the Vice-President on several occasions.
The sources said Kasukuwere and his G40 handlers’ selective application of the law in Zanu PF showed that the charges were nothing, but blatant fabrications meant to push out Mnangagwa from the succession race.
“They are pruning people perceived to be backing him with the hope that he will be left as a seating duck. If they want to isolate the VP, they have to fire everyone except Moyo and Kasukuwere,” NewsDay further heard.
Efforts to contact Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, administration secretary Ignatius Chombo and Kasukuwere were fruitless as their mobile phones went unanswered yesterday.
At the time of going print, both Chombo and Kasukuwere had not responded to questions sent on their mobile phones.