BY KENNETH NYANGANI
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda was on Wednesday barred by State security agents from attending a crucial Zanu PF politburo meeting as the ruling party hounds him over his recent call for a diaspora vote and the appointment of a second vice-president.
Mudenda courted the ire of Zanu PF when he said the Constitution should be amended to allow millions of Zimbabweans outside the country to vote in the 2023 elections.
He also called for a speedy appointment of a second vice-president in the spirit of the 1987 Unity Accord after former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi resigned following a messy sex scandal.
Only Zimbabweans on diplomatic missions and civil servants outside the country are allowed to vote and Mnangagwa has been evasive about the appointment of the second VP.
There are also claims that Mudenda is reportedly positioning himself to replace Mohadi.
Party fanatics have been circulating pictures of Mudenda allegedly dining with foreign embassy officials, saying he is compromised and not serving party interests.
“Mudenda was barred from attending the politburo meeting by some State security agents because people in the party are not happy with the diaspora vote which he called for recently,” a Zanu PF source said.
When contacted for comment, Mudenda curtly said: “That’s nonsense,” before dropping the call.
Zanu PF political commissar and acting spokesperson Mike Bimha said: “He (Mudenda) was asked to be excused from the politburo by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa since he had a question-and-answer session in Parliament. President Mnangagwa realised that Hon Mudenda was in the politburo when we started the meeting at 2pm, the time the question-and-answer session starts in Parliament.”
But on Wednesday, Mnangagwa read the riot act to Mudenda during the politburo meeting, saying personal views should not be paraded in the public as party policy.
“We are a party united by our shared ideology and common values. All of us are subject to the collective wisdom of the party. The correct party line must be adhered to once a collective decision has been made. Personal views and opinions must never be smuggled to assume the status of being a party policy,” Mnangagwa said.
Last week, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa chastised Mudenda saying: “It’s okay for Parliament, as the electorate of the sovereign people of Zimbabwe, to express their certain views.
“We also belong to a party and we have the majority. It’s unbecoming when some of our members express views in Parliament about certain issues. We have a caucus at the party. Why would somebody from the ruling party want to go and express things about the diaspora or express things about when the President should be electing a vice-president?”
“We should discuss them here. To go out and start talking out of turn is not the Zanu PF way. There is no problem in having variant views, but let’s discuss them if you are a party member. As the spokesperson of the party, I appeal for discipline from our party members.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba later called Mudenda to order saying he had overstepped his mandate as Speaker of the National Assembly.
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