Source: Midlands saga: Kasukuwere under fire | The Herald May 25, 2017
EMBATTLED zanu-pf national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has come under fire for trashing the party’s communication channels and procedures after he unilaterally disqualified Cde Pearson Meeting Mbalekwa from contesting the Chiwundura by-elections slated for July 15. Cde Kasukuwere disqualified Cde Mbalekwa via a text message from Mexico where he is accompanying President Mugabe who is attending the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The disqualification of Cde Mbalekwa, who prevailed in party primaries, has intensified calls by some party insiders that Cde Kasukuwere should recuse himself from commissariat duties till his case is finalised.
The commissar, party members said, had do locus standi having been rejected by nine of the party’s 10 provinces.
zanu-pf Politburo member and senior official from the Midlands Province Cde Joram Gumbo said he was not aware where the directive to disqualify Cde Mbalekwa came from because the Politburo never sat to discuss the matter.
Cde Omega Hungwe (zanu-pf deputy national commissar) who was the returning officer in the elections, yesterday said Cde Kasukuwere never communicated with her, but chose to send a text message to one of the directors in the Commissariat Department identified as Cde Gwazemba announcing that Cde Mbalekwa was no longer eligible to stand for primaries.
Cde Mbalekwa, who later recused himself from the elections, had won the primaries with 1 551 votes against his closest rival Cde Brown Ndlovu who got 1 196.
He contested the primaries after his name, together with 20 others, were approved by the Provincial Elections Directorate which submitted his name to the National Elections Directorate which did not contest his candidature.
Procedurally, if the National Elections Directorate had misgivings with any of the candidates submitted to it, it was supposed to write back to the Provincial Elections Directorate through the secretary for Administration.
However, out of the blue, Cde Kasukuwere texted his directive to a junior officer in the commissariat department for onward submission to Cde Hungwe.
Cde Gumbo yesterday dismissed Cde Kasukuwere’s text message saying: “I don’t subscribe to instructions given through the media. I think communication must be done through the relevant party channels. The correct procedure was to write to the Provincial Elections Directorate if there were concerns about a particular candidate. As far as I know, the Politburo never met because I represent Midlands in the Politburo as its leader.
“It was important to contact us as Midlands leadership and get our opinion rather than to use the media. It shows that there is some disorder in our house. I am happy that the Provincial Elections Directorate without me as its leader and for the sake of the party and unity Cde Mbalekwa voluntarily recused himself. There is no individual winner here but the ultimate winner is Zanu-PF.
“However, the communication channel that was used is not correct. It’s like we are fighting and that kind of communication was unfortunate. We remain resolute to win the elections under the wise leadership of President Mugabe.”
He said although Cde Mbalekwa was once suspended from Zanu-PF in 2004 and contested elections on an MDC-T ticket, some of those suspended together with him were now sitting Members of Parliament while others had risen to the Politburo and Central Committee.
Speaking to the Herald Cde Hungwe said Cde Kasukuwere’s directive on the Cde MbAlekwa issue came while she was already deploying people to supervise the elections in various stations.
“I was already deploying people when one of the directors in the commissariat department Cde Gwazemba said she had received a text message from the national political commissar saying Cde Mbalekwa should not stand. He did not talk to me and I was the only Politburo member there.
“I then called the provincial chairman (Cde Mackenzie Ncube) to inform him. The chairman said you are the boss and senior member here and we then conclude that the Provincial Coordinating Committee, which is the highest decision making organ in the province had approved all the candidates so they should all contest. Cde Mbalekwa emerged as the winner but I was told yesterday that he had decided to withdraw his candidature.”
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said: “There are laid down rules that should be followed when disqualifying a candidate. You cannot make an independent decision. You go by the rules.”
A provincial member from Midlands who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “When we realised that the NPC was heavily involved in the process, we resolved that Cde Mbalekwa should recuse himself because we didn’t want to cause unnecessary controversy. We strongly believe that it was his (Cde Kasukuwere’s) personal decision because it was not formally communicated. When a decision is being communicated it should be communicated to an organ and not to an individual like what we saw on Monday.”
Cde Kasukuwere was rejected by the party’s provinces on a litany of allegations.
He is awaiting his fate once the Politburo meets.
This followed a report that was prepared by a probe team set by President Mugabe to investigate charges being levelled against him.
Efforts to get comment from Cde Kasukuwere were fruitless.