Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF President and First Secretary Cde Mugabe has appointed a National Disciplinary Appeals Committee (NDAC) to consider appeals from cadres aggrieved by either their suspension or expulsion as overseen by the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC).
About 30 Zanu-PF cadres have since lodged appeals with the party’s secretary for Administration, Cde Ignatius Chombo.
Said Party spokesman Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo: “I don’t know about the composition of the appeals committee, but like I have always said, modalities are being worked out by the secretary for Administration. I know there are changes that are going to happen but don’t have them yet.”
Cde Chombo yesterday confirmed the developments, saying Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who was the chairperson of the NDC, would take charge of the NDAC with members drawn from the Central Committee while the secretary for Legal Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, would now chair the NDC.
“Yes, we have received appeals but I can’t tell you how many they are off the cuff because I am away. They are more than two dozen.
“The majority of the appeals that have been received want the National Disciplinary Appeals Committee of the Central Committee to forgive them for what they did. They are saying despite their current punishment, they have remained loyal to the party and now want to enjoy full benefits as members,” he said.
“Others are also complaining that the penalties imposed on them are too high compared to the crimes committed. So they want a review of that. Because of this, President Mugabe has set up a committee to look at these issues.”
While Cde Chombo said he could not recall the names of people who had appealed, it is understood the majority are those who were suspended for allegedly aligning themselves to sacked former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her cabal which sought to unseat President Mugabe.
Among those said to have lodged appeals are former Politburo members, Cdes Webster Shamu and Nicholas Goche.
The two have not joined Dr Mujuru who has since formed a political party, Zimbabwe People First.
Former secretary for Administration in the Women’s League, Cde Esphinah Nhari, who got a 3-year suspension for chanting a slogan “Down with G40”, has also lodged an appeal.
Cde Shamu declined to comment yesterday, referring all questions to Cde Khaya Moyo.
“There is a party spokesperson who speaks on behalf of the party. I cannot be seen to be commenting on party issues. I am a party member, so I follow party rules,” said Cde Shamu.
Cde Nhari was quoted in the media recently as saying she was one of the first party cadres to appeal against her suspension.
Cde Chombo said he could not remember the composition of the appeals committee although he indicated that VP Mphoko would chair it while Cde Chinamasa takes over as NDC chairperson.
The revolutionary party resolved at its Politburo meeting earlier this month to appoint a tribunal of the Central Committee to consider all appeals against suspension or dismissals of party members.
That meeting questioned the credibility of the NDC as some officials in the committee brought cases as complainants while at the same time adjudicating over the same without giving the alleged culprits an opportunity to defend themselves.
Sources told The Herald that this was brought to the attention of President Mugabe at the last Politburo meeting where he was “taken aback by the revelation”.
Insiders said President Mugabe then ordered that disciplinary cases be held in a fair manner, forcing the Politburo to form an appeals committee drawn from the Central Committee as enshrined in the party constitution.
The war veterans raised the same concerns about the NDC, a day after the Politburo, during their meeting with President Mugabe.
The NDC was composed of VP Mphoko as chairperson, national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, secretary for Legal Affairs, Cde Chinamasa, Women’s League Secretary, Dr Grace Mugabe and Youth Affairs secretary, Cde Pupurai Togarepi.
It is however understood Dr Mugabe rarely attended the disciplinary cases as she was represented by her deputy, Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo.
Cde Chinamasa last week told The Herald the NDC would have nothing to do with the appeals as the matter was now under the purview of the Central Committee.
“The decision was that a tribunal be set up to consider the appeals to the Central Committee by all members who are not happy with the decisions of the NDC,” said Cde Chinamasa.
“The NDC will have no role in those appeals because it will be its decisions being appealed against. I am not sure if the tribunal has been set up already since I was away. That was the decision of the party. I am also not aware of who has appealed because it’s outside the NDC,” said Cde Chinamasa.