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WITH the clock ticking towards ZANU-PF’s elective congress, suspended members are holding their breath in the hope that the revolutionary party would rescind its decisions before the convention. Several ZANU-PF cadres are currently on suspension.

In Masvingo, former provincial chairman, Lovemore Matuke, was suspended from ZANU-PF after he gave Munyaradzi Kereke the green light to represent the party in the July 31, 2013 elections. Kereke, who is also looking forward to being re-admitted into the party, had been asked by the party to withdraw from the elections and give way to Elias Musakwa, who had been nominated to represent ZANU-PF in Bikita West.

A defiant Kereke went on to win the Bikita West seat, much to the chagrin of the Zanu-PF leadership which was quick to declare him expelled from the party. Because of the suspension, Matuke could not stand for re-election as the provincial supremo for Masvingo. In Manicaland, Mike Madiro, the former provincial chairman, was suspended along with five other executive members from the region for allegedly abusing their party positions to defraud companies operating in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The allegations took a nasty turn when Madiro and his then suspended deputy, Dorothy Mabika, were hauled before the courts facing charges of stealing 10 beasts that were meant for President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations in 2012. The two were later acquitted before the Mutare Magistrates Court, throwing Madiro another lifeline.

His relief was short-lived after the party’s supreme decision-making body in between congress — the Politburo — announced that all suspended members were not going to participate in the party primary elections prior to the July 31, 2013 polls. This was after ZANU-PF’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, expressed his displeasure against Madiro.

It was a double tragedy for Madiro as he was also rendered ineligible to stand for re-election as the provincial chair for Manicaland, losing the post to John Mvundura.

Rugare Gumbo, the ZANU-PF national spokesperson, told the Financial Gazette at the weekend that members who were expelled or suspended will know of their fate before the congress. Traditionally, ZANU-PF holds its congress around December but there are indications that the indaba could be held much earlier.

“It’s up to the party to make the decision. And I’m not sure what decision will be taken but what I can assure you is that the party will decide before we go to congress,” said Gumbo. According to the ZANU-PF constitution, suspended or expelled members are not eligible to attend congress. They can only do so after the party has lifted the ban. It is only then that the affected members can enjoy the privilege of being elected to executive positions within the party.

Speaking to the Financial Gazette, Madiro said he did not join ZANU-PF to hold executive positions. He said he is content with the status quo and failure to be co-opted in the party ranks will not compromise his loyalty to the party.

“I am content with just being a (card-carrying) member of the party. Yes, I do not hold any executive position but just a member. You have to know that membership is defined in the (ZANU-PF) constitution with duties and responsibilities, rights and obligations.

“True party cadres do not dwell on rising through the ladder or holding positions. Such a mindset is for those people who come into the party for positions. As for me, I’m just a party cadre who does his duties as a member, full stop,” Madiro said.

He added, “I have served the party for more than 30 years in some official capacity, one way or the other. I am not salivating to be holding a position after serving the party for that long in executive positions. Why should I dwell much on positions, why can’t I also be served by others?” Madiro was reduced to a card-carrying member following his suspension last year.

He had his most notable brush with the party for his alleged involvement in the so-called Tsholotsho declaration in 2004. He was one of the six provincial chairpersons suspended from ZANU-PF for being the architects of the declaration, which was an attempt to block Joice Mujuru from ascending to the position of Vice President.

Madiro, was later re-admitted into the party, where he rose to become provincial chair.

He fell out of favour again after allegations that he, along with five other provincial executive members, had abused their party positions to defraud companies operating in the Chiadzwa diamond fields of more than US$700,000.

Source : Financial Gazette