The ZANU PF 6th National People's Congress was like no other conference ever held before as events leading up to the congress had shocked many, left others in political wilderness, ushered in the use of new slogans such as "pasi neGamatox", had seen the endorsement of Grace Mugabe to lead the ZANU PF women's league, the humiliation of political heavyweights such as Didymus Mutasa and Ray Kaukonde
Key Events Preceding the 6th National People Conference
Allegations of Factionalism
Although the talk of two key factions existing in ZANU PF had been in the media for quite a long time, the year 2014 saw the issue being openly tackled in the public and several top officials in the party denouncing factional tendencies. It was alleged that there was a faction led by former vice president Joice Mujuru which included others like Dzikamai Mavhaire, Francis Nhema, Didymus Mutasa, Flora Buka and John Mvundura among others. Grace Mugabe is wide credited for having led a campaign of denouncing factinalism saying that it was bad for the welfare of the party. During the "Meet the People" rallies, several allegations were also made to the effect that Mujuru alongside her "accomplices" Nicholas Goche and Ray Kaukonde were harbouring plans to remove president Robert Mugabe from power and had even gone to the extent of hiring a hitman for the job. There were also widespread rumours which claimed that Didymus Mutasa has told his lover that they were planning to remove Robert Mugabe from power and replace him with Joice Mujuru. These allegations played a very critical role in the political demise of the various political figures that were said to have been aligned to the Mujuru faction
Votes of No Confidence
Following accusations and counter accusations of fanning factionalism and playing divisive politics, the ZANU PF party saw a wave of "votes of no confidence" which claimed the scalps of political heavyweights such as John Mvundura, Kalisto Gwanetsa, Ray Kaukonde and Temba Mliswa among other provincial chairs that were dismissed from the party. Other party members such as Amos Midzi were also dismissed from the party alongside their functionaries who were all being accused of fanning factionalism. Although several individuals like Gwanetsa and Mliswa were said to have been working round the clock to reverse their ouster, the party upheld the decision by their provinces to remove them from their posts.
Top Party Official Abscond the Politiburo
Having been publicly challenged to deny allegations made against her which included cases of corruption, extortion and dubious business transactions, Joice Mujuru was said to have skipped two consecutive politiburo meetings. The failure to attend the meeting was interpreted in heavily contrasting manners with some claiming that she had accepted her inevitable demise while others went on to claim that she was scared for her life and others claiming that she was scared to face the music. Goche who was also implicated in the plot to assassinate Robert Mugabe also failed to attend the meeting after he was said to be very sick as he was admitted into the intensive care unit of a local hospital In an equally interesting and related matter, it was alleged that Flora Buka who was also linked to the Mujuru camp had collapsed following two successive defeats in the Women's league and Central Committee respectively.
After mounting allegations for having fanned factionalism, plotted to topple Robert Mugabe, engaging in corrupt activities, protecting white farmers and forgery of academic qualifications, it was widely rumoured that Ray Kaukonde had crossed to South Africa. He was rumoured to have been one of the top officials within the party financing the ouster of president Robert Mugabe. The other individual who also spent a considerable amount of time out of the country was Didymus Mutasa who was said to be in India where his wife was receiving medical attention.
Amendment of the Constitution
The constitution of the party was amended during the build up to the 6th National Congress which saw the president being given powers to appoint two deputies of his own choice. The politiburo sat on November 18, 2014 which saw the body effecting changes on the party's constitution
Events at the Congress
Events prior to the holding of the congress had already set the tone for what was most likely to happen at the congress. Individuals that had been fingered as part of a group plotting to remove president Robert Mugabe from office illegally. The individuals such as Joice Mujuru and Ray Kaukonde were not present at the event with certain members of the youth league arguing that if any of the members of the group accused of intending to unseat Robert Mugabe dared to show up, things would turn violent. Although Webster Shamu and Dzikamai Mavhaire were part of the accused, they attended the congress but were said to be very isolated.
Regardless of the fact that ZANU PF youths and the war veterans had declared war on those aligned to the Mujuru faction if they dared to show up at the Congress, on the third day of the congress, Mugabe used it as evidence to argue that Mujuru was a thief as her absence was a typical fashion of a thief. Mugabe also stated that Mujuru stole diamonds and gold and she also accused him of plotting to unseat him. He also praised his wife for playing a critical role in routing rogue elements within the party, hinting their demise if found guilty. Mugabe was reinforcing what he had said a day before the commencement of the congress when he addressed party youths and war veterans who gathered at the party's headquarters. This happened after the congress as those aligned to Mujuru were sucked.
Mugabe also shocked party officials and those who attended the congress when he denigrated his own party when he chanted a new slogan, 'Pasi neZANU PF'. His wife passed on a letter telling him to end his long speech in which he was denouncing Mujuru. Mugabe told the congregates about the letter and this has also since been used as evidence to show that Mugabe is no longer calling the shots.
Throughout the congress, Mugabe tried to exonerate people whom he perceived to be supporting his continued reign in power. He was quoted saying,
The majority of us are good people. We are still clean, free of corruption
He also endlessly praised his wife. Grace Mugabe also continued to humiliate Mujuru and she even stated that after being baby dumped even flies and mosquitoes won't like her.
New Look Politiburo
- President & 1st Secretary – Robert Mugabe
- Vice President & 2nd Secretary – Emmerson Mnangagwa
- Vice President & 2nd Secretary – Phelekezela Mphoko
- Secretary for Administration – Ignatius Chombo
- Secretary for the Commissariat - Saviour Kasukuwere
- Secretary for Finance - Obert Mpofu
- External Affairs – Simbarashe Mumbengegwi
- National Security – Kembo Mohadi
- Transport and Social Welfare – Oppah Muchinguri
- Information and Publicity – Simon Khaya Moyo
- Legal Affairs – Patrick Chinamasa
- Implementation Economic Empowerment Policy – Mike Bimha
- Production and Labour – Josiah Hungwe
- Health and Child welfare & the Elderly – Cleveria Chizema
- Economic Affairs – Christopher Mushohwe
- Women’s Affairs – Dr Grace Mugabe
- Youth Affairs – Pupurai Togarepi
- Education – Joram Gumbo
- Gender and Culture – Thokozile Mathuthu
- Disabled – Joshua Malinga
- Land Reform and Resettlement – Cain Mathema
- Science and Tech – Prof. Jonathan Moyo
- Business Dev – Sithembiso Nyoni
- Environment and Tourism – Prisca Mupfumira
- War Veterans – Sydney Sekeramayi
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