The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Mashonaland Province, which is headed by Dick Mafios, wants to strip President Robert Mugabe of his powers to appoint his deputies raising questions as to whether Mafios is not trying to protect his “brother” Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mugabe was given the powers to appoint his deputies in 2014 when the party amended its constitution in a move that was aimed at addressing factionalism within the party.
This enabled Mugabe to appoint rank outsiders, Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Previously party vice-presidents were elected by party members.
Mafios said the province had decided to have the powers stripped because this was not democratic.
He also said the direct appointments were not benefiting anyone as Mugabe’s deputies were not protecting him.
“The President is under attack and no one is protecting him. We want people to identify those who are able to protect the President. Of course, one centre of power is there but practically people are defying. We are aware that even the President is elected and if the President is elected why not also the Vice Presidents? We are worried,” Mafios told The Herald.
“At the moment we want to see the President’s integrity being protected by senior members within the hierarchy of the party. But when we see that there is no protection and people are talking a lot of rubbish, we wonder why those people who have been appointed by the one centre of power keep quite when the President is being lambasted.”
Asked whether this decision was not based on his relationship to national commissar, Saviouur Kasukuwere, his half brother, Mafios said: “We do not subscribe to G40 or Lacoste, but to one party led by President Mugabe. The issue of factions are political gimmicks.”
Kasukuwere is one of the leaders of G40 which is fighting to prevent Mnangagwa from succeeding Mugabe. It purportedly supports the First Lady Grace Mugabe but she says she has no ambition to succeed her husband.