During the recently concluded August 2023 harmonized elections in Zimbabwe, at least 18 former members of the ruling Zanu PF party lost their membership due to their decision to stand as independent candidates.
This information was included in the Central Committee report presented by President Mnangagwa at the 20th Zanu PF National People’s Conference, and it was subsequently adopted.
The report, prepared by the party’s National Chairperson, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who also chairs the National Disciplinary Committee, highlighted that the party had to enforce its constitutional provisions against individuals who disregarded its regulations.
According to the report, “During the 2023 harmonised general elections some members contested as independent candidates in the national assembly and local authority categories.
“By so doing, the National Disciplinary Committee noted that the members had automatically expelled themselves from the party as stipulated in Article 3, Section 17 (2) as well as Article 550 (11) of the Party Constitution.”
Furthermore, the report noted that the members who stood as independent candidates had failed to attend a conflict management meeting addressed by the National Chairman prior to the nomination day. The purpose of this meeting was to reconcile any grievances among party members and dissuade them from running as independent candidates.
The report emphasized that such open defiance of the party’s constitution, rules, regulations, values, and ethos warranted appropriate deterrent sanctions. This was seen as a way to send a clear message to potential offenders who might consider contesting as independent candidates to reconsider their intentions.
Among those who lost their Zanu PF membership due to standing as National Assembly independent candidates were Zivanai Peter Musanhu (Mt Darwin West), Ms. Siphathisiwe Mathema (Nkayi North), Mr. Thomas Munjoma (Mutare West), Eunice Mangwende (Murewa North), George Vhengere (Gutu East), Tafadzwa Shumba (Mwenezi West), and Jeremiah Ndlukuwani (Gokwe Chireya).
The party’s legal department also reported that it was assigned the task of editorially reviewing the party’s constitution, which was presented and adopted at the 7th National People’s Congress in October 2022. The revised constitution included new provisions such as the establishment of diaspora structures, a council of elders, a Standing Committee of the Central Committee, and the codification of the party’s code of conduct and detailed disciplinary procedures.
In addition, the Education, Ideology, and Research department expressed concern over certain teachers’ unions’ involvement in pushing a regime change agenda. The department highlighted the troubling trend of these unions and other civil society organizations being roped in to promote a Western-funded regime change agenda, with the support of hostile embassies.
The report mentioned that the illicit funding of these teachers’ unions had created a financial divide between their leaders and the people they represented. The department had initiated ideological training for teachers to counteract this move and address the situation.