Senior party officials said the province had also selected seven special councillors to be added to Bulawayo city council’s 29 MDC-T and MDC councillors, despite spirited resistance against the move by the political parties and civic groups.
The elections were held on Sunday at the provincial headquarters – Davies Hall — and were chaired by provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela.
Dakamela confirmed on Wednesday that the provincial coordinating committee (PCC) met at the weekend, but declined to discuss the issue.
Senior Zanu PF members told the Zimbabwe Independent that politburo members Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Eunice Sandi-Moyo, Absolom Sikhosana and central committee member David Ndlovu attended the meeting where Emmanuel Kanjoma, Themba Ncube, Dennis Ncube, Jevan Maseko, Anna Moyo and Yona Mpofu were chosen to fill central committee vacancies. Zanu PF elected central committee members last year, but Bulawayo had six vacancies.
The elections were held, sources said, following an order from the Zanu PF department of administration last week. The chosen members list will then be forwarded to the politburo for approval.
Earlier attempts to co-opt former Bulawayo mayor Abednico Nyathi, former Bulawayo political commissar Raphael Baleni, Violet Ncube, Dennis Ndlovu, Nelly Dupute, Elphus Tshuma and Misheck Velaphi two months ago hit a brick wall after the politburo rejected the list in what party insiders say was a fight between national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and John Nkomo. The list was perceived to be consisting of Nkomo’s allies. The central committee is Zanu PF’s decision-making body and members are elected by district coordinating committees.
“The election of the central committee members was done under protest because there was no quorum of the provincial coordinating committee since only 76 people attended instead of 95,” said the Zanu PF insider.
Another Zanu PF official claimed that the weekend meeting was initially supposed to endorse a list that was rejected by the politburo, but Dakamela led the election of a new list. The source said the initial list had been rejected because it had seven names instead of six and the party leaders in Bulawayo were supposed to drop one name rather than elect new names.
Dakamela, however, declined that he influenced the outcome of the elections.
The senior Zanu PF members said Nyathi, Kanjoma, David Ndlovu, Dennis Ndlovu, Thandabana Tshuma, Eneysses Nhohwedza and Omega Sibanda would be appointed as Bulawayo special councillors by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
The source said Dakamela also sent out letters of dismissal to over 70 provincial council members who have not been attending meetings. Zanu PF Bulawayo province has resolved to sack officials accused of sabotaging party activities before the December conference in Mutare where members are expected to endorse President Robert Mugabe as party’s candidate in next elections, possibly next year.
The party’s structures in Bulawayo are in shambles as members are joining the revived Zapu in droves while others have become members of the two MDC formations.