BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZANU PF Matabeleland South province has resolved to push the government to adopt a policy of vetting civil servants to establish their political affiliation to allegedly guard against sabotage.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that his presidency is being sabotaged and has singled out the G40, a faction in the ruling party whose leaders were hounded out of the country after he assumed the presidency following a 2017 military coup.
The ruling party’s Matabeleland South executive made the resolution ahead of Zanu PF’s annual conference to be held in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East next week.
Zanu PF’s provincial structures have been holding preparatory meetings ahead of the conference, endorsing Mnangagwa as the party’s presidential candidate for 2023.
It is the same tradition that was employed under the late former president Robert Mugabe where party activists will pledge undying loyalty to the long-time ruler until November 2017 when he was toppled by the military.
Zanu PF’s Matabeleland South province last Wednesday held its provincial meeting in Gwanda where it resolved to lobby the conference to push for a policy allowing for the vetting of civil servants upon employment.
It is understood that party loyalists were of the view that the policy was necessary to ensure undying loyalty from civil servants and ensure they are not ‘against the vision of the government.’
The resolution comes at a time when government is at pains to pacify restive civil servants, who are demanding better salaries and working conditions.
Doctors have been on strike for nearly three months and authorities alleged a ‘foreign hand’ or politics is at play to ostensibly collapse government operations.
Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairperson Rabelang Choeni said he did not attend the Wednesday meeting when contacted for comment the following day.
“It will be unfair for me to comment on that resolution as I did not attend the meeting,” Choeni said.
His deputy Never Khanye also refused to comment.
“It (resolution) was suggested by the youth league and I cannot comment further on that,” Khanye said before referring this publication to youth league chairperson Washington Nkomo.
Nkomo also refused to comment, referring Sunday Southern Eye back to the provincial leadership “because it is now a provincial resolution.”
This is not the first time that government has threatened to force civil servants to undergo security vetting to determine their political affiliation.
Bulawayo based political analyst Effie Ncube said it will be unconstitutional to have a policy allowing the vetting of civil servants to establish their political party affiliation.
“The constitution provides for a professional, independent and non-partisan public service that is not aligned to any political party,” Ncube said.
“Any calls to vet civil servants for political loyalty will be against the constitution and the law.
“What the government can re-deploy are senior civil servants like permanent secretaries not teachers, nurses and the like.
“Civil servants are employees of the state not necessarily the government of the day.
“They don’t have to be loyal to the party. The constitution is very clear on that.
“They have to be loyal to the vision of the state and be able to discharge their duties regardless of the party in power.”
Recently, Zanu PF commissar Victor Matemadanda revealed that the ruling party was targeting civil servants in its recruitment drive.