President meets ruling party’s Council of Elders

President Mnangagwa, who is also the Zanu-PF First Secretary, yesterday held an inaugural meeting with the ruling party’s Council of Elders where he emphasised that the recently constituted organ, has a diverse and unlimited responsibility in the discharge of its advisory role to the Presidium and all other organs of the party.
The eight-member committee chaired by former Cabinet minister and party stalwart, Cde Sydney Sekeramayi, will be expanded to 25 and will have its own budget and secretariat as part of measures to strengthen it.
Zanu-PF It will be constituted by those who have diligently and selflessly served the revolutionary party.
At its National People’s Congress in Harare last year, Zanu PF announced the new council that will advise the party, in a move that observers said was a masterstroke since it will add more value to the party.
In an interview after the meeting held at State House in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF Secretary General Cde Obert Mpofu, said the Council of Elders would be a powerful body whose members will use their wealth of experience to advise the party.
“This was the first meeting of the Council of Elders by its patron, President and First Secretary of Zanu PF. We have seven already appointed members drawn from all over the country; these are veterans of our liberation struggle and veterans of our nationalist movement who have been put together by His Excellency, the President, to do an important function to advise the President, even the Politburo,” said Cde Mpofu.
“Their responsibility has no limit; they are above even the Politburo, they have to advise us. They have decided that the committee should comprise 25 senior members of the party or veterans of our liberation struggle drawn from around the country.
“Appointment will be based on their probity, experience, their sacrifice, patriotism and many other requirements that befit that responsibility.”
Cde Mpofu said the committee will have to constitute a secretariat and a budget would be provided.
As Secretary General, Cde Mpofu said he is also under the scrutiny of the Council of Elders.
“They will be looking at the performance of the party, the Politburo, Central Committee and the party in general. Their focus will be on the party activities. There are certain things that the party at times does, which cannot be scrutinised by members as it were, but these will not have boundaries.
“So it is quite a powerful body and we urge members to give them that status and respect because they are above members of the Politburo. We already have precedence on the concept of Council of Elders in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Angola. These are people who have gone through the mill,” said Cde Mpofu.
Party members, said Cde Mpofu, should help in the identification of veteran party members whom the President can consider to constitute the Council of Elders so that they fill in the remaining places.
The seven committee members who attended yesterday’s meeting are Cdes Sekeramayi, Idah Mashonganyika, Maina Mandava, Josiah Hungwe, David Parirenyatwa, Edna Madzongwe, and Aaron Maboyi Ncube. Cde Angeline Masuku sent an apology.
The constituting of the Council of Elders is also consistent with Article 7 of Zanu PF’s constitution, which provides for the establishment of a Council of Elders and its functions.
In terms of the Zanu PF constitution, the Council will comprise former Presidents of the party, former members of the Presidium and Politburo as well as luminaries from party organs appointed by the President in terms of their probity, integrity, experience and knowledge of the party.
The function of the Council of Elders shall be to advise the President on all pertinent party matters relating to party governance and external relations; to advise on resolution of conflicts that may arise among and between senior party members, at the instance of the President or its own initiative; to provide guidance on party doctrine and ideology; and to advise on any issue referred to it by the President and First Secretary of the party. Chronicle

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