ZANU PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman Andrew Langa has angrily dismissed the vote of no confidence passed against him in Gwanda on Monday, describing it as illegal, disruptive, irregular, unprocedural, nonsensical and defamatory.
Langa, the Sport, Arts and Culture minister, is being accused of aligning himself with a faction seeking to dethrone President Robert Mugabe, as well as disrespecting the First Lady Grace Mugabe.
He was also accused of defending whites and blocking Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abednico Ncube from “performing” his duties.
However, Langa has hit back in a statement, describing the petition as meaningless, saying the list of signatures supporting his alleged ouster were obtained by means that are “irregular, not procedural, nonsensical and defamatory”.
“The meeting where the petition was signed was not a properly constituted meeting of our Zanu PF party structures, as no notice was given to members to attend and discuss the issues raised,” he said in a statement.
“This is against both our party constitution and the laws of natural justice.
“The irregular scheduling was designed to refuse the majority of our provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) members, including me, an opportunity to challenge the allegations contained in the so-called motion.”
Langa said the PCC sat in a sanctioned session and conducted its meeting according to party procedures up to a formal conclusion where members dismissed and left the venue.
“The so-called motion of no confidence was then moved a long time after the end of the PCC meeting and, therefore, I and the majority of the PCC do not recognise the meeting that purportedly took place,” he said.
Langa said a provincial chairperson was elected by the executive and may only be removed by the same body.
“Of the 50 provincial executives, only 19 signed the purported motion making their claim to have ousted me nonsensical and of no effect,” he continued.
“The other 15 signatures are not from members of the provincial executive.”
Langa said the signatures had not been authenticated and maintained that the motion stemmed from hearsay that does not deserve to be repeated.
“Nevertheless, I will state that I have never disrespected the First Lady as alleged,” he said.
“What is a recorded fact, instead, is my leadership of the province as we were first to congratulate and support her as secretary-elect of the Zanu PF women’s league.
“It is also a lie that I attempted to disrupt the First Lady’s rally in any way, especially, as I personally oversaw all the preparations for that successful rally in Gwanda.
“The very fact that this motion recognises the cancer of factionalism as the purported reason for my ouster and that the politburo has established intent to formally investigate factionalism through the commission of inquiry, makes it necessary for the party to refer all allegations of factionalism to that commission.
“In other words, on factionalism, we await the inquiry at His Excellency’s pleasure,” he said.
Langa said he found the purported motion grossly offensive having worked for the party since 1985. Sources said Langa has petitioned the party’s national disciplinary committee headed by national chairman and Senior Minister Simon Khaya Moyo to invoke the central committee’s decision of 2013 outlawing arbitrary suspensions, particularly prior to major events such as conferences and congress.
The sources said Langa requested that Zanu PF should not entertain the divisive storm currently threatening to drown the party and also called for in-depth investigations into the obtaining factionalism instead of taking the hasty action of passing votes of no confidence.
“Langa has asked the party to undertake an investigation to test the allegations raised in the purported motion,” a source said.
“He also requested that the investigation of this event be incorporated into the terms of reference of the proposed commission of inquiry on factionalism.”