With the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting having been held to decide the fate of their party’s First Secretary and President, Robert Mugabe, a lot of people are wondering what powers the Central Committee has and where it falls within the structures of Zanu-PF.
Here’s a breakdown.
First, what is the Central Committee?
It is an organ in Zanu-PF that can act on behalf of the Zanu-PF Congress when Congress is not in session. And as for what Congress is, it’s Zanu-PF’s highest decision making organ. Congress is basically a huge meeting that happens every 5 years, or in some cases, an extraordinary Congress can be held if called for as happened this year. Zanu-PF is scheduled to have one in December.
This makes the Central Committee quite powerful as an organ of Zanu-PF.
The Central Committee has 300 members and meets every 3 months, although sometimes, extraordinary sessions can be called for, as is the case today 19 November 2017.
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The basic powers of the Central Committee
Being the principal organ of the Zanu-PF Congress and acting on behalf of Congress when it’s not in session, the Central Committee has full unfettered powers to:
- Amend the Constitution if deemed necessary, subject to ratification by Congress
- Call for an extraordinary session of Zanu-PF Congress to be convened.
- Make rules, regulations and procedures to govern the conduct of the Party and its members
- Implement all policies, resolutions, directives, decisions and programmes enunciated by Congress;
- Give directions, supervise and superintend all the functions of the Central Government in relation to the programmes as enunciated by Congress,
- Set up Party organs, committee, institutions, commissions and enterprises in the name and on behalf of the Party
When it meets decisions of the Central Committee shall be by simple majority.
What about the Politburo?
You’re probably wondering what then the powers and place of the Politburo is in Zanu-PF.
The Politburo is the Secretariat of the Central Committee meaning that it acts as an administrative body of the Central Committee. Think of it as a smaller Central Committee which meets more frequently, but is essentially part of the Central Committee. Or if it were a business enterprise: the Congress would be the AGM of all shareholders, the Central Committee would be the Board of Directors which appoints and has oversight of the executive management in this case the Politburo.
As such the Politburo is answerable to the Central Committee on all matters. It’s key function, therefore, is to implement all decisions, directives, rules and regulations of the Central Committee. The Politburo meets once every month.
These are the powers as set out in the Zanu-PF Constitution, which you can download and read more about here.