EDITORIAL COMMENT: Stop factional fights, serve the people

We commend President Mugabe for once again calling for an end to factionalism in the revolutionary Zanu-PF. The President lashed out at power-hungry individuals expending their energy on building factions instead of working to meet the interests of the people. The emergence of factions in Zanu-PF has seen some leaders paying little attention to issues that affect the people. Yet the life of politicians is anchored on the support of the people. Sadly, their focus has been on strengthening their factions in the hope of taking over power.

It is the same people, the faction leaders purport to represent who have suffered amid the bickering.

While some of the leaders will not openly admit the existence of factions, President Mugabe has spoken about them and repeatedly told the leaders to focus on business that builds the party and programmes that resonate with the majority of the people.

During his birthday celebrations in Matobo on Saturday, President Mugabe urged the people to pay allegiance to Zanu-PF and not to individuals and to shun factionalism. Factionalism only helps to serve the narrow interests of a few individuals with an insatiable appetite for power. It is this selfishness that President Mugabe has always spoken loudly against. Leaders, he said, must be selfless in the service of the people and the country at large.

It is the desire by some individuals to succeed President Mugabe that has resulted in the emergence of factions. They have thus split the party support base along factional lines and in the process weakened the unity that had become the hallmark of Zanu-PF.

It is interesting to note that President Mugabe has on several occasions, including on Saturday, said that his successor should come from the people and that no one should pressure him to appoint a successor. It is about time that the factions in Zanu-PF took heed of the President’s call to shun factionalism and work hard to serve the interests of the people as that is where the next leader will be selected.

Zanu-PF has always been known to be a party of the people. A party that represents the broad interests of the majority of Zimbabweans.

This is why it continues to win general elections. The problem of factions should be left to smaller parties, such as MDC-T and ZimPF and not a tried and tested party like Zanu-PF.

We urge leaders to take advantage of President Mugabe’s call that a successor will come from the people to show that they deserve to assume the top job in the country. They should start working for the people instead of spending time thinking that creating and funding factions will parachute them to the leadership of the country. Let your works as a leader today be the basis of what you become in the future.

Right now, the party should be gearing itself for the 2018 general elections as one entity, pushing in one direction. That doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment because of factionalism. We believe President Mugabe’s speech on Saturday should make senior party members seriously introspect about their future.

We see no benefits accruing to leaders of factions since the President has made it very clear, not once, not twice, but many times that his successor would come from the people. It is what the leaders do through their work in the party and constituencies that endears them to the people.

For now, there is no vacancy, the President is totally in charge and it would be in the interests of the politicians to step up their efforts working for the people to stand a chance of selection in the future.

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