Zanu-pf’s Extraordinary Congress ended in Harare yesterday and for the first time in years, the indaba ended with a positive vibe as the nation pins hopes on a renewed and reinvigorated ruling party. Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was confirmed as the ruling party’s First Secretary and President. He made appointments to various Politburo portfolios, the most notable of which being the elevation of Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to the position of national chair.
Key additions included the appointment of Cdes Perrance Shiri and Sibusiso Moyo who are already serving in Government, and Cde Mabel Chinomona who takes the key Politburo position of Secretary for Women’s Affairs. In a few days, the President will appoint his two deputies, completing the reconfiguration of the ruling party whose main strength will be unity, stability and focus.
President Mnangagwa made critical calls regarding the organisation’s philosophies and ideology as he also enunciated key economic policies and programmes. We are heartened that President Mnangagwa emphasised his standing as a unifier, national figure and a leader for us all. He pronounced himself as a leader for a non-racial Zimbabwe, “itself home to many tongues, dialects, cultures, colours and age groups” and well beyond parochial interests.
He promised to be a President of the young and old; able-bodied and physically-challenged; the rich and the poor, the well and the sick. We all can locate ourselves in these various categories. President Mnangagwa is the leader of us all and well beyond the present term he is finishing from his predecessor. And he is not doing it to cultivate a cult for himself and he drove this yesterday as he rejected praise songs that deify a leader.
Instead, he said people should spiritualise in the national anthem and struggle songs. Such selflessness and return to the revolutionary source! We are aware, as indeed the President is, there are some elements that specialise in such fawning behaviour in a bid to gain corrupting influence in society. President Mnangagwa gives us hope that things could be done differently.
He said the party must be “an instrument for the realisation of the collective dreams of our nation and its people”. This, in essence, emphasises that zanu-pf is a national institution which is superior to Government. This places a big challenge on the ruling party to deliver and change livelihoods of Zimbabweans starting off by ameliorating challenges in the economy such as cash shortages and skyrocketing prices of basic goods and tackling corruption.
The larger picture is that of an economy that is stable and productive. The leader of the ruling party is fully aware of the job at hand and he wants to do it not for himself, but for the people of Zimbabwe. He will need everyone’s support in the immediate short term before elections and beyond so that he can have a full term to work for the country.