Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Zanu-PF organs and their affiliates yesterday acknowledged that President Mugabe was the sole centre of power in the revolutionary party and threw their weight behind his call for cadres to unite and bury differences for the good of the party and the country. President Mugabe, flanked by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, last week addressed the media where he denounced factionalism and called for unity in the party.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the party took President’s Mugabe’s call for unity seriously. “We take the call by His Excellency very seriously. We welcome the address by the President. He has always called for unity and condemned factionalism, but of late people have not been listening and I hope they will listen this time around,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
“People should take heed of what the President said, they should toe the party line. President Mugabe is the sole centre of power and that is common knowledge. We have a party with rules and regulations, which we must adhere to. You cannot have your agenda.” Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda said what the President said was consistent with what they expected.
“We expect discipline in all levels of the party from lowest structure right up to the Politburo. Even at rallies people should stick to the purpose for which the meeting was convened and not stray and start insulting and attacking other party members,” said Cde Matemadanda.
He said the Youth League and Women’s League were wings of the party, which did not decide party direction but should make recommendations for consideration and possible adoption. Cde Matemadanda said there was need for orientation on party ideologies on some party cadres.
He said they welcomed the observations made by President Mugabe regarding how the association leadership handled the proposed meeting last Thursday that eventually led to clashes between them and the police.
“We welcome what the President said including observations he made. He is our father, who are we to challenge observations that would have been made by a parent. We know that there are people bent on trying to divide our President and war veterans, we will not accept that,” he said.
Deputy Secretary for Women’s League Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo said they were fully behind President Mugabe, who is the First Secretary of the revolutionary party.
“We would want to thank the President for breaking his silence. People have been on the loose and the President had to put a stop to that. As the Women’s League, we want to see unity in the party as what the President has said. We are sick and tired of this successionist talk,” said Cde Sandi Moyo, who is also Provincial Affairs Minister for Bulawayo province.
“We are behind the President. All those other people must put their ambitions in their pockets and wait until the time is ripe. We will decide when the time comes but for now we will be behind President Mugabe and nobody else. We want discipline in the party and it has to be adhered to and we will be behind the President at any cost.”
Cde Sandi Moyo said even in the liberation struggle there were differences among people but what was important was to resolve them amicably. “During the liberation struggle we had differences but people should know how to channel them. We will not allow people to destroy the party made up of zanu and Zapu. Unity is very possible as long as people are guided by principles and policies,” she said.
Cde Sandi Moyo applauded President Mugabe for extending his apology to war veterans but rapped their leaders for misleading former freedom fighters. “People should not use grassroots structures to fight personal wars,” she said. Zanu-PF Secretary for the Youth League Cde Pupurai Togarepi said youths were guided by what the President said.
“In most instances the President speaks, he gives emphasis on unity. As youths we are always guided by what he says. There are no two ways about it other than to take heed because he is our leader. Whenever we have differences and contradictions, we have to quickly resolve them among ourselves and if we cannot we have to invite our leaders to help us resolve them,” said Cde Togarepi.
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association secretary-general Cde Jabulani Mbetu echoed the same sentiments and paid tribute to the President for apologising to war veterans after they were teargassed by the police on Thursday in an aborted meeting.
“We are happy with the apology given by the President. Our only concern is why Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri would deploy the police to fellow comrades. It was a blunder which is quite unfortunate where war veterans are being attacked at the hands of your their Government,” said Cde Mbetu.