Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
President Mugabe yesterday castigated ambitious cadres in Zanu-PF who fight for positions through personality clashes which threaten to split the party.
The President, who is the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President, said most of the differences were initiated by party cadres who sought personal advancement.
President Mugabe was speaking at the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting in Harare, which is part of the ongoing 15th Annual National People’s Conference he will officially open in Victoria Falls tomorrow.
The President said while problems were expected on how to organise the party, elections, administration and recruitment of new members, problems bedevilling the party presently were to do with personality clashes for positions.
“So, we have a problem at the moment that threatens to split the party,” warned President Mugabe.
“Some are looking at the forthcoming elections, yet they are still far. They come in the year 2018.
“But the ambitious ones are working, some openly, some behind the scenes in all kinds of ways in order to place themselves in positions which they think will make them to be elected.
“Some want to be in those positions now, hazviite, just now! Elections take place once in five years, at the end of the five years, we all resign and the ambitious ones can line up.”
President Mugabe said party cadres were allowed to be ambitious, but should follow party rules.
He said some people who joined Zanu-PF recently already harboured ambitions for senior positions in the party and Government.
“Zvigaro hazviturunurwe sematamba, zvinouya nechimiro chako, nekudiwa kwako nevanhu (leadership positions are not low-hanging fruit that you just grab. They are bestowed by the people, out of their love and respect for you),” he said.
“Vanhu vanokuda here? Abantu bayakuthanda yini (do the people love you)?
“Mabasa awakaita anoita kuti vazokuvhotera ndeapi? Kana munhu akauya nezuro unouyu, akapinda after maelections atakaita before 2014 kucongress anotoda kuti dai ndapihwawo chigaro chepamusoro (what have you done for the people so they can vote for you?)
Vamwe vakapinda muParliament 2013, vakatopinda vachiti zvandapinda ndobva ndapihwa ministry. Hatimbodaro! Uri ani? Kutotsutsumwa kuti ah ko ini ndanyimirwei, ko unenge uri ani? Ane zviito zvakadii? Ane nhoroondo mumusangano yakadii?”
The President said although cadres could have personal hatred of each other, they were expected to accommodate one another for the good of the party.
He raised concern with the growing tendency within the party structures of officials wantonly passing votes of no confidence against other party cadres.
“The rules of the party apply and must apply in an orderly manner, a just manner to everyone, don’t discriminate,” said President Mugabe.
“The party has all kinds of individuals. It has individuals we like and individuals we dislike. It’s not everybody we like. We don’t like the manners of so-and-so perhaps. We don’t appreciate the habits of the person next to you, but he is a member of the party and he must be tolerated.”
President Mugabe hailed the Women’s League and the Commissariat department for ensuring the party was well-oiled to win by-elections that have been held since the 2013 harmonised elections.
He took a swipe at a provincial chairperson whom he said questioned his decision to appoint some people from that province to some positions.
The chairperson, whom President Mugabe did not name, argued that the officials had been appointed without the province’s blessings.
“Iwe chairman weprovince une masimba here ekuti President paanenge asarudza vanhu iwe ungati kwete ndanga ndichida ngana nangana? “To hell with you. I choose people according to my knowledge of them, what I think their capabilities amount to and whatever experience, I think you have.
“They may not be your friends, but they are party members and they must be accepted, saka ndiri kuda kunzwa ivavo vanoti avava havasi vedu nekuti hatina kuva sarudza, tozonzwa kuti iwe waka sarudzwa nani.”
President Mugabe said there was need for party cadres to promote unity among Zimbabweans and shun tribalism and regionalism.
He said all Zimbabweans regardless of which tribe or province they hailed from, deserved equal opportunities in all the country’s provinces, including farm allocations.
President Mugabe said Government was putting mechanisms in place to improve people’s livelihoods through the implementation of programmes such as Zim-Asset.
“Well Zim-Asset yes, but Zim-Asset must be propped and I am sure you can see some of the efforts that we have been making to get those of our friends outside Africa with the assistance that could come our way,” he said.
“Recently, we had a visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping. A number of programmes, as you will be told later, were discussed and agreed, some will continue to be discussed and possibly agreed.
“I got an assurance from him (President Xi) that they will help us as much as possible, provided we proceed to work on projects and programmes that they can accept as deserving that assistance.
“There have been efforts by the leadership of the party and leadership in Government, also to seek more assistance from countries like Brazil, Belarus, and Russia etc. So, this assistance will be forthcoming, its effect cannot be felt today, but by next year, we hope the change will be felt by our people.
“So, let’s remain united, let’s remain focused, purposeful and hard working and I want to say your history of oneness is what we use as we talk to our friends that Zimbabwe is united. It was united when it fought the enemy, it is one. It is non-racial, non-tribal and truly national.”
President Mugabe bemoaned the effects of climate change such as drought that he said made life difficult for Zimbabweans.
There was need for the country to adapt by utilising the rains it receives and practice water harvesting, he said.