Lloyd Gumbo Mr Speaker Sir
Zimbabwe on Tuesday commemorated 28 years since the signing of the Unity Accord between two revolutionary political parties — Zanu and PF Zapu —under the guidance of their leaders, President Mugabe and the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo.
It takes a narrow-minded person not to celebrate this historic milestone given the threat that the Gukurahundi era posed on an Independent Zimbabwe after a combined fight against white minority rule by the revolutionary armies — Zanla and Zipra — brought independence in 1980.
Since the signing of the accord, no action in Government or the united Zanu-PF has threatened to separate the party along the lines of former Zanu or PF Zapu despite ill-fated attempts by the likes of Dumiso Dabengwa to divide the revolutionary party by walking out of Zanu-PF.
Mr Speaker Sir, the unity between Zanu and PF Zapu has been seamless and from the looks of things, this will be the case for generations to come.
However, despite this solid unity along the lines of former Zanu and PF Zapu, the united Zanu-PF is facing its greatest threat to national unity particularly in the party.
President Mugabe alluded to this during his address to the Central Committee during the 15th Annual National People’s Conference a fortnight ago when he warned party cadres against engaging in things that divide the party.
He said this threatened to split the party. It was unfortunate that what should be a revolutionary party is now identified with factionalism, regionalism and tribalism at a time unity must be the gospel.
Unfortunately, this has found its way into Parliament where legislators from the ruling Zanu-PF have become more factional, regional and tribal than united and all these efforts are meant to serve individualistic interests and not those of the party.
That unity that used to define Zanu-PF isn’t there anymore, its MPs openly show their factional positions to the extent of habitually associating with the MDC-T in and outside Parliament.
Mr Speaker Sir, Zanu-PF as the ruling party, cannot consolidate its power by reducing its numbers through expulsions and suspensions on charges that leave a lot to be desired.
As things stand, it looks like there is no going back on reducing the numbers in Zanu-PF despite reservations raised by party leader President Mugabe recently.
Zanu-PF, as the ruling party, must be focused on recruiting more members instead of reducing the numbers as is the case now.
There is a desperate need for the ruling party to get its act together and address its challenges in a more rational manner than always wielding the axe.
What the ruling party must understand is that being heavy-handed is not a sign of power but weakness when leaders resort to the easier route of suspensions or expulsions instead of engaging in a contest of ideas in a rational manner.
As correctly put by President Mugabe, there is need to try and find each other when people in the party have differences instead of rushing to pass judgment based on submissions from one side.
Mr Speaker Sir, what is now happening is that party cadres who have their own personal differences in the provinces now abuse what appears to be a blank cheque of these votes of no confidence.
Even perennial losers in party elections are now hoping to worm their way into leadership positions through votes of no confidence where they are then appointed in acting capacities.
Zanu-PF is too big a party to be abused in this manner by individuals in the provinces who have their own personal fights that have nothing to do with the party.
Unfortunately, some of the fights in the provinces have been given factional faces when in actual fact they are just personal differences in search of personal glory at the expense of the party.
Every individual in Zanu-PF is subject to the party rules and when one disregards the rules then they deserve to be disciplined but that should be done in a fair and just manner not this thing of organising kangaroo meetings during the wee hours of the morning to pass votes of no confidence on elected officials who are less than two months old in their positions.
Mr Speaker Sir, Zanu-PF is a revolutionary party that should not be trivialised like what is happening now where circus is the order of day.
At the moment, Zanu-PF is dominating news headlines for expulsions and votes of no confidence but nothing on the economy that is desperately crying for action.
Pensioners and civil servants are struggling to make ends meet, as pay dates keep changing because there is no money, but the party seems unmoved by this predicament as officials want to consolidate their positions in the party.
And this is happening when harmonised elections are three years away.
The ruling party must not behave like an opposition party.
Mr Speaker Sir, the Zanu-PF leadership must be diligent in dealing with votes of no confidence, some of which do not seek to help the party in any way but individuals.
The leadership must stamp its authority by quashing unjustified votes of no confidence, the majority of which do not meet the basic rule of fair hearing.
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