George Maponga in BIKITA
The Zanu-PF leadership that ushered in the new dispensation has no time to waste by engaging in a cheap war of words with other political parties, as its focus is on bringing tangible socio-economic development to the country, ruling party National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General (Retired) Engelbert Rugeje said yesterday.
Addressing hundreds of Zanu-PF supporters at a campaign rally to drum up support for the ruling party’s presidential candidate President Mnangagwa and Bikita West House of Assembly candidate Cde Elias Musakwa in the forthcoming harmonised elections at Mangondo Secondary School, Cde Rugeje said the new thrust of the revolutionary party was to engender socio-economic transformation.
He said the new Zanu-PF administration was guided by servant leadership and had no time for attacking other political gladiators on the local political arena ahead of harmonised elections slated for July 30.
MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa and leaders of other political parties have been taking turns to attack Zanu-PF and its leaders during their campaign ralliess.
Cde Rugeje said such a culture was now alien to Zanu-PF under the new dispensation.
“We do not have time to call names and attack other political parties, whoever they are, as we go for the coming elections,” he said. “Our focus is on bringing tangible change to the people of Zimbabwe.
“The new dispensation has no room for Zanu-PF leaders who denigrate other political parties, we no longer speak about other political parties under the new dispensation.
“At our rallies we do not even have time to talk about other political parties, we now only talk about what the Zanu-PF leadership will and is doing to change the lives of the people, economically. People should be the final arbiters on who they want to form the next Government.’’
Cde Rugeje said the Zanu-PF leadership practised servant leadership and was concerned with crafting policies and programmes that had a positive bearing on the lives of ordinary people.
The Zanu-PF National Political Commissar exhorted Zimbabweans to go out in large numbers and vote for President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF for the country to continue enjoying economic benefits brought about by the new dispensatioon.
He said President Mnangagwa was the ruling party presidential candidate for the 2018 elections and everyone was supposed to rally behind him to preserve the legacy of the country’s war of liberation.
“President Mnangagwa is the new Zanu-PF leader who was first chosen to lead the party by the ruling party’s Central Committee on 19 November last year and that decision was endorsed by the party Congress which also made it unequivocally clear that President Mnangagwa was the presidential candidate for this year’s election,” he said.
“He (President Mnangagwa) took over from the former leader (Mr Robert Mugabe), Mr Mugabe is now resting at home after he went on pension last year and President Mnangagwa is our new leader of Zanu-PF, First Secretary, President and Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.’’
Cde Rugeje said Zimbabwe’s economic prospects were bright under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa and the Zanu-PF Government.
“The new administration and its leadership led by President Mnangagwa has been busy trying to correct the wrongs of the past to make sure the economy is back on track after it was ravaged by sanctions,” he said.
“The President has been busy urging investors to come here and help in the rebuilding of the economy.
“When I look into the future I see a very bright future for Zimbabwe and its people under the leadership of President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF and don’t be fooled by some noisemakers who I do not want to mention by name, this country is headed for good times under Zanu-PF if we vote wisely in the coming elections.’’
The Zanu-PF Politburo member warned ruling party supporters to be on the lookout for agents bent on putting a blemish on the credibility of the coming harmonised elections.
He said the new Zanu-PF leadership abhorred political violence and would not countenance party members who disturbed the peace.
“We do not have any room for political violence as Zanu-PF under the new dispensation,” he said. “We should never fight amongst ourselves no matter the magnitude of differences, we are all Zanu-PF. Let us also guard against provocation, there might be some who might want to provoke us because they are possessed by evil spirits.
“Let us be vigilant and never shed someone’s blood because we differ politically; it’s normal to differ in a society. Let us not lay a hand on those who disagree with us, it’s better to coax them to come home and not use force.
“There are other local opposition political parties who will be hell-bent on destroying the credibility of the coming elections in an attempt to influence the international community to condemn the polls and hamper the ongoing re-engagement with the international world that is beginning to bring some positive fruits to the country’s economy.”
Cde Rugeje warned ruling party members against distributing food aid along political lines, saying every Zimbabwean in need of food assistance should access it irrespective of political affiliation.
Turning to the Zanu-PF primary elections held to choose candidates for next month’s elections, Cde Rugeje said the polls were a closed chapter, saying the ruling party had learnt valuable lessons that will be employed in the future.
He appealed to the people of Bikita West to vote for Cde Musakwa in the parliamentary election, saying he represented a new generation of leaders prepared to tackle developmental challenges.
The rally was attended by top Zanu-PF officials in Bikita, among them Central Committee member Cde Anna Rungani and incumbent Bikita West legislator Cde Beauty Chabaya.
Cde Rugeje continues with his campaign rallies in Masvingo today with a star rally at Museti Primary School in Bikita East.