Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday slammed some Zanu-PF leaders for concentrating on factionalism and holding clandestine meetings to the negation of party business that culminated in shambolic preparations for the national youth conference that opened in Harare yesterday.
Delivering his keynote address to the conference, the President said he had no time for the kind of inept leadership shown by organisers who not only failed to provide transport for some delegates, but left some to sleep on empty stomachs as there was no food to offer them
The President revealed that he had constituted a select committee to rescue the conference, warning those behind the shambolic preparations not to cry at Congress as he revealed that, in consultation with his wife, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, he had directed that 1 000 tonnes of maize be ferried from his Gushungo Farm along with between 20 to 30 head of cattle to feed the youths delegates.
The President also directed management at Gushungo Dairy to deliver milk for the delegates.
A visibly livid President Mugabe berated Central Committee and Politburo members jostling for leadership positions and creating divisions within the party, instead of serving the interests of the people.
The delegates, over 3000 of them, are staying at various colleges and institutions in the capital.
“We have started late,” he said. “We have started late, why? Mabhazi anga asina kuoganaizwa. Vanhu vanga vasina kunotorwa kune dzimwe nzvimbo even now. Why, why, why?
“I will not accept kuti zvinonzi tanga tisina mari, mari yemabhazi. Ko, masubscriptions evanhu ari kuenda kupi? Ehe we must be frank, I am just not happy!
“The whole of the Central Committee has been sitting to plan these conferences on the basis that the financial side of the party, those who are responsible for raising finances of the party, are doing so, only to be told that we don’t even have a single cent.
“What is happening in the party? I have also been informed kuti kwakaiswa vanhu, apart from the delay in transport, havana kudya. Aah! Tiri kushaya kana kugadzirira vanhu? Hapana zvokudya, we cannot provide food for the people?
“The Central Committee, what are we doing? Why members dzepamusorosoro? And that is the situation yandanga ndichiudzwa tisati tapinda muno kuti hakuna zvekudya iye zvino. So, ndati kuna Mai Mugabe, takarima chibage, 1 000 tonnes ngavanotora uko, pane kuti tinzi hakuna. There is nothing at all kune vanhu. Okay, hupfu hunodaka kubika nenyama saka tati tinotora mombe dziriko.
“Within the party isu members tobva tatadza kana kuita macontributions? So, it doesn’t matter how many cattle whether they are 20 or 30 tati ngadzinotorwa dzenyama. It’s very painful. Mukaka tomborega kutengesa kuDairy ikoko. Ngauuye upihwe vanhu vanwe tea ine mukaka.”
President Mugabe said that leaders who failed to exhibit their leadership qualities would be dealt with at the National People’s Congress to be held in December.
He also apologised to the delegates for the inconveniences and said a select sub-committee of the Central Committee would be set up to ensure the conference, that ends tomorrow, is concluded without further hitches.
“It’s very bad,” he said. “We will organise ourselves after this in a better way and I am looking forward, I am seeing what is happening and alas when it comes to Congress don’t cry…I can’t have a Central Committee or Politburo which is that inept. Where some of us have come from is far. We know what we were doing all along.
“Our people are generous people. You can’t tell me our people could not donate even a cent towards this Congress. Anyway, we shall look at the matter tozvivheneka isu vatungamiri nokuti vanhu are just concentrating on power, zvimusangano…but where does the power come from?
“It comes from these people. So, I would want to apologise for the inconveniences. Saka mozvibata tichagadzira kuti muve nebetter stay. I just don’t want what has happened. Saka tichange tichigadzira navaSikhosana. I will ask some members vatichasarudza from the Central Committee kuti tiite committee yekubata zvinhu to manage the conference and the welfare of the conference.”
President Mugabe took a swipe at leaders who are abusing their authority by using youths and party structures to push their selfish agendas.
“Our party, Zanu-PF has two wings, the Youth League and the Women’s League and the party has rules that must naturally be obeyed because we must all be guided and regulated by the party,” he said.
“But we must have the freedom to express ideas and we must not be inhibited or obstructed in expressing our ideas. When our organs are set up, they are given leaders. It is not right for we, at the top, to want to run the organs that we have given leaders or try to regiment them and move them in a direction of our own liking, especially when it comes now to the fulfillment of our ambition, the ambition to get to top posts.”
President Mugabe said people in the party do not belong to anyone, but the party.
“Senior leaders in the province would want to get to the Central Committee and they start organising the youths, you and you do this for me! No! Pasi nemi,” he said.
“Central Committee members who want to get into the Politburo and to get into leadership positions of the party, this one I want to get into this position and start recruiting so and so and so of the youth and say aah ndaanevangu.
“Aah, ndevedu! Laba ngabethu! They belong to the party, they don’t belong to individuals. The clandestine organisations, the activities going on in the party just now, filthy, dirty! They are destroying the party and people pretend they think we don’t know what’s happening. Zvipfukuto, ehe! Ndakanzwa kuti umwe akati tozvitsvagira Gamatox. Now, now, now.”
The Zanu-PF Women and Youth Leagues have spoken strongly against factionalism in the party and have called on Amai Mugabe to take leadership of the Woman’s League as a way of stemming wanton factionalism.