Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
The just-ended 16th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference was a huge success and gives the party and country positive energy going into 2017, the ruling party’s main organs have said.
The annual showpiece was held in Masvingo, running under the theme “Moving with Zim-Asset in Peace and Unity” and saw the ruling party tackling various issues affecting the nation.
The main highlights of the indaba, which began earlier in the week with Politburo and Central Committee meetings in Harare, included President Mugabe’s calls for unity in the ruling party, exhorting members to band together and focus on the economy.
The conference also highlighted improved economic performance amid significant pointers that the economy would pick up in 2017.
Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said he was pleased with the way the conference had panned out from a logistical perspective and the deliberations themselves.
He said: “I would say the conference was a huge success in two ways: physically the facilities were pleasant and adequate even in a small town (city) like Masvingo as we had about 10 000 delegates.
“In terms of content, we gave ministers an opportunity to inform delegates of what they are doing to fulfil resolutions from last year’s conference and the Congress of the previous year. It was an opportunity for people to assess what has been done and what has not been done. We are the ruling party and are there to run the country.”
Cde Chombo said President Mugabe had shown the right path for the party.
“President Mugabe said we should focus on our mandate, not distractions whereby some personal differences have been projected as national issues. The President spoke and if anyone does anything to the contrary they have theselves to blame,” said Cde Chombo.
He noted that with elections due in 2018, technically the party had 18 months of work and needed to be ready or be shocked by the opposition.
“There is no time to sleep and we have to start planning now as the public expect us to deliver on issues of concern,” said he.
There were key deliverables for the party, Cde Chombo said, and these included ensuring food security by sprucing up irrigation and reducing grain imports.
In terms of health, Government would ensure that there would be hospitals and clinics servicing communities with adequate medicines and facilities.
The country’s education system, rated as the best in Africa giving Zimbabwe the highest literacy, would be consolidated, said Cde Chombo, adding that in terms of employment youths needed to identify niches and become employers, not employees — a new mindset he said was critical going forward.
ZANU pF Youth League leader Cde Kudzi Chipanga described the conference as excellent.
Said Cde Chipanga: “The conference was held in an environment of peace and love and as it ended, everyone was happy. We expect more unity as President Mugabe had a unifying speech and spoke against divisions and corruption. Those that have ears listened.” He said from reports from the economic cluster, next year looked bright. Cde Chipanga called on ruling party members to channel energy towards the economy.
“All that energy used in fighting in the party should be transformed for the better. All that energy used to shout at each other must be channelled towards agriculture.
“All that energy used to scandalise each other, be it in the media or whatever, must be channelled towards reviving our industry,” he said.
He said Zanu-PF was not in any danger of losing elections as it had adequate numbers and what was needed was to work for the people.
“We are unlike those other small parties that need coalitions. For us we just need a coalition with the people,” he said.
The party’s Women’s League deputy secretary Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo said she was happy with the conference, but urged the party to implement resolutions to do with women’s issues.
She said delegates were happy with reports from ministries.
“As women we want resolutions we make to be taken seriously by implementers because most of the time resolutions are passed at conference and at the higher level, that is the Politburo, but we have shortcomings where these should be implemented,” she said.
She called on Zanu-PF to align its constitution with the national charter and allow women to participate fully in the running of the country.
Cde Sandi Moyo said people made resolutions to contribute to the strength of the party and Government must come up with programmes that are required by the grassroots.
“If we say we are a people’s party, let’s do what people want and never make the mistake that people do not know what they want. People want ZANU-PF and vote for it because they know what they want,” she said.