‘Our work is our manifesto’
Zanu PF will not produce a flowery document as its manifesto ahead of next month’s harmonised elections, but is standing on the record of the Second Republic and will let its life-changing developmental projects delivered to the people in the past five years speak for themselves to the electorate.
Deeds rather than words were the manifesto, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is also President Mnangagwa’s chief election agent, said last week during a Zimpapers Television Network Prime current affairs programme, “The Chase”, where he was one of the guests to discuss the forthcoming elections.
Other participants included MDC-T leader Mr Douglas Mwonzora and Mr Lloyd Msipa, who was representing independent presidential candidate,Mr Saviour Kasukuwere.
Responding to a question on why ZANU PF had not launched its political manifesto detailing what it intends to do should it be re-elected, Minister Ziyambi said the Government led by the revolutionary party has been implementing development projects in infrastructure, agriculture, education, science and ICT, among others, and those achievements would be its manifesto and not a meaningless flowery document.
“In the past we used to concentrate on writing beautiful manifestos. In 2018, our President said let’s start writing our manifesto now by our deeds,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“We started by looking at our infrastructure; we have done a lot of infrastructure development and we are still doing it; the Beitbridge Border Post, our roads.
“In fact, in the past we used to look for outsiders to do infrastructure development for us and we said to ourselves in 2018, why are we doing this? Let us build our country, let’s look inside and he (the President) coined the mantra, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’.”
Minister Ziyambi said through the infrastructure development such as road construction, many jobs have been created. Further jobs have been created in dam construction.
Added Minister Ziyambi: “Look at the agriculture sector, we have turned it around from a US$2 billion industry to US$8 billion. That’s our manifesto.
“We decided that having a manifesto written where people criticise saying ‘this is mere talk’, we are moving with a practical manifesto.
“So, Zanu PF is not producing any document; we are talking of the deeds and we are saying this is a man of action (President Mnangagwa) who is saying ‘let’s go on and do it ourselves as Zimbabweans’.”
Zanu PF has been drawing bumper crowds at its star rallies led by President Mnangagwa.
In respect of the question asked by Mr Msipa, who felt it was not prudent to have a law that sought to bar someone from contesting presidential elections on the basis that he had not been ordinarily resident in the country as is the case with Mr Kasukuwere, Minister Ziyambi said that arose from the national Constitution.
This comes as the High Court upheld a contention by Mr Lovedale Mangwana, who sought to have Mr Kasukuwere’s nomination as a presidential candidate nullified on the basis that he has not been ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe for the past 18 months and so was no longer qualified as a voter. The Supreme Court will be making the final decision at the end of this week after hearing the urgent appeal.
Minister Ziyambi said Mr Kasukuwere had all the time he needed to challenge the law during the constitution-making process, in which he participated. “We have a Constitution that was passed on March 14, 2013, and
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‘Our work is our manifesto’
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that Constitution, Saviour Kasukuwere participated in ensuring that it was passed.
“It has a specific clause, section 91, which states what the qualifications for someone to be a Presidential candidate are. And from 2013, he never questioned that particular clause.
“When we have laws, we follow the laws; we don’t follow emotions, if the law says you must be a Zimbabwean citizen, if you are a Zambian, you are still my brother but you cannot contest the Presidential election here. If it says you must be over 40 years, if you are 35 you will still be my little sister but you cannot contest the election,” said Minister Ziyambi.
Laws are there to be obeyed when they are enacted, said Minister Ziyambi, but said they could be debated and changed.
“It is not even about Zanu PF, but about the laws that exist. Let us allow the courts to do their work and improve our jurisprudence. I do not see the reason why they must go out there and accuse Zanu PF as if they were not part of the law-making process,” he said.