Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF is united and malcontents who are bent on dividing the revolutionary party will fall by the wayside, the party’s Second Secretary and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned yesterday.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with The Herald yesterday at his Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs offices ahead of tomorrow’s Unity Day commemorations, VP Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF leaders were expected to preach peace and unity, adding that those who spread anything to the contrary did not represent the revolutionary party’s core values.
He said all Zanu-PF cadres were expected to cherish and promote the unity that was spearheaded by President Mugabe and the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo, when they signed the Unity Accord between their revolutionary parties Zanu and PF-Zapu respectively on December 22, 1987.
“You should have seen how united we were in Victoria Falls (at the 15th Annual National People’s Conference),” he said.
“We had the most beautiful, most successful, most constructive conference we have ever had. So Zanu-PF despite what we hear, when you (the media) write and say ‘reliable sources’ meaning what yourself (the media) is thinking and call it ‘reliable sources’, all that nonsense, it’s not coming from us.
“It comes from people who want to peddle their own agendas. But as Zanu-PF, we are united. We shall continue to march and march. Those who do not want to follow that march will fall by the wayside.”
When President Mugabe addressed the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting during the 15th Annual National People’s Conference, he warned that internal backbiting and personality clashes threatened to split the party.
VP Mnangagwa said the import of President Mugabe’ statement was to warn party cadres against creating divisions in the party.
“I don’t believe that there is any split in the party at all. The President was giving a warning that we must continue cherishing and advocating for unity. If we do not do that, we will lead ourselves to divisions that will split the party.
“So he is saying that those people who are in leadership who cherish unity, who cherish development, must always speak, breathe and work for unity. Don’t ever work for division for that will split the country.
“Let us all at whatever level, lowest level, middle level and high level, work and promote unity. Of course you people in the Press can twist but the context in which the President was saying is that every leader must promote unity, speak unity, dream unity, walk unity, day in and day out.
“All members of Zanu-PF, be it in the Politburo or in the Central Committee, we all preach the need, the necessity and value of unity in Zanu-PF. This is a principle we would want to be a culture in the party to be united, to be peaceful, and to love each other. That is what we preach. We have elements who may speak other things but they do not represent the core values of Zanu-PF,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said it was incumbent upon all Zanu-PF cadres to preserve the unity that was signed by the country’s founding fathers, President Mugabe and Dr Nkomo.
VP Mnangagwa, who represented Zanu during the negotiations between Zanu and PF Zapu ahead of the signing of the Unity Accord, said the country had everything to celebrate because the unity agreement had achieved its objectives.
He also dismissed claims by some quarters that the Matabeleland regions continued to be neglected in developmental projects, saying Government’s thrust was to ensure that every area was developed given that Zimbabwe is a unitary state.
“The leadership of the two political parties accepted the unity, so this is the commitment we have to this unity. So I believe that as long as that spirit of unity, the spirit of development and the spirit of a focused revolution, we shall remain united.
“Yes in every revolution, we have elements which fall by the wayside but the main thrust or the correct line of the revolution will continue as we go on. We believe that this legacy will remain among you, the young generation, to continue to cherish the need for unity because with unity and peace, the country can develop,” VP Mnangagwa said.