Felex Share and Tendai Mugabe
WAR veterans yesterday strongly criticised the zanu-pf commissariat department and called for its complete overhaul, saying it should be led by a person with liberation war credentials.
The commissariat is under the leadership of Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who was a pre-pubescent youth at independence in 1980.
The freedom fighters said the department, as currently constituted, was spending time and energy suspending and expelling party members instead of concentrating on its primary role of mass mobilisation and political education.
Presenting their thematic reports during a frank exchange of views with their patron, President Mugabe in Harare yesterday, the war veterans also took a dig at the revolutionary party’s National Disciplinary Committee saying it was surprisingly “the police, prosecutor and judge” at the same time.
War veterans sing revolutionary songs during their meeting:
“The meeting resolved that the primary role of the commissariat department must be mass mobilisation and political education of the party members and never that of expelling and suspending members from the party,” read the resolutions of the thematic committee on party ideology that were presented by Cde Munyaradzi Machacha.
“Kudzingana nekususpendana zvoita kunge ndiro basa remusangano. It is recommended that war veterans take over in the departments of security, commissariat and welfare not only to stop this rot, but to gain back the trust and support of the people of Zimbabwe.”
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Further, the resolutions stated that: “As a party, zanu-pf never antagonises its members but allows constructive criticism and punishes its members through its disciplinary structures as stated in the party constitution Article 10, section 69-74 resulting in the Central Committee deciding on which offence a member is to be expelled or suspended. The meeting observed with concern the trend of members of the National Disciplinary Committee who act as the police, prosecutor, jury and judge in cases they have vested interests. The meeting resolved that such members must recuse themselves when they are conflicted.”
The freedom fighters said they were the bedrock of the party as stipulated by the zanu-pf constitution, saying a war veterans wing should be added to the revolutionary party’s organisational structure.
The war veterans took great exception to certain slogans and songs now being chanted at party functions.
They said party songs and slogans should never be tribalistic or praise anyone other than the President and First Secretary of zanu-pf.
They said new songs or slogans in the party should be approved by the Central Committee, the party’s supreme decision making body outside Congress.
“It was resolved that slogans be done in recognition of the party, the masses, the President of the party and various organs and structures of the party and not directed at any other living individuals within the organs or structures of the party,” read the solutions.
“It is also recommended that all party songs and slogans be submitted first to the Central Committee before they can be used as was the case in the past to avoid songs and slogans sprouting from everywhere further dividing the people. The Central Committee is the disciplinary organ of the party but the Politburo had taken over that role.”
They said it was fallacy that the army was apolitical and as such the Commissariat should have someone with military background as was the case with the Communist Party of China.
“It was agreed that politics and the gun established symbiotic relationship that ensures a creation of complementary roles that result in sustainable peace and stability, creation of inclusive wealth and fostering a non-antagonising environment under the Zanu-PF flagship,” the war veterans resolved.
They quoted President Mugabe’s address on Radio Maputo towards the end of the liberation struggle when he stated that: “Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of a gun. The gun, which produces the vote should remain its security officer – its guarantor.”
Given the deterioration of patriotism and unclear understanding of ideology in Zanu-PF structures, the war veterans said the long-awaited Chitepo Ideological School should be immediately operationalised.
“It is ideology which formed the core of mobilisation in both Zanu and Zapu during the liberation struggle throughout the operational zones,” the freedom fighters said.
“It was resolved that the Chitepo Ideological School should not be viewed as that which should start after the establishing of brick and mortar buildings but should be a school even without walls.”
The freedom fighters pledged their unwavering support to President Mugabe and condemned any debate on succession.
They said it was worrying that some senior party members were labelling others as ‘’successionists’’ yet they were unconstitutionally firing loyal and dedicated cadres from the party without giving them a fair trial or any room to appeal.
Resolutions on ‘Threats to the Party and Revolution’ stipulated that those who were plotting to destroy Zanu-PF from within would never succeed.
“We are the custodians of the party and we guarantee continuity of the party ideology,” the freedom fighters resolved.
“Opposition parties and non-governmental organisations tried but they have now decided to infiltrate us using people from within but this will come to naught. While there are stakeholders of the party, we are stockholders of the party. The difference between the two is that stakeholders can go away but we the stockholders don’t have anywhere to go.”
The war veterans expressed their willingness to meet President Mugabe once every year to constantly review the party ideology and matters affecting the party.
They lamented the absence of films and programmes portraying heroic sacrifices of the fighters and the masses during the liberation struggle in mainstream media.
The war veterans said Zim-Asset and the 10-Point Plan for EconomicGrowth can only succeed if Government Ministers are held accountable through performance based contracts and that they should be fired if they failed to meet expectations of the contract.