President Mugabe has called for an emergency Politburo meeting this week to deal with reports of vote-buying and intimidation among other irregularities that characterised the party’s Women’s and Youth League conferences held last month. The President also took a swipe at the party’s Harare provincial leadership for causing divisions and making clandestine manoeuvres to push the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe out of the province to seek a “political home” in Mashonaland West.
President Mugabe said this at the Harare International Airport while addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters who braved the chilly early morning weather yesterday to welcome him from his week-long State visit to China.
“Njake-njake takange tichiti mayouths haana kubatwa zvakanaka (Disorder, we said the youths issue was not handled to expectations),” said the President amid wild cheers from the crowd.
“Tinenge tichiti hongu hatingaiparuri pano naVa(Didymus) Mutasa kuti ipo pasvondo rino ratiri kuvhura iri tive nemusangano wokuongorora kuti zvinhu zvakafamba sei? (We can’t discuss this issue here with Cde Mutasa, but this week we will convene a meeting to assess what transpired)?
“Zvinhu zvakafamba sei kuconference dzedu mbiri yemayouths neyemadzimai? (What happened at the Youths and Women’s conferences)?
“Gwara ratiri kufamba naro tiri tose here kana kuti tatsaukana? (Are we still together or have parted ways)?”
The President’s remarks followed the chaos that characterised the build-up to the youth and women’s conferences and reports of rampant vote-buying and manipulation which implicated several Politburo and Central Committee members as well as six of the party’s 10 provincial chairpersons.
The aftermaths of the conferences have been characterised by violence and reports of purges of youth leaders accused of mobilising delegates to the Mazowe meeting that endorsed Amai Mugabe on the eve of the youth conference.
Zanu-PF Harare provincial youth chairman Cde Godwin Gomwe had last week indicated that the youths would brief the President on political developments that transpired in the party while he was in China.
However, President Mugabe said the Harare International Airport was not the ideal platform to deal with party matters.
The President chided some senior officials who were abusing the name of the party for their selfish and personal gains ahead of the December congress.
He said he was duty-bound to address all issues affecting the party including challenges in the Youth League and other organs.
“Ini handina kusarudzwa nemunhu umwechete, ndakasarudzwa nemusangano (I was not elected by a single person but the whole party).
“Handisi President anonzi anoongorora chete zvevakuru achisiya zvevadiki, achisiya zvemadzimai (I am not a President for the Main Wing to the exclusion of the Youths and Women’s wings).
“Handidi kuona avo vanoda kusevenzesa musangano kuti vazvisusukidze (I do not want to see those who abuse the party for personal aggrandisement).
“Imi makasarudzwa nevanhu, mave kuda kuti vanhu vave danhiko rekuti mukwire kumusoro vasina kukubvumirai hatidi (You were elected by the people but you can not use the people like rungs on a ladder so that you get to the top, we do not want that.’’.
“Saka tinoti pasi nemi. Saka aiwa tichange tichikurukura tinoda kugadzira musangano kuti umire zvakanaka (We say down with you. We will be discussing these issues).”
Matters came to a head in Zanu-PF a fortnight ago after Harare Youth League deputy chair Cde Edison Takataka, was reportedly beaten up in the presence of Politburo member Cde Tendai Savanhu in Mbare.
This prompted another Politburo member Cde Cleveria Chizema, the most senior party member in Harare, to call for the dissolution of the Cde Amos Midzi led executive in Harare on allegations of fomenting divisions in the province.
Cde Chizema accused Cde Midzi and Cde Savanhu of using money to divide the party in Harare.
However, President Mugabe said Harare was the country’s capital city and no one should claim its ownership.
“We want the party to be strong and Harare, Harare, Harare inoendesa mbiri yekusabatana,” he said.
“Harare, Harare, Harare ndiyo capital yedu. Ndiyo capital yenyika, ndimo mune headquarters yeparty.
“Saka veHarare vanosungirwa kushinga kusadharara kuti kutorerwa kwavakaitwa maconstituency neMDC kudzorwe.
“Tive nekuvhaira kuti muHarare, mucapital medu ndimo mune musimboti weparty. Zvino mukava nenyonga nyonga, hovhiyo kusanzwanana vanhu vamwe vachiti Harare ndeyedu, hamusi veHarare vamwe ngavabve muno aaah.
“Hatingambode Harare kuti idaro. MuHarare muno ndomatiri tose takabatana tose. Haisi Harare yemunhu mumwe chete saka we all belong to Harare. Ndiri kudaro nekuti ndakanzwa kuti mumwe akati akatotuma muzukuru (Cde Patrick Zhuwawo) kuti enda unoti Amai Mugabe vabude muHarare. Ko voenda kupi?”
The President said he would get to the bottom of that matter and check where those powers were coming from.
“Saka ndakati ndichada kunzwa kuti vanoburitsirwei? Vogonzi vaende kupi? Asi ndinenge ndichida kunzwa kuti iye “emperor” weHarare masimba ake aawanepi? Handizvo. Hatidi kuvhaira kwakadaro.
“Kana ini handifi ndakati Harare ndeyangu. Hazvife zvakaitika. So let us all have a sense of belonging. We all belong to each other and there has to be that understanding. Tiri vanhu vamwe chete muZanu-PF. It does not matter you are in Harare, Bulawayo, kwaMutare or kuGweru you should feel free. Each part of the country is your part. Zimbabwe is ours together. Ndihwo hukuru hwatinofanira kuva nahwo.”
President Mugabe said party members should feel free to express their grievances but that should be done using formal party channels.
“We heard kunze uko kuti people were being refused to speak out. No.
“We speak out but the way we speak out must be the way we have in the party. We have our channels in the party, we report what we have as grievances through the channels we have in the party, but I will assure you that we will listen to your grievances all of you.”
President Mugabe briefed the gathering which was in high spirits that his visit to China was a success.
Among other things, the President said, the visit sought to cement the historical relationship between Zimbabwe and China.
“Once again I want to inform you that our visit to China was a very productive visit indeed,” he said.
“We went to China firstly, to cement the relationship that we built during our liberation struggle and on that basis to seek cooperation from the people of China, their support as we move ahead especially with our new socio-economic programme, which we call Zim-Asset.
“To seek assistance from them, assistance financial, assistance political and diplomatic.
“President Xi Jinping said China will continue to stand by us and continue to be as friendly to us as it was before –that the support we have asked for in various areas – area by area China will provide to the best of its ability –that China is grateful to Zimbabwe for what Zimbabwe has done to turn those countries which had their back to China so they could be friends of China and for the support we continue to give them internationally.
“Support we give them for One China Policy and they said in as much as we expect them to support us internationally, they also expect us to support them internationally. That is the reciprocal bond that is between them and ourselves.”
President Mugabe said Beijing condemned the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries.
He described the sanctions as “meaningless” adding that China was seeking equal friendship with Africa.
“They condemned the sanctions, meaningless, illegal sanctions that have been imposed by the Europeans and Americans and say this is not the policy of China. When China comes to Africa it does not intend to impose itself, no nor does it countenance the sanctions that are imposed by countries outside Africa.
“It supports the freedom and national sovereignty of each and every country in Africa and I do hope that those outside Africa who have made hegemony and neo imperialism their policies will learn a bit from Chinese policy.”
He said Zimbabwe would always remember the revolutionary contribution China made by way of supporting the guerrillas materially during the liberation struggle.
The President thanked Zanu-PF supporters for their unwavering stance against factionalism and tribalism.
President Mugabe was welcomed by Vice President Joice Mujuru, Senior Minister of State Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, Presidential Affairs Minister Cde Didymus Mutasa, senior Government and party officials, as well as members.