PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday said the party’s Commissariat Department headed by Webster Shamu needs to be urgently overhauled as it has failed to restructure and recruit new members in the last five years.
In his foreword to the Central Committee report that was tabled at the party’s 6th National People’s Congress, President Mugabe said the party was not only facing external threats, but internal ones as well.
“Firstly, organisationally, the party was not quite able during this review period to restructure itself, recruit more members and grow in a tangible way which we can clearly, without ambiguity, account for,” he said.
“This constitutes a major failure on the part of the Commissariat, which needs attention going forward. We need to refocus the party Commissariat work away from the current jostling and pushing for positions, which in turn has bred the current scourge of factionalism, back to the party’s ideology, robust mass mobilisation and winning the hearts and minds of the people of Zimbabwe to support Zim-Asset.”
President Mugabe said lately, the party has taken concrete steps to stem factionalism and after the Congress, there must be no more divisions in Zanu-PF.
He said Congress must set a deadline for the establishment of the Chitepo College of Ideology among other measures designed to entrench and promote the party’s philosophy.
“We can’t countenance a situation where Zanu-PF risks being succeeded by something we can’t define within its ideology, some other contraption that’s not Zanu-PF but calling itself by its name and claiming to be Zanu-PF,” added President Mugabe.
President Mugabe said corruption had taken root in the country with some high ranking officials implicated. He said police must be given powers and supported to do their work.
“We can’t continue to be indifferent to this festering scourge. As the ruling party, we must now move resolutely from repeatedly calling for zero tolerance for corruption in all our Congresses and conferences resolutions and this time, be seen to be taking tangible, demonstrable and measurable action to stop this problem,” he said.
“The people of Zimbabwe expect us to act, and act resolutely, without further delay. As the ruling party, we must unfetter the Zimbabwe Republic Police and all the law enforcement agencies of Zimbabwe, to give them maximum support to deal with this destructive scourge, once and for all.”
President Mugabe said the party must establish a professional National Elections Directorate or Party Elections Commission as a way of entrenching a democratic culture in the party’s internal process.
He said the party was faced with the problem of “internal candidate selection and elective processes which since 2009 have been characterised by intrigue, blatant rigging, rampant imposition and shameless vote buying as people jostle to position themselves favourably in the so-called succession debate.”
He added: “This has always left a trail of disgruntlement amongst party members, quite often translating into voter apathy. This Congress must direct the party, to look, without further ado into voter apathy.
“We need to move urgently to establish a policy formulation, development and evaluation mechanism, which provides focused intellectual input in assisting the First Secretary and President, Congress, Conference, the Central Committee and the Politburo in asserting the supremacy of the party over government.
“This set of measures will include trimming down the size of the Politburo, reducing bureaucracy, as well as the establishment of a dedicated strategic think-tank at party headquarters.
“The measures are intended to bring synergy and singleness of purpose in the party’s outputs both in government and in its interaction with the electorate.”
President Mugabe said the measures will also elevate the focus of the Politburo secretaries from their current apparent preoccupation with the routine tactical internal daily needs of the party towards advocacy and enforcement of party ideology and policies at national strategic level.
He said the party’s ideological footprint must be visible and must have a direct say in all the outputs of its functionaries deployed in the government or elected to any position within the party.