NO LEAD­ER­SHIP CHANGE IN ZANU-PF Pres­i­dent de­fends VP Mnan­gagwa, de­nounces di­vi­sions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Mu­gabe and Felex Share

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe yes­ter­day said Zanu-PF will not change its top lead­er­ship based on un­sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tions, most of them spon­sored by ex­ter­nal forces seek­ing to cause di­vi­sions in the rev­o­lu­tion­ary party.

He was ad­dress­ing a sol­i­dar­ity meet­ing of war veter­ans at the Zanu-PF head­quar­ters in Harare.

He called for unity and di­a­logue wher­ever there were dif­fer­ences and con­tra­dic­tions.

The Pres­i­dent’s re­marks fol­lowed a sug­ges­tion by act­ing chair­per­son of the Zim­babwe Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion War Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion Cde Mandi­itawepi Chimene that the Head of State and Gov­ern­ment should re­place one of his deputies, Cde Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

The sol­i­dar­ity meet­ing came in the wake of a trea­sonous com­mu­niqué clan­des­tinely is­sued to the me­dia by a clique of war veter­ans de­nounc­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s lead­er­ship last week.

Cde Chimene said that Vice Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa was fan­ning fac­tion­al­ism in the party by al­legedly lead­ing a fac­tion in Zanu-PF called Team La­coste.

In­stead, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe urged war veter­ans and party sup­port­ers not to rush to con­clu­sions be­fore gath­er­ing con­crete ev­i­dence.

He said the free­dom fight­ers should know that the en­emy was tire­lessly work­ing through covert av­enues to di­vide Zanu-PF. “We shall keep to­gether at the top,” said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. “We shall re­main united. We know that ac­cu­sa­tions will con­tinue to be made, al­le­ga­tions nat­u­rally, some true, some false but Zanu-PF knows how to set­tle its con­tra­dic­tions. In our view let us not ac­cuse any­one of lead­ing a fac­tion when we don’t have ev­i­dence. Give it time. You must be mind­ful of the fact that our en­e­mies want to di­vide the party, abus­ing our names. The truth shall come out but let’s be vig­i­lant.”

Added Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe: “Dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle we learnt a lot from China dur­ing Mao’s time on how they would solve in­ter­nal dif­fer­ences. The Chi­nese sit down and dis­cuss with squab­bling par­ties, giv­ing their ideas. Those ideas that con­form to the party ide­ol­ogy will be taken on board. That’s how con­tra­dic­tions were set­tled in China. That’s how we were set­tling them also in our camps out­side the coun­try. Let’s not fight each other. We don’t want war. We don’t want vi­o­lence.”

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said it was the duty of the party lead­er­ship to de­nounce those fo­ment­ing di­vi­sions.

“If ac­cused, it’s also up to us to tell the peo­ple that the ac­cu­sa­tions are false,” he said.

“You give them the cor­rect po­si­tion and keep them in­formed. We don’t want to be di­vided. That’s what we don’t want. I don’t like it. We want to keep to­gether but it’s our duty to de­nounce this to­gether, to de­nounce th­ese de­vel­op­ments to­gether out­rightly and not to hes­i­tate so the peo­ple con­tinue to have to­tal con­fi­dence in us.”

As the party started prepa­ra­tions for 2018 elec­tions, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said unity at all lev­els of the party was cru­cial.

“So let’s keep to­gether and help us also with your unity at the base,” he said.

“The unity of Zanu-PF in the prov­inces and I want to thank the provin­cial chair­per­sons who are here. Your unity is cru­cial be­cause that is the ba­sis of the whole party.

“We can’t talk of a united party when the prov­inces are not united. We can’t talk also of a united party when the wings of the party – the Youth League, the Women’s League – when th­ese are not united. So the unity of the party is cru­cial and I’m glad that so far, we have main­tained that unity and I hope that we shall main­tain it un­til 2018.”

Com­ment­ing on the trea­sonous com­mu­niqué, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said those be­hind it would be pun­ished ruth­lessly.

“The party has set up a team to in­ves­ti­gate that state­ment, so that they tell us who wrote it and those who dis­trib­uted it around so that the cul­prits are pun­ished and the party’s pun­ish­ment is hard,” said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

“We had rebels dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. We pun­ished them. We de­tained some of them in pits and we used to feed them while they were down there. We never killed them but we held them un­der­ground, feed­ing them. We re­leased them when we and the Bri­tish agreed that they be re­leased just be­fore in­de­pen­dence in 1980.”

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said Zanu-PF was a strong party with a long his­tory that could not be de­stroyed through a piece of pa­per chris­tened as a com­mu­niqué by rogue el­e­ments. He re­minded de­trac­tors that his power de­rived from the peo­ple.

He thanked war veter­ans and other mem­bers of the party for show­ing him their un­con­di­tional sup­port.

Part of the crowd that con­verged at the Zanu-PF head­quar­ters in Harare yes­ter­day

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