Unity of purpose key to party cohesion
THE decision by the Zanu-PF Women’s League to reaffirm its total support for the President and his two deputies during its National Assembly meeting in Harare on Friday could set the tone for the vanguard party to close ranks and desist from engaging in destructive factional politics which has been the bane of the party in the past.
The Women’s League — a crucial organ of the party — could have sown the seeds of the party’s victory in the 2018 general elections by clarifying that their proposed amendments to the party’s constitution had been misinterpreted as a strategy to push out one of the Vice Presidents.
By putting this emotive and divisive debate to bed, the wing has shamed prophets of doom and laid the groundwork for a stronger and united Zanu-PF — one that will annihilate the opposition at the polls. The VP issue emerged last year at the party conference in Victoria Falls where Article 7(1) (b) was brought back into force.
It has a provision which reserves one of the VP posts for a woman, and some party officials were allegedly using this lobby to try and replace one of the VPs at the 16th Annual National People’s Conference in December.
Addressing the National Assembly gathering, Women’s League Secretary, Dr Grace Mugabe, made it clear that the two VPs — Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, who were appointed by President Mugabe as his deputies at the 2014 Congress — enjoyed the full support of the Women’s League.
“Your Excellency, just to put the record straight, our resolution was misunderstood and misinterpreted. The resolution was never meant to dispense with any one. On this note, I wish to assure Vice Presidents and Second Secretary Cdes Mnangagwa and Mphoko that you have our full support,” she said.
Her deputy, Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, went further, warning that party members found guilty of plotting the ouster of either of the VPs faced punitive action. She said no party member should campaign for the VP post since it was President Mugabe’s prerogative to appoint his deputies as provided for by the party constitution.
Cde Moyo explained that while the resolution for one VP post to be held by a woman stood, and that it could be accommodated in Zanu-PF’s constitution before year end, the aim was not to remove a sitting VP.
“We don’t want the VPs to be disturbed during their term; this is what the First Lady was explaining during the Friday Women’s League meeting. Party members and supporters shouldn’t listen to gossip that such such and such a VP will be removed from office because of the Women’s League resolution,” said Cde Moyo.
“We want the resolution to be included in the party constitution so that we follow laid down rules and regulations. We will follow the constitution because as a ruling party, we want to be exemplary to other smaller parties; that Zanu-PF respects its constitution.”
We applaud the Women’s League for its unequivocal and bold move which will not only enhance party unity and cohesion but could be the panacea to exorcising the ghost of factionalism which has been pegging back party programmes. With less than two years before the crucial 2018 polls, it is critical for Zanu-PF to ensure that it does not play into the hands of its enemies both within and outside our borders who have been gleefully rubbing their hands at the prospect of an implosion.
As the party that informs Government policy and programmes divisions in its ranks spell doom for the nation and on this score, we have noted with concern how petty differences and gamesmanship have affected implementation of important policies.
We appeal to the party hierarchy to work towards uniting the party and ensuring that all organs put their shoulders to the wheel and serve the people. The party should play its oversight role on Government and see to it that there is full implementation of Government programmes particularly those to with economic development.
The Women’s League has led the way and other party organs need to follow suit so that the party moves forward with a single-minded unity of purpose. Sideshows distract from focusing on important matters of the State and Zanu-PF should remember that voters will judge it on its performance during the five years between 20132018. With the opposition coalescing and mooting a combined challenge to the ruling party, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The party was handed an overwhelming mandate in 2013 but that may seem a long way off in 2018 where the election will be fought on bread and butter issues. As it is, the economy needs urgent attention and measures to revive it expeditiously implemented.
The starting point is the forthcoming agricultural season where farmers need to be adequately capacitated.