Unity of pur­pose key to party co­he­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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.

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