By Mashudu Netsianda
Chances are very high that Zanu-PF would have lost next year’s elections if it had fielded Robert Mugabe as its presidential candidate, a senior official said yesterday.
Speaking during a Zanu-PF Bulawayo inter-district meeting at the party’s Davies Hall provincial headquarters, the National Commissar, Victor Matemadanda, said the populace and the party had become disillusioned with the actions of former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe.
“Zanu-PF was going to lose the 2018 elections had we continued with the former president as our candidate. This is largely because he (Mugabe) had allowed his wife (Mrs Grace Mugabe) working in cahoots with the professor of succession (Prof Jonathan Moyo) and that dangerous boy called Tyson (Mr Saviour Kasukuwere) to destroy the party from within,” he said.
Matemadanda said Zanu-PF would not move forward if there is no discipline within the party.
“The aspirations of the liberation struggle which we fought for can now be achieved following Operation Restore Legacy. When we fight in a revolution we don’t fight for personal glory, but for everyone and this fight should benefit the party. We want discipline in the party,” he said.
Matemadanda said there was a need to re-orient youths who were swayed into supporting G40 by giving them a chance to reform instead of purging them. He also challenged district chairpersons to play a leading role in mobilising support at grassroots level.
“We must strive to put Zanu-PF forward through building structures for the party starting at cell level. We are going to restructure the party by putting the right people in key positions. I also urge the party to work with war veterans,” said Matemadanda.
He said the party would revisit the issue of ex-Zipra cadres who were deregistered from being war veterans under unclear circumstances.
“There are Zipra cadres who were deregistered. As a party, we want to re-look into that after the Extraordinary Congress so that it is corrected. Sadly such disgruntled people who were affected are now working with the opposition,” Matemadanda said.
The province unanimously endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s elections. It also resolved that newly appointed Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Angeline Masuku be elevated into the Central Committee.
Masuku is a member of the National Consultative Assembly. The ruling party’s Bulawayo provincial secretary for administration Elphas Mashava read out the resolution.
The meeting also endorsed the resolution by the Central Committee declaring President Mnangagwa as the party’s First Secretary and candidate in next year’s harmonised elections following the recall of former President, Mugabe, last month during a special Central Committee meeting held at the party’s headquarters.
The Central Committee is Zanu-PF’s highest decision-making organ outside Congress.
President Mnangagwa’s election as the Zanu-PF President and First Secretary will be ratified at the Extra-Ordinary Congress which starts in Harare this week.
The province also endorsed the expulsion of several party members on various charges including former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Mrs Grace Mugabe, who was the Secretary for Women Affairs.
Matemadanda warned party members in Bulawayo against retribution in the aftermath of Operation Restore Legacy, saying members should direct their energy towards mobilising massive support for the party ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
“We are all aware that Zanu-PF had been hijacked by individuals in the mould of a faction called G40, a brainchild of Prof Moyo. The faction had become a serious problem everywhere until the commanders of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) came to our rescue through Operation Restore Legacy. We therefore don’t want party members who want to revenge. We are saying no to retribution and this is the message that I have brought to you from President ED Mnangagwa and the Central Committee,” he said.
Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu also commended Operation Restore Legacy, saying it corrected what was wrong.
“The party is more important than individuals and anyone who thinks otherwise is not a worthy leader. We therefore applaud Operation Restore Legacy for correcting what was wrong,” he said. The Chronicle