By Walter Nyamukondiwa in MUROMBEDZI
NEITHER Vice President Joice Mujuru nor Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa have an automatic ticket to take over leadership of the country, as the people will have their say and choose who they deem fit to be President, President Mugabe said yesterday.
The President, who was speaking in response to reports of factionalism in the ruling Zanu-PF pitting factions reportedly led by the two senior Politburo members, said no individual owned the party.
Addressing members of the Gushungo clan at Murombedzi Growth Point yesterday, the President said presidential aspirants would be elected through the Zanu-PF congress.
President Mugabe said VP Mujuru and Minister Mnangagwa were not the only people who could take over from him as the pool of potential leaders was large.
There have been persistent reports over the years that VP Mujuru and Minister Mnangagwa are vying for the Presidency and have built factions in Zanu-PF around them.
But yesterday, President Mugabe said, “Izvi tirikutaura nekuti kumaprovince akawanda kwanga kune nyaya iyoyo yekudhivhaidhana kuti vamwe varikunzi ndevaMai Mujuru pane zvesuccession, vamwe ndevaMinister Mnangagwa vachinzi ndovaviri varikuda kuzotora chigaro chaPresident kana varetire (I am saying this because in many provinces we hear of divisions along factional lines. It is said Mai Mujuru and Minister Mnangagwa are aspiring for the presidency).
“Vanhu vanosarudza vavanoda. Handi vaviri ivava chete. The day I retire the people can choose any other leader they think is the best candidate.”
President Mugabe said he still had unfinished business to sort out before stepping down.
“Morega kuteerera vanoda ava kukurovanisai musoro vachiti uyu ndewekwavaChombo uyu ndewekwavaShamu. Hatina izvozvo. Vanhu vese ndeve Zanu-PF. VaChombo havana vanhu vavo, vaShamu havana vanhu vavo. VaMugabe havana vanhu vavo. Ndiri mukuru weZanu-PF.
Ndinotungamirira Zanu-PF ine vanhu.
“Vatinoti mamembers edu eZanu-PF, ndivo vanhu ivavo vatinoti vedu. Ndo vanhu vamunoti vaChombo venyu ivavo veZanu-PF. VaMliswa ndo vanhu venyu ivavo kwete vanhu vanonzi ava vanoteerera zvavaChombo ava vanoteerera zvavaMliswa. VaMliswa vanoda kuve nechigaro chakati, vaChombo varikuda kuzoti vave nechigaro chakati. Hatidi izvozvo kwete,” he said.
President Mugabe said aspiring leaders should not deviate from Zanu-PF’s ideology and principles.
He chronicled his rise to the Presidency from being secretary for information and publicity in the National Democratic Party 1960.
President Mugabe said he became secretary-general when Ndabaningi Sithole started denouncing the party.
President Mugabe took a swipe at high-ranking party officials who opted for rural seats in elections while scurrying from urban contests. The President called this “bad politics” that had cost Zanu-PF in Harare and Bulawayo.
“Takadyiwa zvedu muBulawayo sekudyiwa kwatakaitwawo muHarare matakangowana zvigaro six chete, zvinotonyadza, out of 26. Makaremo matinoti ndimo muberere medu.
“Ndizvo zvazvinoita nekuti tinenge tisina maleaders. Maleaders makuru nguva yedu takanga tisingadzvamuke kuenda kumisha kwedu kwatakazvarirwa ndokunoita politics dzedu. Aiwa taiti vakuru tiri muHarare ini ndaive muHighfields; vanoenda kumusha kwavo,” he said.
President Mugabe, however, spoke light-heartedly about how he had tried to help Tendai Savanhu, Amos Midzi and Christopher Chigumba campaign for seats in Harare.
He said he went to Epworth’s Dombo raMwari section several times to campaign for Midzi to the extent that he now called the place Dombo raSatan owing to repeated electoral losses there.
President Mugabe said Politburo members ended up clashing with provincial leaders when they opted to stay away from urban areas. He reiterated that provincial chairpersons were in charge of provinces.
He, however, warned provincial chairpersons that they should respect national leaders.
President Mugabe also warned high-ranking party and Government officials – including ministers – implicated in corrupt and underhand dealings that there would be no sacred cows in the anti-graft crusade.
“Ngativei vanhu vanoramba vakabatana, takabatanidzwa nemusangano tichiziva gwara remusangano; vatungamiri vari vatungamiriri pachokwadi. Vane hutsvene kwete mbavha … hatidi.
“Saka iyezvino tirikuda kutsvaira nyaya dzacho idzi. Hapana anosara tikangowana kuti uyu anga ane humbavha mubhangi kana kupi hwekuba mari dzehurumende kana dzevamwe. Kana iri mhosva unozoguma wava mujerika,” he said to thunderous applause.
President Mugabe said no corrupt person – whether in Government or the security services – would be spared.
“Saka hatikudzivirire. Saka ndirikuti kumaMinister angu ese, macivil servants vese, vese vari kuArmy officers, vari kupolice ..kwese hatidi nyaya idzodzo dzekumisa vanhu mumugwagwa washaya mari yedoro,” he said.
Turning to the Bepere Chieftainship, which stems from the Zvimba chieftaincy, President Mugabe said the Local Government Ministry should expedite formalisation of the title.
Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the chieftaincy was necessitated by the growing number of people in the area after the land reforms at the turn of the millennium.
The meeting drew members of the Gushungo clan including Chief Zvimba and his headmen, Zvimba West MP Ziyambi Ziyambi, Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chair Temba Mliswa, and Minister of State for Mashonaland West Faber Chidarikire, among others. The Herald