Chinhoyi, December 13, 2013– As fierce infighting to succeed President Robert Mugabe ravages through his Zanu PF party, even spilling into the state media, Mugabe on Thursday attacked senior party members who are promoting factionalism.
A day before the official opening of the Zanu PF 14th Annual National People’s Conference the 89 year old addressed an Ordinary Session of the Central Committee at the Chinhoyi University of Technology Great Hall, telling them:
“Let us remember the liberation struggle. There was that unity between those in front and those at the back, some politically supporting the struggle and in their own way. That is why we emerged victorious.
“The principle we learnt must continue to govern us; that those in front must depend on those in the grassroots. We are leaders because there are people who support us, good leaders of course. Let us be with our people. They, in the end decide who will lead them and who will not”.
“You can’t therefore say these people are mine, these are that one’s. That is the thinking that causes factionalism. That must go. We can’t build a united party when we divide people into camps. The people belong to the party, they are not my people. They are part of an organic entity to which I belong and all of them matter.”
Mugabe called for unity particularly in Mashonaland West Province.
“We are here in Mashonaland West, we say congratulations to Cde Temba Mliswa (the new provincial chairman). Don’t pursue the policy that these are my people, these are (Dr Ignatius) Chombo’s, these are Webster Shamu’s.
“Sit down with the leaders and talk them into accepting the togetherness that you are leaders together. You have won, let them support you and those who lost talk to them, let them support you. Tomorrow will be someone’s turn. I am singling out Mashonaland West because we are in Mashonaland West,” he said.
Mugabe said some party members were attacking others through the Internet but told them that authorities now have the technology to find out who and where the malicious attacks originated.
The factionalism in Zanu PF pits two camps led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Provincial elections marred by allegations vote rigging saw the Mujuru faction control 9 out of 10 provinces leading some to suggest she had virtually “put the presidency in her handbag.”
The infighting has also played out in the Zanu PF controlled state media. Party Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa seen as a close Mujuru ally spoke out last month about the abuse of the state media.
“There are those that are scandalising us through newspapers. I think that is absolutely wrong, misusing the media and in certain instances when people behave that way, that is sometimes referred to as corruption.
“You don’t use your office to scandalise those who are not in the same office and those who cannot respond to those words.”
The remarks were in apparent reference to what the Mujuru faction believe was the manipulation of the state owned media by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and his Permanent Secretary George Charamba in pushing the agenda of a faction of the party led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo also had no kind words for Moyo and Charamba telling them they have no business commenting on Zanu PF. Moyo and Charamba meanwhile claimed they were articulating President Mugabe’s position on the controversial provincial elections.
“Jonathan Moyo is a government minister and I am the party spokesperson, and what I said, I said so after consulting relevant people. The party is not run from the ministry of Information, it is run from the party’s headquarters,” a furious Gumbo said.
A Herald newspaper editorial allegedly penned by Moyo had even referred to Didymus Mutasa as a “dwarf in huge robes”. Although the paper did not mention Mutasa by name, the Presidential Affairs Minister is short in stature and had in the week come out strongly in support of Gumbo.
“You see, when you refer to us as dwarfs in huge robes, how do you expect me to answer? Because I am not in charge of any newspaper. I can only go to newspapers to answer, but which newspaper will I use if my own newspaper refers to me that way.”
Source: Nehanda Radio