By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, May 26, 2016 – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday said he never canvassed for his job but was elected by those who saw it fit for him to become their leader.
He said this while he warned Zanu PF hawks jostling for party positions adding that they must wait for their turn as this divided the party.
President Mugabe was addressing thousands of party supporters who thronged the grounds adjacent to Harare’s Rainbow Towers Hotel for the so-called Million Men March.
Zanu PF is currently embroiled in factional fights mainly pitying Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp and a group of party politicians who never fought the liberation war but have put up a fierce fight for party control with the old guard.
“You know the journey I have travelled,” Mugabe said in Shona, “You saw that when I came into the party, I had gone to Ghana…”
“I had learnt that when joining the liberation movement, you have to be prepared to be under the leadership. Those chosen to be leaders you are supposed to listen to.”
Mugabe warned power hungry politicians within his party to stop canvassing for positions.
He said that he never during any single day campaign to be the Zanu President before 1980 but was chosen by members.
“Each time we did our congress, no one canvassed for power. Even I didn’t canvass to say I wanted this or that post.
“I was the publicity secretary for NDP, and in ZAPU. Even when Zanu wanted a leader I was elected by people.
“There was no day I ever said I wanted to be the party president or did I make any campaigns I wanted to be the president.”
Mugabe was Zanu secretary general before he was chosen president when his predecessor Ndabaningi Sithole was ousted during the liberation war.
Mugabe chided fellow party members for being too desperate to get positions in the party and government to a point of consulting witch doctors for supernatural means.
“It’s not our culture in the party to canvass for positions; some even go to witch doctors. We didn’t go to n’angas to look for positions. Positions should come from the people. In the party we have a congress,” he said.
Mugabe also took a swipe at party “confusionists” sponsoring factionalism.
“Never listen to the discordant voices, from whatever sources; they may come from within the party. Those who say they belong to this or that are deceiving themselves. There is only one Zanu PF,” he said.
He warned war veterans against attempts to push for their choices for possible successor.
“Let us not hear discordant voices. Our war veterans cannot be preaching their own voices, they must come within the party then whatever grievances will be solved within the party. They should never be little groups to promote so and so. Those little groups are treasonous groups, they spoil the party.
“Why don’t you come with your criticism, differences within the party and not go to the newspapers. You are making these papers to live, you are giving them life,” he said.