Friday, December 16, 2016

Party Gurus Rapped: President Officially Opens Zanu-PF Conference: Social Media Not Platform for Addressing Issues
December 17, 2016

President Mugabe and First Lady Dr Grace arrive for the official opening of the Zanu-PF 2016 Annual People's Conference in Masvingo yesterday. (Picture by Eliah Saushoma)

Nduduzo Tshuma in Masvingo
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday rapped senior party officials for taking party issues to the social media and private Press instead of addressing issues within the relevant organs of the party.

Officially opening the Zanu-PF 16th National People’s Conference in Masvingo, the President said senior leadership were the culprits in discussing party matters on social media and the private media.

“As a party, we must always speak with one voice, to our leaders, we do not run or organise matters of the party or settle our grievances through Twitter and Facebook,” said President Mugabe.

“This here is a forum, a very important forum of the party, the central committee reports to you, the politburo would have reported to the Central Committee and you will keep some of the programmes, decisions or recommendations which would have come from below for reporting to congress.

“Those which will be urgent will be dealt with by the Central committee on an urgent basis but for goodness sake, it doesn’t help getting newspapers to intervene in our quarrels and disagreements.”

He castigated the acts of taking party issues to private media to trade insults and wash dirty party linen saying such acts were giving life to the discredited media houses.

“We don’t want that. That is being done by the seniors and not the juniors,” said President Mugabe.

He said such papers do not have any other news to report but dwell on the happenings within the ruling party by running with a single story for a long time.

The President said if the private media papers don’t get stories on the party, they will collapse as they lack capacity to report on matters that affect the country.

“They want to check what is happening in Zanu-PF and that is what is giving life to these papers that deserve to go to the bin,” said the President.

He bemoaned indiscipline in the party where some members were doing as they pleased.

‘There has been creeping in our party a new culture of indiscipline where some think they can do what they want in the party. The culture of disrespect, they have no respect and there is even contempt and arrogance, I don’t know what makes them do that,” said President Mugabe.

He said the assumption was that when someone joins a party, they are mature enough to know that there are rules to be obeyed and ways to be followed.

“You cannot dictate how things should be done, there are organs which follow rules and procedures on how things should be done and no one person should stand out and say I want this thing to be done that way. That we don’t want Mphoko, that must not happen.

“Others say we don’t want Mugabe anymore, now that you don’t want him, what do you want to be done when the majority in the party say they want him. They say they want what they are saying to be listened to, it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you are a former detainee or a veteran or a member with longstanding in the party, you should always know how things are done,” said President Mugabe.

He said in the course of the year, action was taken against some members, ‘‘sadly enough including some we were with outside (in the liberation war), I don’t know what got into them, that’s what happens.”

President Mugabe said leadership in the party comes through selection by the people and not because the aspiring person feels they have to occupy a certain post.

“It does not come because you feel you want to be there, is it the feeling of the people? Is it the wishes of the people? This is what we saw this year. I think you saw it also. Let us ensure that as we go into year 2017, we will be united, we will be clear in our minds, we will know the rules of the party better, abide by them and be principled members of the party or principled leaders of the party even,” he said.

President Mugabe said the unity shown by the delegates at the conference, should be taken back to respective provinces. “Don’t be swayed by us at the top, we don’t want this issue of factions that is being spoken about. Concentrate on the ideals of the party and when we do that, we go forward.

“The stability of the party rests on all its organs, operating harmoniously as they are operating. Our constitution provides various forms of how leaders can be punished, leaders can be changed and those are the forms that we should follow,” he said.

President Mugabe said despite internal fights, Zanu-PF remains strong and those who leave the party would always come back.

“The party remains strong, there is no doubt about this, in fact very strong and formidable by any account. We have had all our opponents, prostrated thrown down flat on the ground, they are just wandering aimlessly. Parties are sprouting without any ideology, without any thinking, they have practically no ideas, practically no principles and therefore practically no thinking of how this country can be transformed and have its economy transformed.

“Externally, countries that have been hostile to us and have all this time expected that the Zanu-PF Government shall listen to them and that there shall be regime change have failed to achieve that. There has not been regime change and there shall not be regime change so they stand defeated on that one.

“We have had quite some success in that area, we still have to fight to defend ourselves, protect our policies and programmes so that we are not inhibited in what we try to do in Zim-Asset,” said President Mugabe.

He called for unity within Zanu-PF saying the spirit that bound the party during the liberation war, should be the same that binds it now not only as a liberation movement but also as a party that forms a government.

“The spirit that binds us, the spirit that binds our party is the same spirit that bound us yesterday as we fought for our liberation together. It is the same spirit that has motivated you to travel all the way to be with us today and may that spirit continue to blossom as we move into the future to remain with the spirit of unity that we had yesterday when we removed the colonisers. We were united by one purpose so that is what we want to continue now as a government,” said President Mugabe.

The opening of the conference was attended by South African vice president Cyril Ramaphosa, diplomats including British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing among others.

Running under the theme, Moving with Zim-Asset in Peace and Unity, the conference, ends today.

No comments: