Friday, December 16, 2016

ZIMBABWE HERALD EDITORIAL COMMENT : Here is to Fruitful Deliberations Comrades of ZANU-PF
December 16, 2016
Zimbabwe Herald

Africa’s celebrated wordsmith, Chinua Achebe wrote: “When we gather together in the moonlit village ground, it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it from his compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”The ruling Zanu-PF party’s 16th Annual National People’s Conference is underway in Masvingo. As Achebe alludes, it is good that these kinsmen had to leave whatever it was they were doing, including their farming activities.

When 7 000 delegates gather to reason together and look not at just the state of the revolutionary party, but the nation as a whole, the expectation from the people is that they take this mammoth responsibility with the seriousness it deserves, and that the outcome of the Conference will take the nation to a higher level; economically, especially.

To the people, the economy seems like the elephant in the room, the untouchable — when all else can emphatically be dealt with.

We commend the ruling party for rallying together under the theme: “Moving with Zim-Asset in Peace and Unity,” for the turnaround of the economy is the prime issue for all and sundry. There is so much that people want done about the economy.

We hope that those representing the people from the country’s 10 provinces are articulating not only the challenges being faced, but also proffer practical solutions on short and long-term ways of how the economic turnaround can be achieved in the shortest possible time.

This is in order to foster the prevailing peace and tranquillity in the country, which offer a perfect atmosphere for economic growth.

We hope that discussions will be fruitful, especially on what has been achieved within Zim-Asset’s four strategic clusters of economic growth, that is, value addition and beneficiation; infrastructure and utilities; food security and nutrition; and, social services and poverty eradication.

That Zanu-PF should spend the duration of the conference discussing economic growth and development will be most commendable because everything hinges on economic performance, now and into the future.

The opposition parties and their sponsors are looking at Zanu-PF to see how the party will deal with this behemoth, but more specifically, they are looking for loopholes.

The economy is also the major issue most nations are grappling with, including achieving economic growth. This is why we say that the theme is spot on, and should be critiqued without fear or favour.

However, all things being equal, we know that there are some who will want to use this platform for personal aggrandisement, those who pay lip-service to people’s interests. These are people who think that all that matters is them. They are the people who popularised factionalism in the party.

If they are not trying to destroy the party from within, then we can forgive them that it has not dawned on them that 2018 is around the corner. However, it’s time they realised that the 16th Annual National People’s Conference has to deliver part of the 2018 election result.

The moment for reflection and introspection is also now when President Mugabe told the Central Committee on Wednesday: “For our party, 2016 has been quite disturbing too. We failed, as leaders, in some cases to demonstrate high levels of maturity and discipline expected of us. . . The party needs revolutionary leaders and revolutionary cadres, who are always alive to their responsibilities as leaders of a party of liberation.”

This candid admission should force those in leadership positions to rank their priorities for 2016; was it the economy and people; or it was their aspirations first and foremost? Only time will tell! But as kinsmen, it is good that you have this round table where you can also agree to disagree.

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