Nduduzo Tshuma in Harare
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said “Operation Restore Legacy” by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was launched to rescue values and ethos of the liberation struggle threatened by political upstarts and counter-revolutionaries.
Addressing Zanu-PF members as he opened the party’s Extra-Ordinary Congress here, President Mnangagwa hailed ZDF Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga and the entire force for standing shoulder to shoulder with Zimbabweans during the process and prioritising peace and stability in the country.
He also paid tribute to war veterans for their resilience as they faced purges, threats and persona persecution when they opposed the counter-revolutionary elements within the ruling Zanu-PF going by the moniker of the G40 cabal.
President Mnangagwa said the Operational Restore Legacy and other events within the ruling Zanu-PF and the march by Zimbabweans that culminated in a new era in the country showed that Zimbabwe is capable of solving its problems.
“Operation Restore Legacy was about our Nation: Its past, its present and most of all, its future, which had indeed become threatened.
“It was about securing a future for our current and future generations. Furthermore, it was about rescuing, restoring and reasserting the founding ideals, values, principles and traditions of our national liberation struggle, as espoused by our party, Zanu-PF,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The traditions and values that we held and still hold so dear, stood imperilled by a cabal of counter-revolutionary upstarts who, weevil-like and over time, had burrowed deep into the pith of our party and its structures, in the process compromising its leadership.”
President Mnangagwa said the G40 cabal and their destructive politics had not only destabilised Zanu-PF but also brought confusion in the country.
“It had destabilised the party, causing absolute divisions and disquiet in the nation which sat on edge. The party ideology, rules and protocols were being desecrated daily; or simply being brushed aside at will,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Party structures were overrun, while elected office-bearers were summarily suspended and dismissed at speeds of caprice and vaulting ambition. Corrupt activities and corrupt individuals were daily sanitised while millions of dollars were being stolen and stashed outside the country.”
President Mnangagwa said the G40 cabal created a self-serving environment that shielded corrupt tendencies and criminals. “The economy bled from repeated rampant smuggling. The country was violated with impunity. Disaffection was building especially from among the youths who were seeing their hopes of a bright future slipping away,” he said.
“Veterans who had sacrificed to liberate this country were not just being reviled; they were being abused and incarcerated on flimsy pretexts.
“Party events were manipulatively re-engineered to contrive a show of popularity and unanimity. Party mobilisation was reduced to coercion. Party rallies became expensively choreographed pseudo-events dominated by a roving core group which used different venues in order to create a misleading illusion of populism which belied the bitter discontent which simmered beneath, threatening to boil.”
The Zanu-PF First Secretary said the G40 cabal derailed the ruling party from a progressive and people oriented organisation.
“Let us draw lessons from all that happened. We must vehemently defend to the hilt the party values, cultures and traditions.
“Revolutions do get infiltrated and corrupted and once corrupted, they degenerate and lose direction,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We must never lower our guard and must arrest any negative tendencies that creep into the party to hold, corrupt and alienate us.”
President Mnangagwa said all members of Zanu-PF were duty bound to the party’s liberation ethos adding that war veterans play a pivotal role in the restoration of those values.
“I thus urge the party to manage the inter-generational transitions so that the spirit of the struggle is retained and passed on as a living tissue.
“We must therefore thrive to offer a positive, progressive vision for the future which tallies with the hopes and dreams of all. In this regard, we should not be a party of the past but a party for the future, a party for posterity,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Let us always be alive to the fact that successful parties constantly renew themselves, speaking to women, youths and the disadvantaged.
“Equally it is essential to constantly engage with all stakeholders across the socio, economic and political spectrum and indeed across borders to make ourselves responsive and relevant.”
Operation Restore Legacy was launched last month as an intervention meant to arrest a potentially volatile, social, economic and political situation in the country.
They ZDF assured the nation that the uniformed forces had not staged a coup to unseat former President Cde Robert Mugabe but were targeting some criminal elements around him that were causing instability in Government and the ruling Zanu-PF.