Nduduzo Tshuma in Harare
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday led Zanu-PF to a new culture of politics, discouraging the singing of praise songs to glorify him but instead urged the party members to sing the national anthem and the all embracing liberation songs.
Officially opening the Zanu-PF Extra-Ordinary Congress here, President Mnangagwa said his ascendancy to the Presidency was neither regional nor factional victory as his mandate is to serve all Zimbabweans.
President Mnangagwa called for unity and discipline within the party and said the party should reinvents its politics to be in sync with war time templates and practices that won the country’s liberation and made Zanu-PF the party of choice for the majority since independence.
“The role you have given me and the office you have inserted me into, can never be partitioned to anyone. The praise song I desire, if you were to sing one, is that of our national anthem and those from the liberation struggle not for myself, no. If you sing the national anthem, if you sing those national songs then me and you are together,” said President Mnangagwa.
“In light of the above, regionalism, factionalism, and titles such as “G-40” and “Lacoste” must be condemned and migrate from the body of our Party forthwith.
“As the leadership of the party gathered in this Extra Ordinary Session of Congress let us commit to unite the party membership.”
President Mnangagwa emphasised the supremacy of the party constitution calling on members to adhere to it.
“In line with this instruction therefore, my ascendance to the helm of the party must never be interpreted as a defeat of one faction and installation of another.
“My presidency should not be perceived as a rise in the fortunes of a region, a tribe or a totem. My presidency is about a united Zanu-PF, a national party with a national outlook,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I stand therefore as the President of a united, non-racial Zimbabwe, itself home to many tongues, dialects, cultures, colours and age groups.
“I am a President of women and men; the young and the old; the able-bodied and physically challenged; the rich and the poor; the well and the sick. I am an emissary of all the veterans and heroes, dead or alive, who through their blood sketched the cause and mission which my presidency must promote, must actualise and advance.”
President Mnangagwa said the ruling party enjoys a special relationship with the people dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.
“This fact of Zanu PF’s special status and standing as the party of national liberation makes it a national heritage and courier of a national legacy and above all, a definer of our country’s future,” he said.
“Thus, Zanu PF as the governing party makes and requires it to be a national home for all.
“It must also be an instrument available for a national purpose and destiny. Zanu-PF can therefore, not exclude, divide or fragment, nor be allowed to sag or succumb for lack of foresighted leadership.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated that Zanu-PF must thrive on championing the needs of the people.
He encouraged freedom of expression within the party to promote democracy at all levels.
“Party structures from the cell/village levels right up to the Central Committee must be platforms in which the membership discusses freely without fear or favour matters concerning the party as well as developmental issues which affect their communities and the nation at large,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Equally elections at all levels of the party must be undertaken as guided by the rules and regulations of the party, free of chicanery, manipulation and favouritism.”
President Mnangagwa also emphasised that the country will hold free and fair elections, predicting a crushing victory for the revolutionary ZanuPF saying there was no opposition to talk about.
“In the planning and conducting of these elections our position as the ruling party demands that we carry the nation we liberated, securing all who live within its borders, upholding the national constitution, laws and values as well as defending and safeguarding our country’s sovereignty,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Above all, we must ensure peace over our land, towards whose nurturing and preservation, we must spare no effort.”