Felex Share Harare Bureau—
Individualists and factionalists have no place in the Zanu-PF government and people should respect the leadership appointed at the party’s 2014 National People’s Congress, President Robert Mugabe said yesterday. Addressing hundreds of Zanu-PF supporters at the Harare International Airport on his return from the 26th Ordinary Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President Mugabe warned those denigrating his appointees that they would soon fall by the wayside.
The President, whose one-year tenure as AU chairman ended over the weekend when he handed the baton to Chad’s President Idriss Déby, said those with eccentric thoughts should repent, drive the Zanu-PF empowerment agenda in peace or risk being chucked out.
“We must reject selfishness, We should reject factionalism,” he said. “Our youths shouldn’t be used and misled. They should always remember that it’s the will of the people which should lead us, for us to push forward our resolutions and targets we give ourselves at the Congresses.
“If we unite, women on this hand and the youths on the other hand, we will achieve our goals. Now if we start fighting, some are fighting here, some are insulting each other in newspapers, there’s no respect any more, we just insult each other, even the leaders aren’t shown respect. What have we done? We don’t want that!”
He added: “We need unity in the country, province by province. Not to have a province which says we stand for this and our leaders are so and so. There are no other leaders other than the ones we were given by the Central Committee. Leaders are chosen at the Congress, that’s where we drop those we don’t need.”
President Mugabe, whose address centred on unity, said while differences existed “here and there”, in the end people should be guided by the country’s principles and resolutions.
“We want to correct each other. to pull in the right direction,” he said. “If ideas are different, people do sit down and share thoughts and choose the best idea to push forward our developmental agenda.
“We don’t want those that say what I think is right, no one will remove me from my position. Zimbabwe has principles and resolutions; this is what has taken us this far. Since time immemorial, we were united, yes there were differences and those on the wrong fell by the wayside.”
President Mugabe took time to brief party supporters on the deliberations of Heads of State and Government at the AU Summit, with emphasis on value addition and beneficiation of raw materials and the need to reform the United Nations Security Council.
“We’re obliged to reform our way of doing things,” he said. “It shouldn’t just be farming and mining only, we need to establish industries. We should stop exporting raw materials before refining them. If it’s cotton, it means they should come and buy clothes from us.
“Where we’re not able to do that, we get into partnership with progressive countries like India and China and others then we manufacture those things we buy outside.”
Value addition and beneficiation, the President said, created employment, added knowledge to locals and resulted in the realisation of high rewards.
He said the Western world still had the slavery mentality and did not want to see the development of any black society.
President Mugabe said the West wanted to remain on top of the situation and was now using non-governmental organisations to achieve regime change in independent countries.
“In Harlem (United States), they (blacks) are suffering, diseases and murders are galore,” he said. “Right now they’re coming with regime change, wanting to remove elected governments. In Africa, NGOs have flooded the continent and here (Zimbabwe) alone there are more than 3,000. When they want to come they should be guided by our laws.”
The President said African nations were equal and they should assist each other in times of need. He said peace was vital for development and countries should always work together in tackling any crisis.
“If you’re hungry where ever you are, I must know about it here,” he said. “Your problems are my problems too and my problems should also be yours. For us to achieve this in our countries, we need peace. No contention and fights. (We don’t want) those who come outside (like) Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, we should assist each other to stop these terrorists.
“The same applies to diseases; we should do it the way we tackled Ebola. We united to ensure countries affected live and work freely.” President Mugabe cherished the standing ovations and thunderous applause he received from Heads of State and Government when he opened the Summit on Saturday saying, “Zimbabwe had been put on top.”
On the inequality in the UN Security Council, President Mugabe reiterated that it was time African countries got permanent seats with veto powers or the continent pulls out of the United Nations.
Britain, China, France, Russia and the US are the only veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.
China and Russia have been open to discussing reforms, as have emerging powers like India and Brazil who also want seats on the Security Council.
President Mugabe was welcomed by his two deputies, Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, several government ministers and service chiefs on his arrival from Ethiopia.